The Minnesota Twins have surprised many this season, starting 33-26 this season, just two games out of first place in the AL Central and leading the AL Wild Card race. They may surprise again by becoming buyers at the trade deadline, reports CBS Sports' Jon Heyman.
Heyman reports the Twins will prioritize a power bat, likely one that plays the outfield, and help in the bullpen if they do decide to become buyers at the trade deadline.
Minnesota would look for a power hitter in the outfield because there is just one outfielder, 39-year-old Torii Hunter, on the roster with more than three home runs this season. Hunter is hitting .268/.326/.431 with eight home runs in 230 plate appearances this season.
Two outfielders that could be of interest to the Twins are Colorado's Carlos Gonzalez and Cincinnati's Jay Bruce. An added bonus with Bruce and Gonzalez is that they are both left-handed, and the Twins have just 12 home runs from left-handed hitters in 841 at bats this season.
Rather than trade for an outfielder, the Twins also have the option of calling up Byron Buxton, MLB.com's top prospect in baseball, who is hitting .274/.337/.478 while playing center field at Double-A Chattanooga.
The Twins may also look for bullpen help, again likely from the left side. Minnesota's two primary left-handed relievers, aside from closer Glen Perkins, are Aaron Thompson and Brian Duensing who have a 5.59 ERA and 1.57 WHIP in 37 innings this season.
Among the left-handed relievers that could be available are Milwaukee's Will Smith, who has a 1.83 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in 19⅔ innings this season, and Arizona's Oliver Perez, who has posted an ERA below 4.00 in each season from 2012-2014 as a lefty specialist with the Diamondbacks and Mariners and has limited lefties to a .643 OPS this season.