The Twins are the worst team in the American League at 34-59; even inducting Torii Hunter into their hall of fame didn’t draw a sizable crowd; and GM Terry Ryan - only the third Twins general manager since 1985 - was ousted earlier this week. So things are a bit raw the Gopher State at the moment.
As Minnesota reels, other teams can smell that that they are vulnerable and have begun targeting their best assets in hopes of starting a fire sale close to the trade deadline. Ken Rosenthal reports that there are four Minnesota players being sought by outsiders at the moment.
As of a week ago, the Twins attracting the most trade interest were infielder Eduardo Nunez, catcher Kurt Suzuki, left-handed reliever Fernando Abad and right-handed reliever Brandon Kintzler, according to a major-league source.
I know what you’re thinking. Everyone’s thinking it, all the time. “What about Ervin Santana?”
Ervin Santana, owed a combined $27 million in 2017 and '18, was not drawing attention from other clubs, the source said.
Well, this all checks out. Nunez was the Twins’ All-Star this year in San Diego, and he continued a stellar (.312 BA, .805 OPS) season last night with a 2-for-4 performance, as well as 3 RBI and one SB. Catching is always pursued by teams trying to maintain depth, and Suzuki, hitting .289 in 64 games, has as much low key appeal as anyone. Abad and Kintzler could be someone’s solution to missing out on Andrew Miller and/or Aroldis Chapman of the Yankees.
It’s going to be a curious couple of weeks as interim Twins GM Rob Antony hangs some art in his new office and then starts fielding phone calls about potential deals. One thing Antony did say was that he had no intention of nuking his roster in 2016.
Twins are not considering Braves-like rebuild heading into trade deadline. Said Rob Antony: "No, I don't think we'll look at that at all."— Katie Strang (@KatieStrangESPN) July 18, 2016
That would be something of an undertaking for the new guy, who may not even be the real new guy. However, Antony said he was given directives like “do whatever it takes” and said "I don't have any constraints." This would mean, then, that he has been given a license to kill; he just doesn’t plan to use it very hard just yet. However, with interest growing in so many of his players, the league will likely soon see the full brunt of his power.