Now that the non-waiver deadline has passed, we’re taking a look back at what each team was able to accomplish before 4 p.m. ET on July 31. Next up in our recap series, the Minnesota Twins.
Minnesota Twins (50-53), 6 GB in AL Central, 4 GB in AL Wild Card
ACQUIRED: RHP Zack Littell (from NYY), LHP Tyler Watson (from WSH), C Anthony Recker (from ATL), LHP Gabriel Moya (from ARZ), LHP Dietrich Enns (from NYY)
TRADED: RHP Brandon Kintzler (to WSH), LHP Jaime Garcia (to NYY), C John Ryan Murphy (to ARZ), RHP Huascar Ynoa (to ATL)
The Twins had the most unique deadline of all, first deciding to be a buyer in acquiring Jaime Garcia from the Braves and then shifting course and trading Garcia and Brandon Kintzler before Monday. Though that’s a tough pill to swallow, they should be commended for not letting the shiny second wild card distract them from a long-term plan.
The return for Garcia, headlined by Zack Littell, was more valuable than what they gave up for him in Huascar Ynoa. That’s basically a savvy move for a better prospect, even if it’s not the ideal way they decided to do it. The Kintzler deal came very late (at a time when almost every team with a bullpen need had filled it), causing the Minnesota to get a suboptimal one-player return (Tyler Watson) for its All-Star closer.
The Twins’ pivot from controlled buyers to controlled sellers was unique in that the team never gave into the pressure of making big moves on either side. Derek Falvey and Thad Levine took a very measured approach that’s rarely seen in July by surprise contenders. After a slump and simultaneous hot streaks from Cleveland and Kansas City widened the gap in the Central to an insurmountable point, they pivoted quickly and effectively, unloading only rentals in Garcia and Kintzler.
Ervin Santana and Brian Dozier were rumored to be available, but as controllable players, their price tag was higher. Minnesota has a strong core of guys returning for 2018 and decided to keep them all together, showing that the front office wasn’t willing to overreact after a bad stretch.
The return for John Ryan Murphy, by the way, looks way better than you’d think it would be: lefty Gabriel Moya is a reliever with a 0.98 ERA in Double-A. Add him to the other three young players the Twins added, and it’s not that bad of a prospect haul for a club that was buying a week ago.
For a complete list of our trade deadline recaps, click here.