The Minnesota Twins have reportedly delved into the realm of trade possibilities in their pursuit of a high-profile starting pitcher, with names such as Dylan Cease and Corbin Burnes making the list of potential targets. According to a report by Dan Hayes of The Athletic, the Twins explored trade scenarios for these sought-after starters and other pitchers of similar caliber during the offseason.
While these talks have not borne fruit thus far, there remains a possibility that the Twins will persist in their quest for a premium starting pitcher. This interest in acquiring top-tier talent aligns with the team’s strategy of fortifying their prospect pool, as demonstrated by the recent trade involving Jorge Polanco. However, despite the team’s proactive stance, Hayes notes that, at least for the time being, the pursuit of a frontline starter seems to have taken a temporary backseat.
The Twins executed a trade with the Seattle Mariners on Monday night, sending Polanco in exchange for 20-year-old outfielder Gabriel Gonzalez, now ranked as MLB Pipeline’s No. 79 overall prospect. With four Twins prospects in the top 100, including Gonzalez, the organization is evidently focused on cultivating young talent.
Reports from Jon Heyman and Bob Nightengale offer insights into the likelihood of specific pitchers changing teams. Burnes appears poised to stay with the Milwaukee Brewers, while Cease could start the season with the Chicago White Sox unless a deal with the Mariners materializes soon. Nightengale speculates that if a trade with the Mariners falls through, the White Sox might revisit discussions towards the trade deadline or respond to a team’s urgency arising from an unexpected injury.
The article raises questions about other potential trade targets, including the possibility of Cleveland parting ways with Shane Bieber to a division rival or the Twins revitalizing Toronto’s Alek Manoah. Additionally, the Twins acquired Anthony DeSclafani in the Polanco trade, adding depth to their pitching roster. DeSclafani is expected to compete with Louie Varland for the fifth starter position, with the loser potentially serving as a long reliever at the beginning of the season.
The current starting rotation for the Twins comprises Pablo Lopez, Joe Ryan, Bailey Ober, and Chris Paddack, with the addition of DeSclafani potentially influencing the final composition. All five starters rank prominently in The Athletic’s preseason starting pitcher fantasy rankings, showcasing the team’s pitching strength. Despite having a formidable starting five, the article suggests that the acquisition of a high-caliber arm could further enhance the Twins’ performance and resilience against injuries during the arduous regular season.