This is not going to be a popular sentiment around Twins fans, but I do not think it is as much of a slam dunk that many Twins fans would like it to be. I have done some heavy research on Freddy Sanchez, Matt Capps, Latroy Hawkins, and Jose Valverde as a few of the possibilities that the Twins could trade for and the packages it would take to get them. I have also done my fair share of research on some of the guys it would take to acquire those players and I don't think it is a slam dunk to make the trades for the following reasons.
- Do we need more offense? I know Nick Punto should probably never be starting and Matt Tolbert neither. But the question is it worth it to give up atleast 2 or 3 of the top prospects in the organization for someone that would not solve our problems. Honestly, offense is not the Twins problem as they rank 10th in baseball in runs scored and 2nd in the division which is very good. We have scored more runs than the teams we are battling with in Detroit and Chicago. That just shows that offense is not what is keeping us down. The bottom line is the reason we are in 3rd place and not running away with the division is our starting pitching has not been what we would expect it to be. If our pitchers had done the job they did last year this would not be a race. The only pitcher who has done his job is Nick Blackburn who has a 3.06 era and has 9 quality starts in his last 10. To me the problem this year has not been the offense and to give away 2 or 3 good prospects to make our offense a little better does not make sense.
- Do we have the number 2 hitter we need already on the roster? My answer to that is Yes I think we do. The Twins called up Alexi Casilla the other day and before you just look at his numbers last year. After being called up in May of last year Casilla hit .340/.417 in May, .304/.340 in June, and .308/.333 in July before a wrist injury derailed the rest of his season. I am not making excuses for him performance this year, but you also can not deny his .343 average down in Rochester. Is he at his best as good as Freddy Sanchez well probably not but the difference is not that big. The reason I would stick Casilla at 2nd and go with that is first, the money difference as Sanchez makes 6.5 million and Casilla makes 427,500. Secondly, Sanchez will make 8 million next year and Casilla maybe 450,000. Thirdly, When Casilla is on he is a very good number 2 hitter and plays good defense. The bottom line I am not willing to give up some good prospects for a guy that doesn't make us immensely better.
- How bad do we need a bullpen arm? I think our bullpen is fine when the Starters go their 6 to 7 innings in a game. It is exposed when they have to pitch every day multiple innings without a break. The bottom line is we are looking for a rent a pitcher because we really don't need a relief pitcher next season. Look at the choices we will have next year: Nathan, a returning Pat Neshek, a returning Boof Bonser, Juan Morillo, Matt Guerrier, Jose Mijares, Jesse Crain, Kevin Mulvey, Anthony Swarzak, Bobby Keppel, Brian Duensing, and you can't forget about Rob Delaney and Anthony Slama ready to make their big league debut's. So really are you willing to give up mulitple prospects that can help you in the future for a relief pitcher that might not be any better than what we have right now. For me it just doesn't make sense to give up a Kevin Mulvey, a Mike Mccardell, a Juan Portes, a Ben Revere or even a Carlos Gutierrez to acquire a reliever for half a season. As much as I want to make the playoffs this year I still am not convinced if you added Freddy Sanchez and Latroy Hawkins if we would be good enough to go to the World Series as I see New York and Boston as still better than us and if you can't go to the world series this year than why mortgage the farm.
- Is there an option on the farm? This is going to ruffle some feathers, but I have not given up on Jesse Crain along with Matt Guerrier being the right handed setup men to Joe Nathan in the bullpen. Granted Crain was awful in the beginning of the year, but he seems to be getting better at AAA and has his era just over 3 and his walks are coming down. You need to remember this is a guy that throws a 95 mile per hour fastball along with a 89 mile per hour slider and a 75 mile per hour curveball. The whole key for Jesse is hitting his spots and keeping the ball down. I really believe if given a chance Jesse can come back up and be a big contributer in the second half of the season for the Twins.
Overall: I just don't see trading the farm to acquire some guys that would not be that much better than the guys we already have. The key in the second half is not going to be how we hit or how our bullpen does it is going to be about how our starting pitchers do and if Kevin Slowey can come back from this injury and if Anthony Swarzak and Kevin Mulvey can contribute some quality innings out of the bullpen for the Twins. I would really like to hear everyone else's opinioin on this and be honest I know there are going to be alot of people that disagree with me on this so just let me know. All opinions will be welcome