This was recently written by me at Bleacher Report. Enjoy, and be sure to let me know what you think in the comment section!
With just over 31 days until the trade deadline, it is time Minnesota figure out what they want to do.
Should they buy and try to continue hanging with the White Sox? Or do they sell and build for the future, whether it be the near future or 2015?
I say both.
Or, to put it in Minnesotan words, “do what we do.” Minnesota has never been a team with last-second, big, blockbuster trades. I think Minnesota should continue to do what they have always done; make small, smart trades that cut the dead weight but still bring in the talent.
Livan Hernandez only signed a one-year contract this past offseason, so he will most likely walk away when this season ends. Why not trade him to some team that needs a good, reliable, innings eating, back-of-the-rotation kind of pitcher?
The teams that would be interested in Hernandez would be teams that are contending for their division title. Why on earth would a team looking to the future want to give up a good prospect for a ten-year veteran pitcher?
Ideally, Hernandez should be dealt to a team who gives what we need back. We don’t seem to have a need for a third baseman any more after the emergence of Brian Buscher. The rest of our infield is pretty set as well, as is our outfield. The Minnesota bullpen continues to dominate, but our rotation could use a veteran’s presence.
I wouldn’t mind trading Livan, a pitching prospect, and somebody else to a team that could provide us with a stable veteran starting pitcher.
The Los Angeles Dodgers interest me. Should they fall out of contention in the next few weeks, they could very possibly shop around both Brad Penny and Derek Lowe. While Penny always has been an injury risk, Lowe intrigues me. MLB describes him as an “innings-eating sinkerball pitcher.” Sounds perfect!
The perfect situation would be to ship Hernandez, Humber/Mulvey/Duensing, and somebody else off to Los Angeles and get Lowe in return. While this might be viewed as a “falling out of contention trade,” Lowe immediately brings much to the table.
The month of July is going to be very diffucult for Minnesota. Should they drop out of the division race before the trade deadline arrives, the Twins may opt to build for the near future.
The Tampa Bay Rays have a plethora of young pitching in their organization. The most erratic of these is Edwin Jackson, who still is very physically gifted and has a bright future ahead of him. If Minnesota were to bring him to the Twin Cities, Rick Anderson and his great pitching staff should make Jackson a great starter.
By as soon as 2010 the Minnesota rotating could look very good: Francisco Liriano, Scott Baker, Kevin Slowey, Nick Blackburn, and Edwin Jackson.
That’s the ideal situation. What else could happen?
This trade deadline action for Minnesota hinges around Hernandez. If anything “major” is going to happen, it is most likely going to involve this veteran innings eater.
A team like the New York Yankees or the Chicago Cubs could trade for him and place them in their shaky rotations in an attempt to stable things out. Minnesota probably wouldn’t have much of a bargaining opportunity if major market teams like these express any interest in Hernandez.
The Twins could also deal for an infielder with lots of pop. Casey Blake comes to mind, as he could help this team both this year and into the future. Minnesota could get him rather cheap, possibly even while cutting ties with Hernandez.
Andy LaRoche is another possibility. He is described as a “power hitting third baseman” and recently came back from an injury involving his thumb.
Whatever Minnesota does, it will be very fun to watch. This team could go three ways before the deadline: fall out of contention and become sellers, gain ground from Chicago and become buyers, or stay right in the middle and “do what we do”.
What do you think Minnesota should do, if anything?