A number of Twins fans were not happy when the team threw in the towel on the 2018 season by trading five veteran players before the Major League Baseball trade deadline.
As our columnists showed, opinions on the deals vary widely.
To answer those concerns, Twins Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey sent a letter to season ticket holders on Monday.
"Our offseason goal was to marry that core group from ’17 with a targeted infusion of external talent — via free agency and trade — with a vision of taking steps toward competing for a Central Division crown," Falvey wrote.
"Unfortunately, as we all have witnessed so far, we have not tracked consistently enough this season to turn that vision into a reality… yet.
"A difficult decision had to be made," he continued, "and because our scouts, coaches, and baseball operations staff were prepared for all potential courses of action, we were able to put a plan into motion to infuse significant talent into our organization for the future."
The text of Falvey's letter to season ticket holders:
As part of a continued commitment to transparency and partnership with key stakeholders like you, I wanted to take a moment to share some of the internal perspective that contributed to our trade deadline decisions over the past couple weeks. It is not lost on me the emotional impact that comes along with changes of this magnitude and I commit to you that we will never take that for granted. My hope is that this brief insight will better allow you to understand the difficult steps we took aimed at achieving the only goal that matters — to give the Minnesota Twins organization the best chance to achieve sustainable championship-caliber baseball.
We began 2018 eager to build off of a memorable run to the American League Wild Card game. Much progress had been made in the second-half of last season, and with the bulk of that group returning, we believed there was momentum to build off of. Our offseason goal was to marry that core group from ’17 with a targeted infusion of external talent — via free-agency and trade — with a vision of taking steps toward competing for a Central Division crown.
Unfortunately, as we all have witnessed so far, we have not tracked consistently enough this season to turn that vision into a reality… yet. We have weathered some injuries, dealt with a suspension, and collectively performed at a level short of expectations. It is no secret that as a team we have not yet clicked in a way that reflects what we believed this group could achieve on the field.
On July 27, less than a week out from the trade deadline, we sat at the 100-game mark. More than 60% of the season had passed and we were six games below .500, 7.5 games behind first place Cleveland, ranking 9th of the 15 teams in the AL. We were tasked with a difficult decision – to either invest more in 2019 and beyond, or to stay the course and hope for a significant rebound and improved health. I want to make one thing clear — our commitment will always be to invest in the now or in the future. It is our fervent belief that by doing neither, teams will run right past us. That is not an acceptable outcome and would represent a missed opportunity.
A difficult decision had to be made and because our scouts, coaches, and baseball operations staff were prepared for all potential courses of action, we were able to put a plan into motion to infuse significant talent into our organization for the future. With the support of ownership we completed five trades that netted us 12 players who will contribute to our future. These players supplemented an already strong farm system, the lifeblood of a winning organization.
While I believe deep in my heart that this was the right decision, I do not take it lightly that an investment in the future often comes with pain in the present. Whether they were recent additions to the Twins like Lance Lynn and Zach Duke or longtime members such as Ryan Pressly, Eduardo Escobar, and Brian Dozier, it is challenging to see players go who have been integral members of our Twins family. Nothing will replace the impact they have had on this franchise and in our community. We cannot thank them enough for their commitment to Minnesota and will always work to support them and their families. Much like those guys stepped up for the likes of Justin Morneau, Michael Cuddyer and Torii Hunter, so too must young players like Eddie Rosario, Kyle Gibson, Jose Berrios, Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, Miguel Sano, Jorge Polanco and so many others.
We believe in the players who are currently on this roster and so many others who are on the way. I am confident that great days are ahead for our baseball team. The adversity faced this season will only make our players better moving forward. Led by Paul Molitor and Joe Mauer, there is a great deal of talent and character in that clubhouse, and I know they appreciate your support each and every day. We should all look forward to a strong finish to this season and the continued growth of our players as we build toward sustained, championship-caliber baseball together.
Most importantly, thank you for your continued support!
Executive Vice President and Chief Baseball Officer
The Minnesota Twins
Johnny Field 26, was a fifth-round pick of the Rays who made his debut this April but was designated for assignment by Tampa Bay after batting .213 in 62 games. The Indians claimed him off waivers on July 24, then the Twins claimed him off waivers last Wednesday and sent him to Class AAA Rochester, where he was 2-for-8 before the Twins needed his help.
So he's had a very interesting first season in the bigs. The Rays and Indians both attempted to sneak him through waivers to make room for player they needed to add to the 40-man roster. Both times he was claimed. But the Twins need his services now after placing Robbie Grossman (hamstring) on the disabled list Monday.
Zack Granite has had recurring shoulder problems since injuring himself during spring training. LaMonte Wade just landed on the DL with a hamstring strain. The Twins' options were limited as to whom they could call up.
They could have looked at Tyler Austin, who came over as part of the Lance Lynn trade last week. But he's more of a first baseman than an outfielder. With Joe Mauer at first and Logan Morrison around, there's no real room for Austin to play.
But Austin should eventually be up with the Twins. The Twins could call him up when rosters are expanded on Sept. 1. And they could call him up before that if they decide to reduce the .195-hitting Morrison's workload.
For now, they will have Field around, as he continues his strange baseball journey. He flied out as a pinch-hitter in Monday's 10-0 loss and played left field in the eighth inning.