The trade deadline has been more of a grind for teams than first thought. The relief market has favored the sellers more than the buyers, and arms like Chris Martin and David Phelps are in the headlines instead of Edwin Diaz, Kirby Yates and Shane Greene.
Twins rejects Adalberto Mejia (Cardinals) and Blake Parker (Phillies) are landing on teams with playoff hopes for goodness sakes.
The Mets have Marcus Stroman? The Reds have Trevor Bauer? What is going on around here?
Very little has happened the way many have envisioned. In the midst of all the confusion, the Indians on Tuesday traded the drone flying, baseball flinging Bauer to the Reds as part of deal in which they get Yasiel Puig from the Reds and Franmil Reyes from the Padres, two players who will add pop to a needy lineup.
After cutting payroll during the offseason and opening the season with one of the worst offenses in baseball, Cleveland has signaled its intentions to either run down the Twins in the AL Central or make a wild card game against them a visit to hell.
The Indians have addressed their main weakness.
The Indians have raised the stakes in the AL Central.
Do the Twins need to retaliate?
I started writing this with 12 hours to go until the 3 p.m deadline (don't ask) then slept on it to make sure I wasn't being irrational. And I don't think I am. The Twins have a chance to take part in baseball commerce like never before and use their tradable commodities - their top prospects - to land a quality arm(s) before the deadline. And they have to be prepared to overpay. It's been quite a ride to watch unfold, and to cover. The 2019 Twins are headed for an historic home run hitting season on a team with a lot of swell guys on it who deserve an extra push from the front office so their power-hitting prowess will be on the baseball’s biggest stage.
They have added Sergio Romo, who brings savyy and moxie to the relief corps. It probably isn't enough.
They could be thinking this: Trade now, and trust your scouting and development department to fill in the holes. Trade now, and worry about the payroll ramifications later. Trade now and set yourself up for the rest of the season and beyond, financially.
There have been estimates that the Twins are going see a 400,000 bump in attendance this season. If you believe that the average fan spends $50 at a game, that's $20 milllion in revenue. Even if it's half of that, that's $10 million. And that's just one aspect. A trade could mean not only will the Twins protect their division title hopes, but season ticket sales, group ticket sales and corporate sponsorships all spike because Twins territory is engaged to watch more of this entertaining team.
Will any prospect be off limits during the final hours before the trade deadline, even if it means going back to Doctor Mindbender in New York to see if Noah Syndergaard and/or Edwin Diaz can be had without major league talent in return? Even if it means Thad Levine calling his buddy A.J. Preller in San Diego to stop him from extending Kirby Yates? Even if it takes Derek Falvey flying to San Francisco on a private jet to tell Farhan Zaidi that he can have a top prospect to rent Madison Bumgarner and Wil Smith?
The Twins could even stop in Arizona to see if Zack Greinke will waive his no-trade clause - a report last year had the Twins as one of 15 teams on it - to return to the division.
Cleveland made its move. The Twins have until 3 p.m. to respond.