MIAMI – Sergio Romo is on board to help the playoff push during final two months of the season, and the Twins hope to bring in another arm to help the cause.
But as Wednesday’s 3 p.m. Central time trade deadline approaches, the market for pitching had yet to heat up. Cleveland unloaded Trevor Bauer, and otherwise the biggest developments Tuesday were Adalberto Mejia being claimed by St. Louis, Blake Parker signing with the Phillies and Danny Salazar being activated by the Indians..
Teams are waiting for arms to start moving on the market, but little had happened as of early Tuesday evening. Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said it wasn’t even worth speculating about what could happen.
“One, I have literally no idea because no one does,” Baldelli said. “No one knows what is going to happen around these times of the year. There’s always a lot of speculation. Everyone has an opinion on what’s going on.”
After looking into top starters such as the Mets’ Noah Syndergaard and the Blue Jays’ Marcus Stroman, the Twins could look to land a reliever to further supplement the bullpen. They believed Syndergaard and Stroman were the best starters available, as well as being contractually under team control for at least another year. Stroman was dealt to the Mets, and the Twins balked when the Mets asked for Byron Buxton as part of any package for Syndergaard.
There are many relievers on the market who could help: Toronto’s Daniel Hudson, San Diego’s Kirby Yates, Arizona’s Greg Holland and Archie Bradley, Baltimore’s Mychal Givens, Seattle’s Roenis Elias and others. The Twins have checked on most available arms.
The Twins also have checked with American League Central Division clubs with pitching to trade, but realize dealing within the division would be problematic.
Scouts for teams the Twins have discussed deals with have scouted the Twins’ minor league system in recent days. Several scouts were on hand Monday when righthander Brusdar Graterol came off the injured list to pitch for the GCL Twins, and many watched Friday when Jhoan Duran pitched for Class A Fort Myers. Both pitchers can hit 100 miles per hour.
Cron to Fort Myers
First baseman C.J. Cron, on the injured list because of right thumb inflammation, will be in the lineup for Fort Myers on Wednesday when he begins what is expected to be a short minor league rehabilitation stint.
“He’s going to drive over there and I believe he’s going to be in the lineup [Wednesday] and Thursday,” Baldelli said.
Cron, who has had a cortisone shot in the thumb area, could be activated in time for the weekend series against the Royals. The Twins will have a tough decision then, and might have no other choice but to go to a seven-man bullpen while sending a reliever down.
The Twins weren’t the only team staying at their hotel in Miami. While the Twins were off Monday, the Marlins completed a wraparound series against Arizona. And the Diamondbacks were staying at the same hotel as the Twins.
And that meant a few players were able to catch up with former teammate Eduardo Escobar. Nearly a year ago, the popular Escobar was dealt to the Diamondbacks for Duran and outfielders Gabriel Maciel and Ernie De La Trinidad. Duran has had the biggest impact of the three, having recently been promoted to Class AA Pensacola.
The Twins hoped to re-sign Escobar during the offseason, but Arizona thwarted that plan and signed him to a three-year, $21 million contract.
“He’s very happy,” Twins third baseman Miguel Sano said.
Escobar entered Tuesday batting .284 with 22 homers, 80 RBI and a National League-leading nine triples.
• Righthander Carlos Torres, designated for assignment when the Twins traded for Romo, rejected the assignment to the minors and was subsequently released.