MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Just a few days removed from all the All-Star Game festivities, the mood is all the sudden pretty different around Target Field.
Getting swept at home will do that. Last in the American League Central Division and now third from the bottom in the wild card race, it’s pretty clear the Twins will be sellers at the trading deadline.
With the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline approaching, Ron Gardenhire’s lineup will likely look pretty different pretty soon.
“I can’t worry about that,” Gardenhire said Sunday, after getting swept at home by Tampa Bay. “We’ve just got to keep trying to figure out a way to win ballgames. That’s (the job of the front office) upstairs, and there’s conversations going on. We’ll have meetings, I’m sure. We always do at this time of year, talk with the staff and (general manager) Terry (Ryan) and (assistant GM) Rob Antony, and see where they’re at and see what they want to do.”
What they’re likely to do centers around Kevin Correia, Josh Willingham, Kendrys Morales and Kurt Suzuki, who are all unrestricted free agents at end of the season. But the question, as always, is what kind of value you’d get in return.
Correia had become an asset, with a 2.30 ERA over his last seven starts, but his rough outing Sunday didn’t help. He now leads the American League with 12 losses.
A power bat is always a commodity at the deadline, but Willingham is hitting .098 for the month of July with 17 strikeouts. Morales has a 10-game hit streak with 7 RBI during it, but is used primarily as a designated hitter and he doesn’t offer much defense.
Suzuki, a first-time All-Star this season, is the most attractive asset. He’s hitting .333 this month. The Cardinals and Orioles are both contenders, and their own All-Star catchers are injured.
With Miguel Sano expected at third base next season, Trevor Plouffe might be moveable as well.
“I’ve got 24 other friends in here that I wouldn’t like to see go,” Twins closer Glen Perkins said. “But I mean, that’s the way it goes. That’s the way the game works, and they’re trying to make this team better. And if it means trading guys, then that’s what it is.”
Has Perkins asked for, or gotten, reassurances from the Twins front office that he himself isn’t going anywhere?
“I’m not going anywhere,” Perkins said. “I don’t need any reassurances.”