I really love baseball. I know other sports are good too and can be fun and exciting to watch, but to me, none of them can match baseball. There is no part of the game that I don't like. I love reading about the history and lore of the game. Players of yesteryear like Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle and others fascinate me. I know the high points of the game, like the 1951 Natio...
Second place is not a bad place to be when July begins, as the season is halfway through. Now that there are two Wild Card clubs to qualify for the postseason, you’d think no team at that position would want to part with some of the players who helped them get to second place.
Well, this year there is at least one second place that needs to wave the white flag, even though the calendar reads early July. Because they are eleven games behind first-place Cleveland, the Twins have no chance of winning the AL Central.
Optimistic fans at Target Field might refute the above statement, remembering that last year the Twins finished second to the Indians and still made the playoffs as a wild-card team. The difference, of course, is that Minnesota was playing .500 last July, a pace that was enough to qualify for the second wild card.
The 2018 Twins, on the other hand, are currently ten games under .500 and own the 10th-worst record in the league. Three of the four teams that have played worse than Minnesota are in the same division, which is the only reason the Twins are in second place.
Given the poor record and the huge gap between them and the Indians, the Twins need to make a trade that benefits them in the future. His best trade card would be veteran starter Lance Lynn, who is signed just this season.
His departure wouldn’t hurt Minnesota, as All-Star ace Ervin Santana is expected to return from the disabled list this month. His presence will more than make up for the loss of Lynn, who is in the crosshairs of several contenders.
One of those potential business partners, and the most practical, is the closest geographically to Minnesota. In fact, the two teams share a broadcast network, cable station Fox Sports North.
Milwaukee is currently atop the NL Central, but the defending champion Chicago Cubs are just one game behind. To avoid a breakdown like last year, the Brewers might be looking for a veteran starter like Lance Lynn, especially since Brent Suter had to be pulled from his last start due to injury.
Lynn could bring in a Top Twenty prospect, maybe even No. 7, Lucas Erceg. A second-round draft pick in 2016, Erceg is a promising third baseman who is expected to make it to the majors next year.
People in Minnesota might wonder why the Twins would pursue a third baseman, considering the most feared slugger on their roster was an All-Star at that position last year. The answer, of course, is that Miguel Sano has no future at the hot corner, even if he overcomes his current offensive problems while playing Single A Fort Myers.
Most likely, he will take over early in 2019, leaving the hot corner a question mark. Certainly utility infielder Eduardo Escobar has performed nobly in Sano’s absence this year, but the Twins need a long-term fix for that position.
Milwaukee is well placed at third with Travis Shaw, a lefty hitter with plenty of power to solidify the middle of the batting order. Even if the Brewers refuse to trade Erceg, they have a couple of promising catchers and pitchers among their top two dozen prospects. The Twins could certainly use a young catcher or a young arm that is anywhere near the big leagues.