Sitting in first place in the American League Central with one of the best offenses in the Majors, the Minnesota Twins will likely be buyers at the July 31 MLB Trade Deadline. And if Minnesota plans to pull away from the Cleveland Indians and clinch their first division title since 2010, the club likely needs to make some moves over the next week.
With that in mind, here are five most likely trade deadline targets for the Twins.
5. Madison Bumgarner, SP, San Francisco Giants
It's still unknown whether or not the Giants will end up selling at the deadline, but if they do, Madison Bumgarner could be on his way to Minnesota. Bumgarner is in the middle of another solid campaign, sporting a 5-7 record with a 3.66 ERA and 134 Ks in 132 2/3 innings pitched this season. If acquired, the 29-year-old lefty would provide Minnesota's rotation with the top-of-the-rotation guy they need.
4. Marcus Stroman, SP, Toronto Blue Jays
Marcus Stroman has quietly put together one of the best seasons in the American League this season. Despite his 6-10 record on the year, the 29-year-old is in the midst of a career year, recording a 3.06 ERA (No. 5 in AL) and 3.0 pitcher WAR (No. 7 in AL) through 20 starts this year. Acquiring the 28-year-old would add considerable talent to a Minnesota rotation in need of another arm. If the Twins manage to get their hands on Stroman, he could help vault them a their first division title in nearly 10 years.
3. Will Smith, RP, San Francisco Giants
Minnesota has seemingly found stability in the ninth inning with Taylor Rogers (2.27 ERA, 15 saves), but adding another elite bullpen arm at the deadline could be a smart move for a team in playoff contention. Will Smith has been one of baseball's best closers in 2019, sporting a 2.44 ERA with a 0.88 WHIP and 24 saves on the year. If acquired, Smith would add a much-needed dominant arm to a middle-of-the-pack Minnesota bullpen.
2. Ken Giles, RP, Toronto Blue Jays
Ken Giles has been incredible in Toronto this season, notching 14 saves (one blown save) while recording a 1.59 ERA with 58 strikeouts in 34 innings pitched. Whether or not he'd assume closer duties over Taylor Rogers remains to be seen, but adding the 29-year-old fireballer to the Minnesota pen would give the club a dangerous two-headed monster in the late innings.
1. Kirby Yates, RP, San Diego Padres
If the Twins don't make a deal with the Blue Jays, one with the Padres for their closer, Kirby Yates, could make just as much sense. Yates has arguably been the league's best closer this season with his 1.05 ERA, 0.81 WHIP and league-leading 31 saves. Yates should cost an arm and a leg, considering he's under team control for another year, but the Twins have the farm system to make a deal happen and Yates could the a difference maker heading into the 2019 MLB postseason.
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