Minnesota outfielder Denard Span
The Minnesota Twins will not compete for the American League Central title in 2012. Fortunately, the Twins are in a position where they can restock the minor league system by trading away players who are performing well this year.
The Twins farm system is ranked 20th by Baseball America, and for a team that doesn't spend big money bringing in free agents simply won't cut it if they want to contend in the future.
Here are five players the Twins can trade this season to bring in young talent to help in the future.
Matt Capps is putting together a very nice season.
He has converted 14 out of 15 saves, with a 3.22 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and a .224 batting average against.
Capps could easily fetch the Twins at least one top prospect.
Denard Span is hitting .286/.351/.386 with 16 extra base hits and seven stolen bases.
Span plays above-average defense, has a solid arm and can play any outfield position.
He has arguably been the most consistent player on the Twins roster this season.
Francisco Liriano started the season struggling mightily, but has bounced back and put together two solid starts in his past two outings.
In his last two starts he worked 12 innings, allowed one earned run, seven hits, walked three and struck out 17.
Liriano possess the potential to be an ace and usually pitches like a three or four, but there are a lot of teams that would be willing to run him out there every five days while they make a run for the postseason.
What makes trading Liriano even more enticing is that he will be a free agent at the end of this season.
If Jared Burton continues to pitch as well as he has, he will certainly be in line for a big pay raise this offseason if he goes to arbitration.
He signed with the Twins on Nov. 11, 2011 to a one-year, $0.75 million contract and he has exceeded expectations.
With 22.2 innings pitched he has a 3.57 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, three walks and 26 strikeouts.
Danny Valencia saw his sophomore slump continue into his third year in the majors, hitting .190/.204/.290 before finally being sent to Triple-A Rochester.
He is hitting .228/.237/.348 through 24 games in the minors and while his trade value may be limited, there are certainly teams who would be willing to take a chance on a young player who posted .311/.351/.448 in his rookie campaign.