At the halfway point of the season the Minnesota Twins have finally crawled out of the basement of the American League and are currently 1.5 games ahead of the Mariners. They still find themselves in the basement of the AL Central, but are within striking range of the Kansas City Royals.
With the record sitting at 35-46, the good news is that if the Twins continue to play at this pace— a .432 winning percentage—they will finish at 70-92, seven games better than last season.
The bad news is the Twins had the identical record after 81 games last season, and finished the last 81 games with a .345 winning percentage. Only a 1-0, complete-game pitching performance from Carl Pavano prevented the season ending with 100 losses.
Either way, the Twins are in no position to make any historic moves, despite being only nine games back of the division-leading White Sox.
General manager Terry Ryan needs to rebuild the Twins as quickly as possible. In only their third season in the new ballpark of Target Field, the dreadful performance on the field is inexcusable. The justification for a new ballpark was to allow the Twins, who won five division titles in the eight seasons before moving to Target Field, to compete in the postseason.
The goal was to finally get out of the divisional round of the playoffs, not produce back-to-back 90-loss seasons.
Instead, the team has badly regressed to their horrid days at the formation of the AL Central in 1994. Between 1994 to 2000 the best the team could manage was a fourth-place finish in the division.
Very much in the midst of rebuilding, Ryan and the Twins need to be sellers as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches.
The future of the franchise rests in the hands of outfielder Ben Revere, infielders Brian Dozier and Trevor Plouffe and pitchers Scott Diamond, Alex Burnett and Glen Perkins. They are a very capable nucleus of players that Ryan needs build the future around.
In order to find that talent, Ryan needs to deal some of the current stars for high-level prospects who can make an impact at the major league level within the next couple of seasons.
Here are eight possible Twins who could be dealt before the end of July.