The Twins have raised six AL Central championship banners during the Gardenhire era. While each one of those six clubs had a solid nucleus of talent, it is doubtful that they all would have won titles without some shrewd midseason acquisitions.
In 2003, the Twins were 44-49, languishing in third place and 7.5 games behind the division-leading Kansas City Royals. On July 16th, Bobby Kielty was traded for Shannon Stewart. The Twins caught fire after the trade, finishing on a 46-23 run and winning the AL Central by four games.
In 2009, the Twins were in a similar July situation, stagnating in third place with a record hovering around the .500 mark. On July 31st, a trade was made for Orlando Cabrera. This proved to be another crucial acquisition. Not only did Cabrera bring a veteran presence to the middle infield, his two-run homer in the seventh inning of the epic one-game playoff helped propel the Twins past the Tigers to win the AL Central.
The 2011 Twins are again in a position where a key addition could transform the team from an also-ran to a champion. Will there be a version of Stewart or Cabrera for the Twins this year? Time will tell, but the following players are candidates the team should should consider.