At only six games back in the AL Central the Minnesota Twins are on the edge of being either buyers, and making a push for their third straight division title, or sellers and rebuilding for next year.
With so many injuries to the Twins lineup this season they have gotten the opportunity to check out many players we may have not seen until the September call-up.
Going into the season the Twins bullpen was suspect after losing Matt Guerrier and Jesse Crain as free agents. Over the past three seasons Guerrier and Crain averaged a combined 140.6 appearances.
That was a lot of experience the Twins allowed to get away. From 2008 to 2010, while not great, the Twins bullpen ranked 10th with a 3.76 ERA.
So far in 2011 they are dead last among all 30 teams with a 4.87 ERA.
St. Paul Pioneer Press sports columnist Charley Walters reports on Fox Sports.com that Twins general manager Bill Smith is looking to upgrade the pitching staff stating that "there are about 20 clubs looking for bullpen help."
So Smith is already preparing his excuses for not pulling the trigger on any type of deal to improve the Twins either for this season or next.
Three names floating around among relief pitchers include Mike Adams from San Diego, Jim Johnson from Baltimore and Matt Lindstrom from Colorado.
Smith needs to decide quickly if the Twins are buying or selling and take action before the Sunday deadline.
He has plenty of pieces to play with. With outfielders Jason Kubel and Michael Cuddyer unsigned for next season, and a crowed outfield with Delmon Young, Ben Revere and Denard Span close to returning, there will not be enough positions for all of these players.
Include former closer Matt Capps and his $7.15 million contract as a potential player to be traded. While Capps has struggled this season, he did have 42 saves last season for Minnesota and Washington. Surely there would be a contending team that would be willing to take a chance on Capps in hopes that a new environment would turn his season around.
Along with the return of Denard Span, the Twins hope to get Justin Morneau back in the next couple of weeks. According to MLB.com, manager Ron Gardenhire would like Morneau to start working out in simulated games down in Florida before starting a rehab assignment at Triple-A Rochester.
Perhaps Smith sees the return of Span and Morneau to the starting lineup, along with the reemergence of Joe Nathan as the closer, as the best moves that push the Twins past the White Sox, Indians and Tigers.
I would prefer he take a more aggressive approach and make some moves that would put the Twins in position to not only win the division, but make it out of the divisional round of the playoffs.