Twins hope small roster moves pay dividends

The Twins didn’t do much to improve their roster at baseball's trade deadline.

Same old Pohlads, right? Never willing to do what it takes to be a championship team. You could argue that, or you could argue bargain shopping was the right thing to do (again).

Yeah, it would’ve been nice to see starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard in Minnesota, or maybe Marcus Stroman or Madison Bumgarner, but at what cost?

The New York Mets caught everyone by surprise by dealing for Stroman, who was pitching well on an awful Toronto Blue Jays team. New York gave up two of its top six prospects to get him, though.

Worth the risk? Maybe.

Syndergaard and Bumgarner were a different story. Reports surfaced that the Mets asked for Byron Buxton, which seemed a little crazy until Buxton put himself back on the shelf trying to run through a wall (again!).

Bumgarner is still pretty solid but he’s no longer pitching like the World Series MVP he was a few years ago.

The issue with trading for these two was that neither New York nor San Francisco seemed all that interested in letting them go. They might have budged if a team offered a king’s ransom, or they may have decided a playoff spot was still attainable. It is now, for both teams.

Zack Greinke was another hot name on the market. The Houston Astros sent Arizona a nice haul for him. Minnesota was on his no-trade list, though, so the odds of him landing there were pretty slim.

Alas, Minnesota opted to strengthen its bullpen by adding Sergio Romo and Sam Dyson.

It’s easy to see why Romo is such a beloved figure in baseball. He’s got an energy about him that makes people feel good, which spreads to the clubhouse. Dude loves the game, too. You can see that. And he’s pitching pretty well.

Dyson has gotten off to a much rockier start with the Twins, though it looks like his struggles are due to a nagging shoulder that was bothering him well before the trade deadline. Did the Giants send the Twins damaged goods? Or did Dyson keep the injury to himself and try to pitch through it?

Neither answer would comfort Minnesota, and now the Twins are left to hope Dyson’s shoulder issue doesn’t linger into September.

Minnesota’s got bigger problems, though. Nelson Cruz, who was red hot at the plate, strained his wrist on Thursday night and the Cleveland Indians on Friday night grabbed a share of the AL Central division.

Forget about the World Series. The 11 1/2-game lead the Twins boasted in early June is gone. They just need to get healthy and get back to playing good baseball before the playoffs slip through their fingers.

o

Mike Hautamaki can be reached at hauts81@hotmail.com.

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