Had Minnesota's Mr. Baseball award existed at the time, Major League Baseball's hottest trade target would've won it with the Chaska Hawks in 2008.
Brad Hand, an All-Star lefty for the San Diego Padres, is the relief pitcher from Chaska that every contending team in the big leagues wants to acquire before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, according to ESPN. The article says Hand is this year's version of Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman, the dominating lefties the Indians and Cubs traded for en route to reaching the World Series last season.
"As with Miller, it's Hand's abilities to retire batters from both sides of the plate and go more than three outs at a time that make him so desirable to playoff teams. He has gone four or more outs in 11 of his 39 appearances this year and is on pace to pitch in 78 games, the kind of durability managers will want in October."
The Twins fit the bill as a suitor for Hand. They're contending, have a major need for help in the bullpen, and Twins Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey told ESPN's Buster Olney that he's open to the idea of buying talent if the price is right.
"If we can find ways to add to that group that builds toward the future, that's what we'll look for," Falvey said.
According to Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan, Padres GM A.J. Preller "is asking for the moon in a Hand deal." Passan cites a thin reliever market coupled with Hand being a lefty who can dominate late in games is driving up the price. Not only that, but Hand is only making $1.375 million this season and he isn't eligible for free agency until 2020.
Does playing for the Twins intrigue Hand? Absolutely.
"It'd be awesome to play there, but whatever happens happens," Hand said in a recent interview with Darren Wolfson.