The Twins will open the second half of the season later this week with a record over .500 while sitting in second place in the AL Central Division.
Minnesota's new regime of Derek Falvey and Thad Levine have expressed if the team were to make a move at the deadline, they would acquire players who are controllable beyond this season. Basically, rental players who will be free agents by the end of the season are not what they want.
According to MLB insider Ken Rosenthal, the Twins have checked in on Oakland A's ace Sonny Gray, Chicago's Jose Quintana and Miami Marlins starter Dan Straily. Let's take a look at all three.
Gray is obviously the most attractive pitcher on this list. He battled arm injuries last year that lingered into 2017, but he's been back on the mound since May. After struggling early, Gray settled back into form. Over his last seven starts he has an ERA of 3.45 with 43 strikeouts in 44 innings.
From 2013-2015, the right-hander had an ERA of 2.88 and was one of baseball's best pitchers. He's under team control through 2020, so although he'd probably cost the most of the trio, his contract fits exactly what the Twins are looking for.
Gray's 27 years old and still under his rookie contract – making about $3.5 million this year.
The 2017 season has been a strange one for the 28-year-old Quintana. His 4.49 ERA is a career high, but his strikeout rate of 9.4 batters per 9 innings is a career best. His stuff is electric and Minnesota's rotation is starved for guys that can make batters swing and miss.
However, because of his "down" year, he may not cost as much as he would have a year ago where he was an All-Star. The southpaw is signed through the 2020 season with teams options in 2019 or 2020.
So let's say the Twins acquired him and don't think it'd work out long-term, they could part ways with him after the 2018 season. He'll make $7 million this year and, under his current contract, $8.85 million in 2018, then $10.5 million the two seasons beyond that.
Straily has split his career between the American and National leagues. He's currently pitching for the Miami Marlins where he's been quite stingy. His WHIP of 1.045 is the fourth best in the NL and he's nearly averaging a strikeout an inning.
The 28-year-old hurler is making just over league minimum, so he won't break the bank. But since he's in the midst of his best season to date, Miami won't just throw him away for nothing. Straily is under team control through the 2020 season.
When's the deadline?
The MLB trade deadline is July 31. Falvey recently sat down for an interview on our very own One Hunnit. Here's a short sample, or click the link for the full rundown.