The clock is ticking on the MLB trade deadline which is less than 48 hours away. Even though the trade market's been mostly quiet, it's now crunch time and this is when the action starts to pick up.
The Twins pulled off their first major trade over the weekend acquiring veteran reliever Sergio Romo from the Miami Marlins.
Although they could use some more help in the bullpen, Minnesota should consider going after a starting pitcher too. Here are three arms the Twins should inquire about by the July 31 trade deadline.
Robbie Ray, Diamondbacks
If the Arizona Diamondbacks – who are hovering around .500 – choose to sell, they have two starting pitchers who could be moved in Zack Greinke and Robbie Ray. Although Greinke is more established, he also carries a hefty contract that scares teams off.
Ray on the other hand, is under team control through next season and is a more realistic target.
In 23 starts this season, Ray owns a 3.91 ERA and averages 12.1 strikeouts (173 on the season) per 9 innings. He's had some control issues (4.0 walks per 9) in his career but Twins pitching coach Wes Johnson could be in line to fix that.
He's also a left-handed starter which is something the Twins could use in their rotation. Because Ray's still 27 years old (turns 28 next May) Arizona would probably ask for a top-5 prospect in return, which the Twins should be willing to part with.
Caleb Smith, Marlins
You might be wondering, "who the hell is Caleb Smith?" But this right-handed starter has been an under-the-radar nasty arm for the Miami Marlins.
In 16 starts this season, Smith owns an ERA of 3.30 with 110 strikeouts and 30 walks in 90 innings pitched. He's been damn near un-hittable too as opponents are hitting just .191 against him this season, which is pretty remarkable for a starting pitcher.
- NL average starting pitcher in 2019: .250 OBA, 22.6 K% and 7.7 BB%
- Smith in 2019: .191 OBA, 31.0 K% 8.5 BB%
Smith, who just turned 26, is under team control through 2023, which is something that the Twins' front office brass in Derek Falvey and Thad Levine would like to acquire.
But similar to Ray, it's likely the Marlins would ask for a top-5 prospect as the centerpiece plus some other assets to sweeten the deal.
With the Twins already swinging a move with the Marlins, the two organizations at the very least have some familiarity with one another, which could help facilitate another trade.
Matthew Boyd, Tigers
Matthew Boyd is probably the best thing the lowly Detroit Tigers have going for them this season. In 22 starts, Boyd has an ERA of 3.94 in 132 innings while punching out 178 batters.
His 6.14 strikeout-to-walk ratio (178 strikeouts divided by 29 walks) is the best in the major leagues this season.
Because he's the most marketable asset the Tigers have to offer, they'd be looking for a lot in return. So that means well-regarded prospects and maybe someone that's major league ready too.
Boyd, 28, is also under team control through the 2022 season, which is another reason why the Tigers won't be giving him away for nothing.
You can never have enough starting pitching and if the Twins aren't going to go after Noah Syndergaard, these three options would make like easier if Minnesota's going to compete in October.