By the time the clock strikes 3 p.m. on July 31, the Twins could very well be armed with a more dangerous pitching staff.
"A lot of talk happens in June," said Twins Chief Baseball Office Derek Falvey in an interview with WCCO Radio's Mike Max. "You flip the calendar to July, you're closing in on the All-Star break – teams are really taking stock of where their club is."
For the Twins, they're 53-30 and leading the Central Division by eight games, and just 1 1/2 games behind the Yankees (54-28) for the best record in the AL entering play Tuesday. Being a contender means the Twins have the opportunity to be buyers in July, and they're most likely to go shopping for pitching.
"Those calls will pick up. To this point it's been more exploratory with other clubs, with other GMs trying to figure out what they're thinking for their club," Falvey explained. "We know for us, with our position player club we think we're deep.
"On the pitching side we've had some real step-up performances too, but we could continue to add potentially in that space because we know we're going to deal with injuries and we know we're going to have some challenges."
"You never have enough starting pitching depth, so any time you can continue to add arms to the stable to give you a chance later in the season, you're better off," Falvey added.
Minnesota has been linked to Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner for weeks, although multiple reports recently conflicted. One said the Twins have shown strong interest while another said no serious trade discussions have happened.
Bumgarner has been dominant his last two starts. The soon-to-be 30-year-old former World Series MVP struck out 11 Rockies in six innings June 25, then limited the Diamondbacks to four hits while striking out nine in seven innings June 30.
Minnesota has not been linked to any other big-name starting pitchers, but they have been rumored to have interest in Giants reliever Will Smith. Smith, a 29-year-old lefty, has a 2.16 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 33 1/3 innings this season.
Minnesota took a flyer recently by signing former Indians closer Cody Allen to a minor-league contract. He was dominant from 2013-17 but struggled in 2018, and got rocked to the point that the Angels released him this season.
Allen could be a huge addition to the bullpen if he can get his velocity back up to where it was during his reign of dominance with the Indians, but his top fastball (out of 12 pitches thrown) in his minor-league debut with the Twins was 91 mph, according to Fort Myers Miracle play-by-play voice Marshall Kelner.
Allen's fastball averaged 95-96 mph from 2012-16, then dipped to 94.6 in 2017, down a notch to 94 mph in 2018 and was all the way down to 92.7 mph with the Angels this season, per FanGraphs.
Minnesota opens a three-game series in Oakland Tuesday night, then hosts the Rangers Friday-Sunday before hitting the All-Star break.