"We guarantee most of these will be wrong -- but at least a few won't be," writes MLB.com's Mike Petriello, in article featuring 20 predictions leading up to the July 31 MLB trade deadline.
Peteriello says he's being doing this for a few years now and he usually gets a "handful" of his predictions correct, including the Giants sending Eduardo Nunez to the Red Sox in 2017 and Eduardo Escobar to the Diamondbacks last year.
What's he saying about the Twins this year? Petriello predicts the Twins will trade for Giants ace reliever Will Smith.
"Smith is pretty clearly one of the two or three best relievers available, and as an impending free agent on a low-cost contract, every contender can afford him. So sure, maybe he'll end up with the Nationals, Dodgers, Red Sox, or any number of relief-needy clubs, but there's no better fit than in an exhausted Twins bullpen, where he could team with Taylor Rogers to form an elite 1-2 punch to hold off Cleveland in the Central and compete with the Yankees and Astros in October."
Is Smith going to be available? That's a big question now that the Giants have won 15 of 18 games to get back into contention in the National League wild-card race, and The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal writes (paywall) that Smith could wind up staying in San Francisco as a high-end, left-handed closer.
"One executive suggests the Giants could stay intact and then make both Bumgarner and closer Will Smith qualifying offers — the worst that could happen is that Smith would accept and they would overpay him for one season while retaining him as a potential trade asset."
Opponents are hitting just .187 against Smith, who owns a 2.55 ERA and 0.92 WHIP. He's struck out more than 50 percent of the left-handed batters he's faced this season, while righties are hitting just .175 against him – a big plus if the Twins were to face the right-handed dominant lineups of the Yankees or Astros in the playoffs.