The Giants could be an ideal trade partner for the Twins

San Francisco is heading in the wrong direction.
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It's early in the season, but the Twins are a first-place team and firing on all cylinders. The offense is explosive and they have three strong starting pitchers in Jose Berrios, Jake Odorizzi and Martin Perez.

Meanwhile, the bullpen isn't a disaster but they could certainly use an extra bullet or two to bolster their group. If the Twins are looking for trade partners this summer, they should look no further than the San Francisco Giants.

The Giants are headed in the wrong direction in 2019 and they're no longer the juggernaut that won three World Series titles in the past nine years. 

San Francisco is at the bottom of a crowded NL West that features the Dodgers and Diamondbacks, who have taken control as division leaders. It's only a matter of time before the Giants go into sell mode leading up to the July trade deadline. 

This matters to the Twins because the Giants have two starting pitchers and a shutdown reliever that could be up for grabs. 

Madison Bumgarner 

Bumgarner, 29, was part of all three World Series championship teams and is a legitimate ace who's in the final year of his contract.

Don't let his 1-4 record or 3.94 ERA fool you. He's still racking up a strikeout per inning and his control is the best it's ever been as he's averaging just 1.4 walks per nine innings.

Plus, he's a playoff-tested pitcher who owns a 2.11 ERA in 102 postseason innings.

Because he's a free agent by season's end, the Twins might be reluctant to give up a No. 1 or No. 2 prospect for his services.

However, with the way the free-agent market is trending for pitchers – a la Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel remaining unsigned – if the Twins wanted to extend Bumgarner in the offseason, he might be open to signing whatever deal he can get to avoid a Keuchel-like situation. 

Jeff Samardzija

Samardzija, 35, is having a rebound season after a rough go of it the last few years. From 2015-2018, he went 34-44 with a 4.53 ERA, but he's been a much pitcher in 2018. 

In seven starts this season, the one they call "Shark" is 2-1 in 37 innings with an ERA of 3.16 to go along with 29 strikeouts and 10 walks.

Given his age and the fact he's on the books for $19 million in 2019 and 2020, the Giants are probably eager to move on from the right hander. So from the Twins side, he probably wouldn't cost a top prospect, but a mid-tier starter with his price tag isn't very appealing. 

Reyes Moronta

This would be the guy you could bolster your bullpen with. Moronta has nasty stuff. He's in his second full big-league season and in 87 career innings opponents have hit just .157 against him.

In 15 games this season, Moronta has struck out 45 percent of the batters he's faced. 

Because he's only been in the big leagues for a short amount of time, he isn't eligible to become a free agent until 2024. 

Moronta throws gas. His fastball averages at 97 miles per hour with a devastating change up that touches 90.

Since Derek Falvey and Thad Levine started running the Twins, they've made it clear that if they're going to buy at the trade deadline, they'd like to acquire players who have multiple years of team control, and Moronta fits that bill.

Who could they give up?

With Jorge Polanco putting together an All-Star season and Royce Lewis viewed as the shortstop of the future, the Twins might deem prospect Nick Gordon expendable.

Gordon is the 10th-best prospect in the Twins' system and has been playing in the minors since 2014 when he was drafted out of high school fifth overall. He's currently at Triple-A Rochester where he missed the first month of the season due to stomach issues.

Among the Twins' top-seven prospects, only two are pitchers – and they probably aren't willing to give up future arms to acquire veteran ones.

What if Miguel Sano comes up and shows he can remain healthy and be the power hitter we all know him to be? Would the Twins be willing to offer Sano – who's no longer regarded as a prospect – for the services of an ace like Bumgarner? That remains to be seen, but he's I doubt he's untouchable.

Although this Twins team is fun to watch, they will have to address some pitching needs to keep up with the Houston Astros, Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees if they are going to make a postseason run.

Related: How the Twins' starting staff compares to the best in the AL.

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