Derek Falvey and Thad Levine have expressed the Twins are interested in being buyers at this year's trade deadline, but they're inclined to acquire assets that they control beyond the 2017 season.
However, they could instead end up selling.
As Jon Morsi of MLB Network reported on Monday, Minnesota is receiving trade interest in ace Ervin Santana and closer Brandon Kintzler.
Morsi notes the Twins are in a difficult position – the team is over .500 and still in pursuit of a playoff spot, so it's hard to justify selling. The next few weeks will tell which direction Minnesota will take as they have some tough opponents leading up to the July 31 deadline.
Why they should trade
Both pitchers are coming off All-Star selections and their value may never be higher.
For Santana, he's been a different pitcher recently. After dominating in the first two months of the season, the right-hander has an ERA of 4.93 in his last eight starts. It wouldn't be a bad idea to sell on him ASAP before his value drops any more.
As for Kintzler, he'll be a free agent at the end of the season and he can't be issued a qualifying offer at the end of the season – which means Minnesota won't receive a compensatory pick if he were to leave in free agency.
When you look at past World Series winners such as the Chicago Cubs, Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants, all three teams featured elite bullpens. With the way Kintzler has pitched this season, teams will be interested in his services.
Why they shouldn't trade
Other than Jose Berrios, Minnesota's rotation has mostly been a crap shoot. If they were to deal Santana, their rotation would be even worse. Plus Santana is under contract for $13.5 million for next season with a team option for 2017, so his contract isn't holding them back by any means.
It's a similar situation with Kintzler. He's arguably been the only solid option in Minnesota's bullpen. Taylor Rodgers has had a nice season, but he's more of a left-handed specialist as opposed to a 1-2-3 inning kind of guy.
With Minnesota boasting one of the worst bullpens in the Majors, losing Kintzler probably wouldn't make it any better.