Good stuff from Twins Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey on the latest episode of the 100 Podcastme and Remy. We talked trade deadline, Brian Dozier's struggles, Miguel Sano's immense potential and the crazy-tough schedule the Twins have to start the second half of the season.
How many phone calls are you getting/receiving about trades?
"Early on in the trade season, really which just gets started about now, there's a lot of phone calls between clubs just to check in and see where teams are with respective needs. Their position moving forward with buy, sell or somewhere in between."
Anyone calling about Ervin Santana and Brian Dozier?
"We get a lot of calls - less specific about players and more about what's our plan, what are our needs, where are their fits or otherwise. That's the most common call (at this stage). As you get a little bit closer to the deadline teams start targeting individuals and we'll see that play out over the next couple of weeks."
What's the plan if you feel like you're in buyer mode?
"We want to be sensitive to building this team to what we want it to be long term, and that's that championship caliber team. We would look for opportunities to add pieces that will help us not just this year but for seasons to come. That's important to us because that's the type of organization that sustains over a period of time."
Dozier's numbers at the break are nearly identical to last season at the break.
"I think we'll take that breakout again in the second half this year. It was quite a year for him last year. He's somebody that can run really hot when he's going good. We've seen some stretches this year where he's started to settle in and I'm hopeful that we'll see a lot more of that as we go forward this second half."
Are Dozier's previous ankle/back injuries bothering him?
"Brian is a guy that fights through every situation he faces. I'm not sure he'd let on completely if his ankle was bothering a little bit on any given day. He's a fighter. He's someone that goes out there to play and win every night."
How impressed have you been with Sano?
"This is a guy who has game-changing power. And he's a better athlete than some people give him credit for. He's a bigger man, always will be just the way his body works. He's got great hands, elite arm strength and real power. We felt that once we got him settled in at one position - to work at third base for the course of the winter, which he did a great job with - and settle in as an offensive player we could see some really special things happening, and we've seen them. The power is immense. He's really starting to learn how to attack pitcher's pitches and lay off the those breaking balls down and out of the zone. That's a sign of a maturing hitter."
You face the Astros, Yankees, Tigers and Dodgers to start the second half.
"This is a Major League Baseball season. Your'e going to face some tough stretches with some really good teams. If you want to be the best you've gotta play with them. Those are all really good clubs right now, playing as well as anybody in 2017. We put ourselves right up with that group. It'll be a test for us over the course of the next few weeks, it'll be a test for our young players to see how resilient they are. They've proven so far this year that they've responded exceptionally well to adversity. I'm sure we'll face some during that stretch but I'm confident in this group."