Ever since the All-Star Break, the Minnesota Twins have continued their downward slide in the AL Central Division. As their chances of fighting to first place slowly slip away, I don’t think the Twins are quite finished in wheeling and dealing their players in the next few days before the trade deadline.
About a month ago, I predicted that if the Twins were to sell any of their players, one of them would be Kendrys Morales. Even though Morales has been around for only about a month and a half, there would be no way for the Twins to keep someone like him around, especially due to their disappointing performance in previous weeks.
When he first joined the team as a free agent on June 8, the Twins were 29-32 and just five games back of the first place Detroit Tigers. Having signed a one-year, $7.6 million contract, Morales was brought to Minnesota in hopes to bolster the lineup and help push the team to the top of the division.
Now, the Twins are sitting in last place, 11 games out of first, and made the announcement Thursday that Morales was traded back to the Seattle Mariners.
In his short time here, Morales hit .234/.259/.325 in 39 games, including one home run, 11 doubles and 18 RBIs. Last season, Morales hit .277/.336/.449 for the Mariners, including 23 home runs, 34 doubles, and 80 RBIs.
“I think he liked it here,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “But we’ve put ourselves in a position where this is going to happen.”
In the trade, the Twins acquired right-handed reliever Stephen Pryor, who has been sent to Triple-A Rochester. Pryor only made one appearance this year for the Mariners, when he went just 1 2/3 innings and gave up just one run. Pryor had undergone surgery for a torn right latissimus muscle last year.
In his three seasons at the Major League level, Pryor has accumulated a 2.81 ERA in 32 innings.
According to MLB.com reporter Rhett Bollinger, with Pryor having been sent to Rochester, the Twins have called up Jorge Polanco from Class A Advanced Fort Meyers to take Morales’ spot in the lineup. But, with pitcher Kyle Gibson still dealing with back stiffness, Palanco was optioned to Double-A New Britain and Logan Darnell as called up from Rochester.
With the trade deadline coming quickly to a close, I do not think the Twins are done dealing. Even if the Twins do not make any moves by the 31st, deals could still be made on players who have already cleared waivers.
Twins general manager Terry Ryan has already made some contact with other general managers regarding trades, and many rumors have been circulating around tradable players such as Josh Willingham, Kurt Suzuki, Kevin Correia, Casey Fien and Brian Duensing.
If anything, I’m sure Twins fans will have to say goodbye to at least one more player by the end of the season. And whoever the Twins bring in to replace the traded player can hopefully add some spark to the lineup.