With the July 31st trade deadline looming for Major League Baseball, I will be keeping a sharp eye on the local nine, who haven’t made a significant move since 2003. With the Minnesota Twins only four games out of first place in the AL Central division, an upgrade to their roster could propel them to their first division title since 2006.
There has been word that the Twins have scouted Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Freddy Sanchez and shortstop Orlando Cabrera of the Oakland Athletics.
If the Twins somehow obtained both for the stretch drive of this season, the lineup would look a lot more formidable.
The move that would make the most sense is acquiring Sanchez since he also has a club option for 2010 (Cabrera only has a contract for this season). If the Twins were to pick up that option, they would have one of their major holes filled going into the first season of the brand new ballpark. It may also trigger a contract extension for all-world catcher Joe Mauer. With Mauer due to be a free agent after the ’10 season, it would behoove the Twins to lock him up prior to him hitting the open market. Besides, what kind of damper would that put on the inaugural season of Target Field if Mauer were not signed past ’10? After all, Mauer has indicated that his litmus test for signing a long term contract would depend upon the organization’s commitment to winning. Adding an All Star second baseman to the mix would likely go a long ways.
So if the Twins do indeed obtain Sanchez by this Friday, it will not only help them this season but its ripple effect could help them lock down their franchise player for the long term.