Starting The Fire Sale? Minnesota Twins Trade Their All-Star Slugger
Could it be the start of a 'fire sale' for the Minnesota Twins?
It just might be.
Minnesota Twins Trade Nelson Cruz To Tampa Bay Rays
Thursday evening the Minnesota Twins announced they traded their All-Star slugger Nelson Cruz and another minor-league player to the Tampa Bay Rays for two pitching prospects.
Joe Ryan was the Rays no. 10 rated prospect, and Drew Strotman was the Rays no. 17 rated prospect, according to Dan Hayes of The Athletic.
Cruz Was One Of Best Free-Agent Signings In Team History
Cruz has been one of the best signings, if not the best free-agent signing, in club history. In 258 games for the Twins, he has hit .304 with 76 home runs, 191 RBI, and added a .598 slugging percentage, and a .984 OPS. He has been a team leader on the field and in the clubhouse, and there is no doubt that the Twins will miss his presence in both locations. Cruz made his 7th trip to the All-Star Game, first in the Twins uniform, earlier this month.
Cruz was also a two-time Silver Slugger winner in his two full seasons with the club and was also Top-10 in MVP voting for the 2019 and 2020 seasons. Even at the age of 41, he was proving once again he is a great hitter, averaging .294 with 19 homers and 50 RBI this year.
The 2021 season has been terrible for the Minnesota Twins. Cruz has been a lone bright spot for the team.
Twins Never Found Their Groove
After a good start in the first week of April, the Twins stumbled and never found their footing. Their key pitching additions in J.A Happ, Matt Shoemaker, Hansel Robles, and Alexander Colome have not been good, and the Twins offense struggled to pick up any clutch hits early in the season.
As of Thursday evening, the Twins sit with a record of 41-55 and are 17 games behind the Chicago White Sox for 1st place in the division. With everything from poor pitching, lack of run production in the late innings, and injuries, the Twins never really found their groove this season.
Thus, the team has turned into sellers at the trade deadline.
There is a very low chance that Cruz is the only player traded from the Twins before the July 31st deadline. Other players that could be on the move include Happ, Robles, Michael Pineda, Josh Donaldson, Jose Berrios, and yes, even Byron Buxton.
There are still eight days to the trade deadline, but the trading of Cruz just might be the start of the fire sale for the Minnesota Twins.
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