The Minnesota Twins entered the 2022 MLB trade deadline knowing that they had some work to do to fix up their roster. In a heated American League Central race, the Twins are doing their best to hold off both the Cleveland Guardians and Chicago White Sox behind them.
The Twins work at the trade deadline helped them not only shore up their roster as they seek to make a playoff run, but it also turned them into a World Series contender as well. Minnesota addressed the biggest areas of weakness on their roster, and as a result, they now boast one of the deepest rosters in the entire league.
While the Twins are going to have to continue to fight to hold off the Guardians and White Sox the rest of the way out, they figure to be a World Series contender as the rest of the 2022 season plays out. Here are two reasons why that’s the case in the aftermath of the 2022 MLB trade deadline
2 reasons the Minnesota Twins are a World Series contender
2. They fixed their pitching staff
The Twins pitching staff had been a bit of a worrisome unit for much of the 2022 season. They didn’t really have a true ace in their starting rotation, and with injuries beginning to pile up among both their starters and bullpen arms, it was reasonable to wonder whether or not their pitching would be strong enough to lead them to the postseason.
As a result, Minnesota focused heavily on fixing their pitching staff at the trade deadline. They added a top-tier young starter in Tyler Mahle, a solid late-innings reliever in Michael Fulmer, and a closer to lock down games for them in Jorge Lopez. With these additions, the Twins pitching staff should be good to go for the rest of the season.
Their rotation still doesn’t really have an ace, but truth be told, that’s OK. Joe Ryan and Sonny Gray have been leading the way for the rotation this season, and now Mahle will slot in right behind them. Chris Archer and Dylan Bundy have both been a bit inconsistent this season, but that’s a solid five man rotation right there.
In the bullpen, adding Lopez and Fulmer give the Twins some order in what had been a chaotic bullpen for much of the season. The Twins didn’t really have a true closer for much of the season, but now they do in Lopez. Fulmer will help make sure games get to him, and guys like Griffin Jax, Jhoan Duran, and Trevor Megill will help fill in the rest of the innings. Overall, the Twins pitching staff went from being a weakness to a strength, and that should help them make some noise the rest of the way out this season.
1. The Twins have one of deepest rosters in the league
The Twins had a pretty deep lineup beforehand, but adding to their pitching staff was the key at the deadline. Now that they have done that, they may end up having one of the deepest rosters in the entire league.
We’ve already looked at their pitching staff, which now has tons of relievers who can handle high leverage situations late in games, and a starting rotation that figures to have five solid starters they can roll out at any time in the postseason. Having that type of versatility, especially once the playoffs arrive, is huge in helping teams win in the postseason.
The lineup didn’t receive much help at the deadline, aside from picking up veteran catcher Sandy Leon from the Guardians, but they didn’t really have to. This lineup has been hitting well all season long, and they should continue to do that over the final two months of the season.
Carlos Correa and Byron Buxton are the two stars you think of when Minnesota’s lineup gets mentioned, but they have solid players up and down the lineup. Luis Arraez has the third highest batting average in the majors at .321. Gio Urshela has been surprisingly solid at third base this season. Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco remain consistent threats, despite both struggling a bit at times this season. All in all, the lineup is in a good place.
Put that all together, and you have one of the deeper squads in the majors this season. They have to make the postseason first, and the Guardians and White Sox aren’t going to make that easy for them, but the Twins have what it takes to beat most teams in a playoff series. Their pitching staff is deep, and their lineup is solid one through nine. That has the makings of a World Series contender, and if things break the right way for the Twins, the 2022 season could have a favorable ending for them.