MLB hot stove: top trade target for each team

SEATTLE, WA - JULY 30: James Paxton #65 of the Seattle Mariners waits to deliver the pitch in the second inning against the Houston Astros at Safeco Field on July 30, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. The Seattle Mariners beat the Houston Astros 2-0. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - JULY 30: James Paxton #65 of the Seattle Mariners waits to deliver the pitch in the second inning against the Houston Astros at Safeco Field on July 30, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. The Seattle Mariners beat the Houston Astros 2-0. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images) /
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MLB hot stove
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – AUGUST 16: Eddie Rosario #20 and Max Kepler #26 of the Minnesota Twins celebrate defeating the Detroit Tigers after the game on August 16, 2018 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Tigers 15-8. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

Minnesota Twins

After what looked like a breakthrough 2017 season, the Minnesota Twins saw injuries and significant slumps to open the 2018 season sink the team before the ship even left port, really. However, as they did in 2017, after the All-Star break, the Twins rallied, finishing 3 games above .500 over the final three months of the season after being 9 games below .500 in the first half.

With the Indians seeing some significant losses in free agency, health and return to performance for key cogs in Minnesota could put the Twins into a competitive spot for 2019, but they do have some definite team needs, and right now their farm system, one of the most rapidly-improving systems in the entire game, has players on the cusp of the majors, ready to break in.

The Twins currently have an abundance of outfielders at the major league level or on the cusp of the majors. They could use that to their advantage in an offseason when many teams could be looking to eschew the free agent prices for an outfielder in their team building.

The two corner outfielders, Eddie Rosario and Max Kepler, would seem to be the two most likely trade targets. After a big season in 2018, Rosario would be the most likely to bring back a big trade package. He’s coming off a .288/.323/.479 season at the plate, though his defense in the outfield is inconsistent, to say the least.

With both Kepler and Rosario entering their first year of arbitration, both left-handed, and separated in age by 17 months, the team they are trading with could set the preference and allow the Twins to find their second baseman or someone to give consistent innings behind emerging ace Jose Berrios in the rotation.