In early July, then-General Manager Terry Ryan told the media that the Twins would be busy at the trade deadline. Coincidentally or not, he was fired two weeks after that statement and was replaced by interim GM Rob Antony. When Antony was handed the job, the Pohlad family gave him free rein to do whatever he felt necessary to improve the Twins before the non-waiver deadline, which was August 1 at 3pm. Here is a rundown of the Twins deadline deals.
- On July 28, the Twins traded away their lone All-Star representative, shortstop Eduardo Nunez, to San Francisco for pitching prospect Adalberto Mejia. During Nunez’s three-year tenure with the Twins, he batted .280 with 91 RBI and 118 stolen bases. Nunez became a trade piece after a good first half of this season, but he faltered after the All-Star break. Hard-throwing Mejia has never landed in the Major Leagues, but he is on the verge of joining the Twins. He has spent 6 seasons in the Minor Leagues, posting a 3.27 ERA with 462 strikeouts. Antony expects Mejia to report to Triple-A before debuting in the Majors in a couple of weeks.
- On deadline day, the Twins sent Boston reliever Fernando Abad in exchange for flame-throwing relief pitcher Pat Light. Abad’s time in Minnesota was short but effective at times. During his 39 relief appearances this year, Abad held a 2.65 ERA with 29 strikeouts, finishing 8 games. Light has very minimal big league experience, pitching just 2.2 innings this season. The 25-year-old has spent the last five seasons in the Red Sox Minor League system. Light, who can throw a fastball 94-97 miles per hour, has a 4.40 ERA, 240 strikeouts, and a .419 winning percentage at Single-A and Triple-A. He will start his Twins career at Triple-A Rochester.
- In a late stunning deal that was announced just 10 minutes before the clock struck three, the Twins received starter Hector Santiago and Minor League pitcher Alan Busenitz from the Angels. In order to get the pitchers, the Twins sent struggling starter Ricky Nolasco and pitcher Alex Meyer to Anaheim. Starting in 2014, Nolasco was supposed to be the ace of the pitching staff, but as soon as he started, he kept struggling and getting hurt just after showing promising results. Meyer got his feet wet in the Majors, but really did not have any spark that he was supposed to have. During Santiago’s 6-year career, he has a 3.68 ERA with 595 strikeouts, giving up 294 walks. This season has been great for him, as he is 10-4 with a 4.25 ERA. Santiago also has partaken in one All-Star game in 2015. Busenitz has never landed in the Big Leagues, spending 4 years in Anaheim’s Minor League system. He held a 3.55 ERA and struck out 216 during that span.
Let us hope this is just the start of the rebuilding process, as teams can still trade in August after players go through waivers. I’m sure that Antony is thinking about what the next General Manager would want – if it isn’t Antony himself.
Written by: Michael L. Sack