Mitch Garver remembers what it was like in the clubhouse in 2018. He remembers watching his veteran teammates being traded away and the feeling around the team after it.

Ahead of the trade deadline, Eduardo Escobar was shipped to Arizona. Ryan Pressly went to Houston. Lance Lynn was off to the New York Yankees, Zach Duke to Seattle. Brian Dozier wound up a Los Angeles Dodger.

“That was really hard, but it had to happen, and look what we did in ’19,” Garver said earlier in the week, referencing the sell-off and then the subsequent bounce back as the Twins became a 101-win team a year later.

It’s a similarly difficult time in the Twins’ clubhouse this time around. Nelson Cruz was traded on Thursday to Tampa Bay, a move that was emotional for many within the Twins’ clubhouse. Who will follow? That question will be answered by 3 p.m. on Friday.

The most likely are those on expiring contracts, like shortstop Andrelton Simmons or starter Michael Pineda or reliever Hansel Robles. J.A. Happ and Alexander Colomé also will be free agents at season’s end.

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live
Newsletter signup for email alerts

Then there’s another tier of players — like Jose Berríos or Byron Buxton or Taylor Rogers — ones whose contracts expire after next year who would certainly fetch more in a trade and help a contending team, but ones the Twins might be more inclined to hang onto considering they’ve already signaled their expectations to compete next year. Buxton and the Twins were unable to come to an agreement on a proposed extension that would have paid him approximately $80 million guaranteed over seven years.

And what about, say, third baseman Josh Donaldson?

The key to getting through this time of uncertainty, Rogers said, is taking it day by day.

“Really just try to make each day its own separate thing and enjoy that day and not try to look to the future or try to play GM and figure out what’s going to happen,” Rogers said. “It’s inevitable. It’s coming, so we’ll just let it come when it comes. I don’t think we need to force it — just enjoy each other’s company while we got it and try to win some games.”

That’s more or less the same approach manager Rocco Baldelli has taken, too. For some guys, the trade deadline is a stressful time as thoughts of a move cloud their mind. For others, it’s more of a non-factor, Baldelli said.

For those who want, the manager is open to having that conversation with them. But for Baldelli, he doesn’t seem to be looking too far into the future yet himself.

“Anything can happen, but nothing also may change and we actually don’t know. And spending a lot of time, a lot of energy on handicapping and speculation is probably wasted time and energy,” he said. “We’re just going to continue to prepare each day and get our guys ready to play. It’s our job to work with the players we have, and I anticipate all of these guys being here until something happens.”


Garver returned from the paternity list after a three-day absence, though he was not in the starting lineup on Sunday. Ben Rortvedt was optioned to Triple-A. … Trevor Larnach was also not in the starting lineup Sunday after getting hit on the hand with a pitch a day earlier. Baldelli said his hand was OK, but he could use the day off. … Jorge Polanco was also on the bench, dealing with a back issue that Baldelli said had been “hampering him for a while now.” “He’s played through it, but he felt it a little bit last night,” Baldelli said. … Jake Cave was in the starting lineup for the first time in more than two months after dealing with a stress reaction in his lower back.