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Reckless Speculation: When Twins begin fire sale, these two pitchers figure to be on the move

Michael Pineda
Minnesota Twins pitcher Michael Pineda throws to a Chicago White Sox batter during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 1 2020, in Minneapolis. Pineda returned after serving a 60-game suspension for testing positive for a weight-loss drug on baseball’s banned substances list. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

The MLB trade deadline isn’t until July 30, but when a season looks as hopeless as the Twins’ does it’s never too early to begin speculating on who might be dealt.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post did exactly that, naming former Yankees J.A. Happ and Michael Pineda as guys who could be on the move for prospects. Happ is 2-0 with a 1.91 ERA entering his start Wednesday night against the Chicago White Sox. Pineda (2-1, 2.43 ERA) is scheduled to start Thursday in Chicago.

Happ, a 38-year-old lefthander, signed a one-year, $8 million deal with the Twins last offseason. Pineda, a 32-year-old righthander, is in the second season of a two-year, $20 million contract.

Either could help solidify the rotation, or bullpen, for a potential playoff team. Happ and Pineda are two of the players who figure to see their names in trade rumors, assuming the 12-21 Twins continue to disappoint.

Gold Glove shortstop Andrelton Simmons, signed to a one-year, $10.5 million free agent deal by the Twins in January, also would be a candidate to be moved as would designed hitter Nelson Cruz. Cruz will turn 41 on July 1 and is playing on a one-year, $13 million contract.