Twins officials and fans will be watching intently over the next couple of weeks to see if a team with World Series aspirations at the start of the season even has a faint playoff pulse when the All-Star break arrives.
As it turns out, so will the rest of Major League Baseball.
That's the most intriguing takeaway from a trade deadline preview (one month out) published Wednesday at ESPN (Insider required) by Jeff Passan.
Passan writes that the Twins are the team "almost every contender is waiting on" and that "everyone is talking about."
He indicates that if the Twins fail to make up ground during this stretch of games against AL Central foes, including nine more against Chicago after Tuesday's loss dropped Minnesota to 12.5 games back in the division race, opponents will be ready to pounce on deals.
Quite simply, as Passan notes, the Twins have a lot of different pieces teams might covet.
In the market for a top-end starting pitcher? Jose Berrios "looks like the best pitcher on the market," Passan writes, adding that "the belief among teams is that Minnesota will entertain dealing Berrios but will necessitate a massive return."
Need a big bat in the middle of the lineup? It's hard to do better than Nelson Cruz.
Coveting a high-end reliever? Taylor Rogers is desired by a lot of teams, Passan writes.
Looking for more of a mid-level move? Michael Pineda, Tyler Duffey, Andrelton Simmons and Hansel Robles could all be moved and fetch prospects in return.
The key name to watch, though, is Berrios. If the Twins move him, that would indicate they are open for business. And because he is under team control in 2022 as well, plenty of teams could be interested.
"That's the beauty of Berrios," Passan writes. "If he's out there — and an increasing number of executives believe Minnesota will deal him — his market is everyone."