The Minnesota Twins are, as you know, one of the most disappointing teams in baseball.
They were widely expected to fight neck-and-neck with the Chicago White Sox for the American League Central division crown.
Instead, they have been heavily struck by injuries and underperformance, and currently have a 27-41 record in 2021.
The fact that they are in last place in their division tells you everything you need to know about how their season has gone.
The team isn’t particularly hot or close to getting out of their rut, as they dropped six of their last 10 contests and are 15.5 games behind the White Sox for the division lead.
They are also 13 games behind the Houston Astros for the second Wild Card spot, so one has to wonder at what point they call it a season and officially give up.
What Does ‘Giving Up’ Mean?
That’s a tricky question to answer, because it’s not like the Twins will stop showing up to games.
In this particular case, it may mean so many things.
For example, rehabbing outfielder Byron Buxton recently felt something on his hip again, and that could slow down his recovery.
Byron Buxton felt something in both rehab games, couldn't go full today.
Rocco Baldelli: "Mentally, he's at the point where he just wants to play regardless of how he feels. But he'll play when he's able to sprint … to run hard. … He's just not at that point yet." #MNTwins
— danhayesmlb (@DanHayesMLB) June 17, 2021
A contending team may feel the need to rush him back at 80-90 percent, but the Twins may get to the point in which they just shut him down and let him recover for as long as he needs to be 100 percent.
A contending team, like the Twins were supposed to be, may look to add in the trade deadline.
The Twins, however, are far from contending at this point and are unlikely to climb back into the race.
They may have vintage Kenta Maeda back and may get back Buxton soon, but they are very far down the standings and may need a miraculous second-half comeback.
A contending team may delay their prospects to avoid struggles if they show they aren’t ready.
When Is It Time To Give Up?
The trade deadline, which will be on July 30 this year, is an appropriate thermometer.
If the Twins are still 13-plus games away from the divisional lead or the second Wild Card spot a couple of weeks before the deadline, it may be time to start planning for next season.
It will be interesting, if the Twins keep playing this bad, whether they decide to sell on some of their assets or just hold on to most of them.
Josh Donaldson is in his mid-30s and is owed more than $20 million annually through 2023: Will Minnesota entertain the possibility of moving him?
The Blue Jays need a third baseman.
The Twins are 24-37 and should be sellers at the deadline.
It's time to bring the rain.
It's time for Josh Donaldson to come back home to Toronto.
Such a perfect fit.
— Frank Ammirante (@FAmmiranteTFJ) June 11, 2021
What will the Twins do with them?
They are all important contributors on a win-now team, and are all on the old side.
Would the Twins look to flip one, or several of them for long-term pieces?
For the Twins, the decision-making time is coming closer, and that time appears to be near the deadline.