Inbox: Will Twins be Trade Deadline players?

Beat reporter Rhett Bollinger fields questions from fans

Inbox: Will Twins be Trade Deadline players?

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins were a pleasant surprise in the first half, entering the All-Star break with a 45-43 record that has them in contention. How they play the rest of this month could go a long way toward what they decide to do at the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

So in that sense, it's difficult to predict whether the Twins will be buyers or sellers, and to what extent, until we see how the Twins do in the coming weeks against tough clubs, including the Astros, Yankees and Dodgers. But it's clear pitching is an issue for the Twins, who could use rotation and bullpen help. And that brings us to this week's Twins Inbox:

Submit a question to the Twins Inbox

See the Twins making any significant moves before the Trade Deadline?
-- @Shoney25 via Twitter

The Twins have made it clear that if they're buyers, they're not looking for short-term rentals, as the front office has an eye on the future. The Twins are more likely to acquire relief help than anything, but they could swing a deal for a cost-controlled starter if the price were right. But if they are going after a controllable ace-type pitcher like Chris Archer or Sonny Gray, it would take a haul of prospects, and it just doesn't seem likely at this point to outbid legit contenders. That kind of move seems more likely to occur in the offseason.

With the SS depth in the Minors, would the Twins consider moving a guy like Nick Gordon for a controllable starter such as Gray or Archer?
-- @JStinar via Twitter

The Twins do have an impressive stable of young shortstops, such as Engelb Vielma, Jermaine Palacios, Wander Javier, Royce Lewis and Jelfry Marte, but Gordon is the club's No. 1 prospect and is close to being Major League ready. Jorge Polanco has struggled offensively this year, and Gordon could be the starting shortstop as soon as next season. Trading Gordon would be risky and unlikely, especially considering Brian Dozier is a free agent after next season. But if the Twins do want to trade for a front-line starter, Gordon would certainly be a worthy headliner.

How long until Bartolo Colon is pitching here?
-- @Isaiahsoma9 via Twitter

As chief baseball officer Derek Falvey jokingly put it, the Twins are buyers of Colon, who was recently signed to a Minor League deal. Colon, who allowed four runs on four hits and two walks in 3 2/3 innings Thursday night in his first start with Triple-A Rochester, could be a candidate to start on Tuesday against the Yankees. If Colon can get his command back to where it was last year, when he had the lowest walk rate in the National League and was an All-Star with the Mets, he could help this rotation. It's a low-risk move for the Twins, as his 8.14 ERA with the Braves was ugly, but he was hurt by a .360 batting average on balls in play and a 48.2 percent strand rate, which are both much higher than his career averages of .296 and 72.5 percent.

Is there ANY path to Zack Granite seeing regular playing time this season?
-- @Sethcwanj via Twitter

It would essentially have to take an injury or a very prolonged slump from Byron Buxton, Eddie Rosario or Max Kepler. Granite had an incredible June, but it was only one month against Triple-A competition. It's worth noting that Granite, 24, is older than both Buxton and Kepler, and only a year younger than Rosario, who has played three seasons in the Majors. Fans have reason to be excited about Granite, who was the club's Minor League Player of the Year in 2016, but context matters, and he's not considered an elite prospect the way Buxton, Rosario or Kepler were. He still needs to prove he's more than a fourth outfielder, but his hot start at Triple-A Rochester is a good sign, and he's fun to watch.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.