Scoggins: Trader Correa would be an insult to competition

The Twins resume play on Saturday. This gives Derek Falvey’s front office 10 days until the trades deadline to decide how to proceed and, specifically, what action to take on a pressing issue that looms over the organization and has become a gossip among Twins followers. .

Should they trade Carlos Correa?

Is it really a debate?

If so, the answer is simple. Of course you keep it. Otherwise, close the doors of Target Field and let’s all move on to the Vikings training camp.

A team currently in first place in its division does not trade one of its best and most important players at the deadline. I write this sentence fully aware that the Twins’ flaws are on display in raw footage lately and that Correa can walk away at the end of the season with nothing in return.

The Twins are always winning, aren’t they?

They owe it to their players and the ticket-buying public to put the best possible product on the field and prove that they are prepared to back up their claims of wanting to wrestle.

Trading Correa in a playoff race isn’t going to happen because it would be bad business, terrible optics and an insult to the fundamental nature of competition. How could you possibly take everything the Twins say about building a championship team and culture seriously if they make that decision?

Imagine Byron Buxton’s reaction if told that Correa was traded in exchange for leads. Or the reaction of Luis Arraez. Or anyone else in this clubhouse.

Not only them, but future free agents would also question the team’s commitment to winning.

Of course, there’s a risk in keeping Correa because of that opt-out in his contract, which everyone expects him to exercise. The twins understood this probability when they agreed to this arrangement. It did not escape anyone.

Phil Miller of the Star Tribune reported during the All-Star Game that the Twins have not spoken to Correa’s agent Scott Boras about a new contract beyond this season. I remain of the opinion that the organization should offer him a long-term contract accompanied by a safe deposit box to store what would arguably be the richest contract in the history of the team.

The counter-argument to hanging on to Correa at the deadline is that he will become a free agent, the Twins won’t quit him, and they won’t get anything in return.

Yes, it is the risk. But again, are they trying to win this season or not?

The picture is murky for the front office as the team limped into the All-Star break. The pitching staff isn’t good enough to be considered a legitimate playoff threat. There are valid reasons to doubt this collection’s ability to hold Cleveland and Chicago in the AL Central.

The Twins have an oil leak and stare in the distance at two sports cars, the Yankees and the Astros. That doesn’t mean they have to surrender before the fight is even over. Even if the Twins slip under one of their two chasers before the trade deadline, the Central Division is so pedestrian that none of those three should be counted out.

Another common complaint: The Twins would be beaten by the Yankees or the Astros in the playoffs, so what difference does it make if they win the division?

The preference here is for Falvey’s front office to make some trades to improve the pitching staff — rotation and bullpen — while recognizing that there aren’t enough realistic options to elevate the roster to the same class. than American League heavyweights. Too many pitching faults to fix.

But just because the Yankees and Astros are obviously superior doesn’t mean they have to fold their hands and look to next season. Sporting opinions have swung too far into an extreme ‘championship or rebuild’.

It’s been so long since the Twins won a playoff game that it’s impossible to get a wide-angle view. Refine the focus.

Keep Correa. Get help throwing. Push hard to win the split. And then deal with whatever happens after that later.

The division race will not be decided in the next 10 days. Correa’s trading shouldn’t even be part of the discussion.

Garland K. Long