Last year around this time, the newly formed TwinsCentric group was just publishing its first e-book, the 2009 Trade Deadline Primer. A lengthy guide to baseball's exciting in-season hot stove period geared exclusively toward Twins fans, the publication sold a bunch of copies and received strong reviews from most folks who perused it. One of the chief complaints we received about the product, though, related not to the content within its pages but rather the overall concept upon which it was conceived. "The Twins never do anything big at the deadline," people would say. "Why would I spend money and time on an e-book totally dedicated to it?"
It was a fair point. But the Twins did make a deadline move -- albeit not a blockbuster -- and they made more trades after the July 31st non-waiver deadline passed, all them factoring into their late run for an improbable AL Central title. One year later, the Twins seem primed to make a far bigger splash during the frantic deadline season. After maintaining a comfortable grasp on first place for much of the first half, the Twins suddenly find themselves in the midst of a tough three-team race in the AL Central. With a flawed roster, a revenue-boosting new stadium, an increasingly antsy fan base and a general manager who has proven over the past year or so that he's not afraid to shake things up, a significant move at the deadline seems almost inevitable for these Twins.
The Twins have already missed out on the biggest fish, Cliff Lee, but his trade to Texas will undoubtedly set the stage for more dominoes to fall. There are a number of other players the Twins could take an interest in as the deadline approaches, and we've got them all extensively profiled in our newest venture, the 2010 Trade Deadline Primer. Here you'll find not only Twins-centered deadline reports, essays, first-half player grades and prospect breakdowns from the familiar stable of TwinsCentric writers, but also deadline reports and player write-ups for every team in the league. And while similar content was featured in last year's Primer, this year it is being provided by a star-studded list of bloggers who passionately follow and cover these teams on a regular basis.
Want to read about who the surging White Sox may pursue as the deadline approaches? Scroll down to their team report, written by J.J. Stankevitz of White Sox Examiner. Curious as to whether the Tigers might make a run at Roy Oswalt or Dan Haren? The Tigers' team report, written by John Parent of the Motor City Bengals blog, will have you covered. Looking to get caught up on where the top National League teams stand at baseball's mid-season point? Check out the extensive write-ups from Bill Baer of the Phillies blog Crashburn Alley, or Peter Hjort of the Braves blog Capitol Avenue Club, or Matthew Philip of the Cardinals blog Fungoes.
We hand-selected writers -- the vast majority of whom operate prominent blogs dedicated to their particular club -- to cover every MLB team for this Primer, so each page is filled with well-crafted inside analysis that you can't find anywhere else. The writing is professional quality through and through, from the foreword (written by Rob Neyer of ESPN.com) to the team summaries, essays, trade target profiles and prospect write-ups. There will surely be other publications out there with similarly slanted coverage in the coming weeks, but I am very confident that none will be as comprehensive and knowledgable as the one we've put together in collaboration with all these passionate bloggers and writers from across the nation.
With the All-Star break upon us, this is a great time to reflect on all that has happened so far and to look ahead to the remainder of the season. The next few weeks will be crucial for Bill Smith and the front office as they search for ways to best position the Twins for a postseason run. By purchasing a copy of the 2010 Trade Deadline Primer, you can put yourself ahead of the curve with advanced analysis of the Twins as well as every other team across the league while supporting bloggers nationwide.
You can check out a free quarterbook sample here, buy the Twins Primer for $9.95 here or browse other teams' Deadline Primers (all published by TwinsCentric) here.
Thanks, as always, for your continued interest and support. Tomorrow we'll get back to dissecting the Twins and figuring out what they need to go to get back on track after the All-Star break.