This week, we are taking a glance at all things happening in Minnesota sports.
Wild Fire GM after just 14 Months
After just 14 months as the General Manager of the Minnesota Wild, owner Craig Leipold has fired Paul Fenton. The search for a new GM has already begun as training camp is barely over a month away.
Fenton, known for his spectacular skill as a scout, did not live up to expectations in other aspects of the job. Leipold noted that Fenton lacked the skills necessary in “the organizational, the strategic, the management of people, the hiring and motivating of departments.” So basically every skill required to be a GM, Fenton was bad at.
There were plenty of red flags before and during Fenton’s tenure that should have given Leipold some warning. For example, Fenton went through the entire draft and free agency period without an analytics department. That’s not good.
He also blew a hole in the roster by trading away Charlie Coyle, Mikael Granlund and Nino Niederreiter and had soured many of the players, coaches and staff members. Leipold is currently calling all of his players, reassuring them of a collective vision, and looking for a GM with his pants around his ankles.
After 6 straight playoff appearances, the Wild currently are the laughing stock of the NHL.
Twins make Two Trades at Deadline
Leading the AL Central by three games over the Indians and only four games back of the Astros for the best record in the League, it is no surprise that the Twins were in the thick of things when it came to the trade deadline.
Minnesota was looking to bolster their pitching staff heading into the final stretch of the season. Although they weren’t able to add high end talent, they did add two valuable pieces to the bullpen.
First, the Twins added Sergio Romo, a 36 year old reliever with World Series credibility. He is a proven quality arm who has been pitching well this season and has a career ERA of 2.90. Romo is exactly the kind of reliever who can pitch in a high pressure playoff situation.
Second, right at the deadline, the Twins were able to acquire reliever Sam Dyson from the Giants. Dyson is 4-1 this season with a 2.47 ERA and is another reliable arm that should be able to help Minnesota make the final playoff push.
However, these moves seem to pale in comparison to what the other American League contenders did. The Astros were able to trade for starting pitcher Zach Greinke. Houston now has three of the top ten pitchers in the AL in their starting rotation.
The Indians also made a big splash, adding 49 home runs to their lineup in outfielders Yasiel Puig and Franmil Reyes.
The Twins aren’t in a position that they need to go all-in on just this season as their core should stay in tact for a while. However, as one of the best teams in baseball, there comes a point where it is worth trading prospects for players that can help you win now. The Twins missed on that front this season – let’s hope it doesn’t cost them a playoff series.