Seventy games remain, and the playoffs are no longer even a distant thought.
Yet for the Twins, as they come out of the all-star break, there is much more at stake over these next 2 1/2 months than just trying to avoid a third straight last-place finish and loss total in the 90s.
Among the determinations that must be made:
WHAT ABOUT MORNEAU?
Finishing out a six-year, $80 million contract, Justin Morneau believes the organization's "first option" is to see what it can get for him before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
If the Twins' longtime first baseman and his remaining salary obligation ($4.62 million at month's end) are sent to a contender, it probably won't bring much in the way of prospects. However, it would clear playing time for the recently demoted Chris Parmelee or minor league journeyman Chris Colabello.
Those are two of the many fledgling players about whom the Twins must decide as they eye a return to contention in 2014 or 2015.
Of course, the Twins could ...