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Twins Daily 2021 Top Prospects: #2 SS Royce Lewis

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 05:44 PM
Royce Lewis has been the Twins Daily choice for the Twins #1 prospect each of the past three years. This year, he drops to #2 on the list...
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Hopefully Simmons "issues" are not like Romero...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:44 PM
Per multiple sources, new Minnesota Twins shortstop Andrelton Simmons has been delayed to the team's camp by visa issues. The exact detai...
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Commission the rings now ... Twins sign Andrew Romine

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:34 PM
https://www.mlbtrade...eague-deal.html   Seems redundant to Riddle, but I guess they need infield bodies.
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Jake Odorizzi, What's going on w/ him?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:07 PM
Since the beginning there was a lot of FA talk surrounding Jake &thattherewas a lot of interest from various teams. Thought he'd be g...
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Reusse: Modern Game Unkind to Dozier, Plouffe

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:01 PM
I thought thatPatrick Reusse wrote an interesting article, something I know I have been thinking for the last few years.    htt...
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Recent Blogs

Designated Hitter Gets New Wrench for Twins in 2021

If you’ve played around with the Twins Daily payroll tool at all, you’ve quickly understood one of the swing moves for the offseason relates to how much money is spent on the designated hitter. Specifically, is Nelson Cruz brought back, or is it time to move on? Now new developments make the question even more noteworthy.
Image courtesy of © Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
The Star Tribune’s LaVelle E. Neal is hearing that the DH will revert back to an American League only rule in 2021. Despite the success of the change during the 2020 sprint, this is a change that would need to be collectively bargained and will likely need the 2022 CBA to institute it full time. Disappointing as that is for fans not wanting to see pitchers be automatic outs in the National League, the decision has rippling effects for the Twins.

There’s arguably no bigger decision for Derek Falvey and Thad Levine to make this offseason than whether they believe Cruz has more production to dole out. At some point the aging process wins out, and unfortunately, it’s not often a gradual process. If Cruz remains consistent, he’s one of the most feared hitters in baseball. If not, he provides no other value outside of clubhouse leadership, and paying him like a coach would be far more beneficial for the sake of payroll expenditures.

Thanks to Major League Baseball deciding the National League will go back to pitcher’s hitting for one more year, Nelson Cruz’s free agent suitors have officially been cut in half. All of those National League teams that scrambled to find a DH-bat this year will no longer face that issue in the season ahead. Many of the American League organizations already have that role filled, and that definitely tips the scales in the Twins favor should they want to retain the services of the Dominican star.

I still think one of the biggest questions in relation to this offseason is where the buck will cease being passed when it comes to a shortage of dollars. If teams are going to decrease payroll across the board, it would only make sense that players would see paydays being muted as well. While the arbitration process is relatively static, that means guys on the free agent market would be forced into dealing with what the market bears, as opposed to what they’d traditionally find as worth.

In a normal situation Nelson Cruz may command something like $15 million per year with a full boat of 30 teams vying for his services. With less than half of that being the reality, and less dollars to go around as a whole, the avenue for him to return may get a bit clearer.

Traditionalist or not, it’s disappointing that we’re going to get expanded Postseason and changed rules for extra innings out of this season, but we’ll still see pitchers hitting on a nightly basis despite being well in over their heads. As goofy as that is, maybe it means Minnesota isn’t forced into deciding Brent Rooker is their starting DH out of the gate next season, and if the belief is Nelson can still get it done, having him back would be a must.

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I like the idea of Nelson being around more as a coach than a hitter. His steep decline at the end of the 60 game season is a troubling sign. And I’d rather see the youngsters get the majority of the at-bats in 2021. It’d be nice to see him offered a lower salary for 2021 and if he leaves then he leaves. It depends on what the Twins FO believes is his ability for 2021, if their metrics indicate a decline then it’s time to not be sentimental but to make a solid business decision. 

I'd bring him back for one more year. He is a legit veteran hitter with dangerous power and a good batting eye, and provides protection for those hitting ahead of him. As much as I like Rooker, we can't rely on his forearm fracture being 100% ready this spring. Might be better to let him get his swing back in the minors for a couple months, then reassess. Maybe Cruz gets us a bullpen arm in July.
    • Danchat, DocBauer, JoshDungan1 and 3 others like this
Oct 23 2020 08:25 AM

I wish we signed him 10 years ago, but depending on what happens with how much the Twins want to spend, is his production really going to be that much better than what we may get our of our rookies in a DH role?How much money spent per RBI, HR, etc.Won't know until this time next year.

I’m torn on the subject, and have gone back and forth. But, the more I think about it, the more I’m ready to move on.

I love what Nelson has done here. Personally, I think he should be getting the praise that some heap on Baldelli. He’s taken young players under his wing (Sano, primarily). He’s demonstrated what it means to be an exemplary professional. He’s been a unifying force in the clubhouse (the robe thing was great). For all the praise Baldelli has gotten for his “hands off” cool dad approach, that doesn’t work without Nelson around.

That said, this team is once again stuck in rut and seemingly going nowhere. They’re not winning a World Series next year, short of making another move - and they’re not increasing payroll. They need to start preparing for the future.

I’d like to see Larnach replace Rosario in the OF, some combo of Sano/Kiriloff at 1B/DH, Royce Lewis on the left-side (whether short or 3rd), and Jeffers handed the keys to full-time starting catcher.

It’s not a total overhaul, that lineup with our current pitching staff could still be a playoff team. But, I think that’s the fastest track to success. Our hotshot hitting prospects need to get some time under their beltS and acclimate to the majors while we still have guys like Buxton, Kepler, and Arraez around. That likely can’t happen with Cruz getting the start at DH everyday. Or Donaldson for that matter. If he gets healthy and comes out of the gates hot next year, trade him for whatever you can get.
    • DocBauer likes this


I wish we signed him 10 years ago, but depending on what happens with how much the Twins want to spend, is his production really going to be that much better than what we may get our of our rookies in a DH role?How much money spent per RBI, HR, etc.Won't know until this time next year.

If the only decision is money to field output, or some math set up for that, very few veterans would get big money.It has been shown time and again that many of their outputs put them overpaid compared to a younger replacement.Not all of course.However, vets bring something more than just output, and that is experience and wisdom to pass down to players and how to get through a long season, and many other things. 


More importantly, in my opinion, is in baseball you need to have goo chemistry.I am not one that says that for all sports, but in baseball, I believe if you like your teammates and get along it is a good thing.You will be spending, hopefully, 10 month of the year just about every day with the same guys.Unlike us regular humans, who get the weekend to get away from our co-workers or other days off if not weekend, baseball players do not get that time.So having good clubhouse guys that everyone likes is always a plus.Not saying rooker is not or Cruz is, although reports are his is, my point is just looking at dollar and cents to production is not the only way to look at a FA. 


I wish we signed him 10 years ago, but depending on what happens with how much the Twins want to spend, is his production really going to be that much better than what we may get our of our rookies in a DH role?How much money spent per RBI, HR, etc.Won't know until this time next year.



Name the last Twins rookie to hit 30 HR...even 20.

Doctor Gast
Oct 23 2020 11:08 AM

Cruz is very valuable & we should go after him. Maybe this will be his last year, I don`t think he`ll accept an coaching salary yet but hopefully he will w/ us when he does decide to retires. But maybe he`ll take a cut due to the down turn, if not he may be gone

NO disrespect to Cruz here! Love him and want him back! In fact, I see NO WAY the Twins have much of an offense in 2021 with BOTH Cruz AND Rosario gone. But the problem with all of this is speculation financially. The good news for the Twins is an competition for Cruz's services have been cut in half. Furthermore, I'd be willing to bet at least half the teams in the AL either have their DH in place, or a plan/rotation they are happy with, or are re-building and have no interest in a 40yr old DH.


Cruz is absolutely worth $13-15M for a 1yr. I think an arguement could be made he's worth a 2nd year option for something like $10-12 with a decent buyout. But that's based on a normal season, which we don't know if we are going to have, much less coming off a financial loss season. So all the numbers I keep seeing appear to be based on a normal platform. 


NOT saying this will happen, but I could absolutely see the Twins signing Cruz to something like 1yr at $10-12M with a similar 2nd year option and a $3M buyout. Tell me I'm wrong, or who the competition is for more?


in the reality we swim in today, this makes way too much sense for everyone involved.

Importantly, he has been a good OBA guy too. He has some plate discipline, and his underachieving teammates might learn through observation. I think he is more than worthy of another year. A designated hitter should have, by definition, well developed and experienced hitting skills. A promoted minor leaguer doesn't seem to be right for that slot. We want the opposing pitcher thinking about our DH and being nervous about the potential damage. Cruz fits.
Cruz got caught once using steroids. It wouldn't surprise me me again.

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