How Can the Twins Create MLB’s Best Roster?
Image courtesy of © Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY SportsAccording to FanGraphs, the Twins have the fourth best roster (38.5 WAR) heading into the offseason. The teams ahead of the Twins include the Los Angeles Dodgers (44.3 WAR) the San Diego Padres (39.8 WAR), and the New York Yankees (38.5 WAR). This puts the Twins with the American League’s second-best roster, but Minnesota has clear holes to fill that can push them closer to the same level as the Dodgers.
Big Name Trades
Two of MLB’s best players, Francisco Lindor and Nolan Arenado, have a chance to be traded this winter. Cleveland has been trying to shed payroll for multiple seasons and Lindor is scheduled to make more than $20 million through arbitration this year, but he would be a free agent at season’s end. Arenado has the potential to be under contract for roughly $35 million per season through the 2026 campaign, but he can opt out after the 2021 season.
Arenado doesn’t seem to fit into Minnesota’s future plans as the club already has Josh Donaldson under contract and they play the same defensive position. Lindor is intriguing as his addition can allow Jorge Polanco to move to a super utility role that Marwin Gonzalez has served over the last couple seasons. However, a trade in the division would be tough and the team trading for Lindor is only guaranteed that he would play one season for the club acquiring him.
Do the Twins Already Have MLB’s Best Line-Up?
Entering the off-season, the Twins might already have the best line-up in baseball. By looking at only position players, the closest teams to Minnesota are both clubs out of Chicago and the Dodgers. Unfortunately, this includes the Twins keeping Eddie Rosario, which seems highly unlikely.
The other major roster hole not addressed by this chart is the fact that Minnesota’s best hitter, Nelson Cruz, is now a free agent. To have baseball’s best roster, the Twins are going to have to make multiple decisions this winter to complete holes in the line-up, the rotation, and the bullpen.
Filling Roster Holes
Eddie Rosario’s hole in the line-up seems easily filled by Alex Kirilloff. The club thought highly enough of him that he made his debut in the Twins Wild Card Series against the Astros and it seems likely for him to play the majority of the team’s games in the outfield next season. Designated hitter is another story as Nelson Cruz already turned 40-years old and reports have him looking for a two-year contract.
One of the easiest ways for the team to improve their overall WAR would be to sign the best available designated hitter and that might be Marcell Ozuna. He is over a decade younger than Cruz and he is coming off a season where he led the National League in home runs while positing a 1.067 OPS. There are a lot of questions about how the free agent market will transpire this year, but rival executives expect the Twins to be aggressive in the months ahead. There’s lots left to do, but the Twins are definitely in their window of opportunity.
What do you think the Twins can do to pass the Dodgers? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
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