Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

The Forums

LEN III breaking some news - no DL in NL

Other Baseball Today, 08:14 PM
https://sports.yahoo...-194000216.html
Full topic ›

Wolfson: Twins Scouting Yoshinobu Yamamoto

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:59 PM
  Doogie Wolfson tweeted that the Twins are going to be scouting 22-year-old RHP Yoshinobu Yamamoto, "one of the premier young pitc...
Full topic ›

Re-Load vs. Re-Tool vs. Re-Build for 2021

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:24 PM
The Twins certainly have options this winter now that the core has been here long enough to make some tough calls. Which is the best rout...
Full topic ›

2020 MLB (non-Twins) Postseason Discussion Thread

Other Baseball Today, 05:24 PM
Feel free to chime in here about any of the (non-Twins) 2020 MLB postseason games!
Full topic ›

Not to add more doom and gloom

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 11:34 AM
This is interesting and sort of concerning. Article snippet comes from the incomparable Jayson Stark of The Athletic (Which is must read...
Full topic ›

Recent Blogs

Twins Early Offseason Outline: The Future is Now

There are plenty of decisions for Minnesota’s front office to consider in the months ahead. The Twins have won back-to-back AL Central titles, but their playoff frustrations have continued. No one knows what the beginning of next season will look like and there is wide speculation about teams reducing payroll after a shortened 2020 season. One strategy the team can explore is turning the reins over to a young core of top prospects that are on the cusp of being big league ready.
Image courtesy of © Jeffrey Becker - USA Today Sports
Alex Kirilloff is Here to Stay
Minnesota made it clear how highly they thought of Alex Kirilloff by having him on the postseason roster and starting him in an elimination game. There are a couple different ways to get Kirilloff in the line-up as a regular in 2021.

Eddie Rosario is in his final year of arbitration and he is scheduled to get a raise to around $10 million. He likely isn’t worth that much especially if the Twins are trying to cut costs. If Rosario isn’t offered arbitration, the Twins could start next year with an outfield of Kirilloff along with Byron Buxton and Max Kepler.

Kirilloff also can slide in at first base and the easiest way to make this happen is to not try and resign Nelson Cruz. Sano could move from first to being the team’s full-time designated hitter and Kirilloff could become Minnesota’s first baseman for the better part of the next decade.

Finding Room for Brent Rooker
Before the Twins turned to Kirilloff, Brent Rooker was the player the Twins turned to from the alternate site. Unfortunately, his season ended early after being hit by a pitch from Cleveland’s Zach Plesac. The 25-year old was still able to make a strong impression in his first taste of the big leagues. In 21 plate appearances, he went 6-for-19 with half of his hits being for extra bases.

Much like with Kirilloff, the Twins could find a scenario where Rooker takes over at first base with Sano moving to DH. Minnesota could decide what can be better for the team’s defense which seems like Kirilloff in the outfield and Rooker at first base. Would the Twins want two unproven bats in the line-up from season’s start?

Meet Ryan Jeffers, Everyday Catcher
Ryan Jeffers quickly made his presence known on the Twins roster this season and there is little chance he will be going anywhere in the years ahead. Things get tricky when considering that Mitch Garver struggled in 2020 after one of the best hitting seasons ever for a catcher.

Over the last couple of seasons, the front office has preferred to have one younger catcher, Mitch Garver, and pair him with a more veteran backstop (Jason Castro, Alex Avila). Both Castro and Avila made a good complement to Garver because they bat left-handed. Would the Twins be willing to trade Garver and resign a player like Avila as the back-up to Jeffers?


Others on the Way
Outside of the trio of players mentioned above, there are also other players closing in on Target Field. Trevor Larnach was the team’s 2019 Minor League Player of the Year and he adds some depth in the outfield. If Buxton misses time, an outfield of Kirilloff, Kepler and Larnach could certainly be intriguing. Another option could be to trade Larnach to fill a need at another spot on the roster.

Royce Lewis is going to be talked about a lot this offseason and rightfully so. He is the team’s consensus top prospect, and he is one of baseball’s top prospects. With no minor league season, it’s tough to know how he progressed at the team’s alternate site. He ended 2019 at Double-A and there was a chance he made his big-league debut this season. Would the Twins be willing to trade Jorge Polanco and his team friendly deal?

By midseason next year, the Twins line-up could include:
C: Ryan Jeffers
1B: Brent Rooker
2B: Luis Arraez
3B: Josh Donaldson
SS: Royce Lewis
LF: Alex Kirilloff
CF: Byron Buxton
RF: Max Kepler
DH: Miguel Sano

The Twins farm system has kept them relevant and it continues to be the key to sustainable contention. Do you think the Twins should go with a youth movement in 2021? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

MORE FROM TWINS DAILY
— Latest Twins coverage from our writers
— Recent Twins discussion in our forums
— Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email

  • ToddlerHarmon, wabene and Melissa like this

  • Share:
  • submit to reddit
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

42 Comments

Photo
Richard Swerdlick
Oct 06 2020 12:50 AM

Can we afford to have a DH who strikes out at a 50% clip?

    • Ex-Iowegian, mikelink45, bighat and 1 other like this
Photo
yeahyabetcha
Oct 06 2020 05:32 AM
Not sure a lineup of 4-5 rookies would be the best way to plan next year. With no minors last year, really hard to gauge the level of development.
    • glunn, stringer bell, DocBauer and 2 others like this
Photo
TwinsFan268
Oct 06 2020 06:14 AM

No. Resign Cruz. Sano can't hit half the time.

    • dcswede, TopGunn#22 and Otwins like this
Photo
TwinsFan268
Oct 06 2020 06:14 AM

 

Not sure a lineup of 4-5 rookies would be the best way to plan next year. With no minors last year, really hard to gauge the level of development.

Yes.

Photo
Major League Ready
Oct 06 2020 06:27 AM

 

Finding Room for Brent Rooker
Before the Twins turned to Kirilloff, Brent Rooker was the player the Twins turned to from the alternate site. Unfortunately, his season ended early after being hit by a pitch from Cleveland’s Zach Plesac. The 25-year old was still able to make a strong impression in his first taste of the big leagues. In 21 plate appearances, he went 6-for-19 with half of his hits being for extra bases.

Much like with Kirilloff, the Twins could find a scenario where Rooker takes over at first base with Sano moving to DH. Minnesota could decide what can be better for the team’s defense which seems like Kirilloff in the outfield and Rooker at first base. Would the Twins want two unproven bats in the line-up from season’s start?

 

 

The chances are pretty good they resign Cruz unless one of the big market teams are willing to give him a 2 year deal. I also don't believe the Twins are as inclined to move Sano to DH as some posters here. The team is not likely to start the season with Kirilloff on the ML roster which makes it very easy to find a spot for Rooker who was considered more ready for the majors. Starting Kirilloff at AAA is trhe safest approach. It gives them the opportunity to adjust their roster after a couple months if needed and it does not burn a year of control on a player who will likely be a core player going forward. 

 

Rosario is gone. Rooker is in LF to start the season with Cave as the 4th OFer. The next moves will be addressed after Kirilloff or Larnarch establish they are ready by sustaining a high level of play at AAA.

 

What they need is a good solution for a utility infielder and another quality SP.

    • denarded, Twins33 and wabene like this

Trade Garver and Polanco when their value has bottomed out? I don't think the Twins front office is considering that. The 2020 season was a weird one, and I hope the Twins front office wouldn't make short-sighted trades based entirely on those results.

 

Looking at the projected lineup at the end of the article, resigning Cruz should be a priority for no other reason than to add some stability. 

    • glunn, denarded, TopGunn#22 and 9 others like this
Photo
diehardtwinsfan
Oct 06 2020 06:54 AM

Cruz should absolutely return... he DHs until he proves he cannot. Sano can stay on first.

    • glunn, TopGunn#22, Otwins and 1 other like this

I have a feeling many options are on the table for Twins.Much of it will come down to how other teams value the players the Twins have, versus how the Twins value them.For example, Garver is a catcher that 2019 was one of best hitting in the game, and was decent behind the plate too.Last year he was no where close to same.Catchers generally have higher value in baseball if they can hit, it is always a bonus.Question is if other teams believe he can be 2019 or not.If a team believes he can, do the Twins think so?If Twins think so, will they be willing to trade him?I believe if another team is willing to pay 2019 value for him you snatch that up so quickly.Even if he does return to that, it will not be for long based on his age.

 

Sano as well, how do other teams value him?When he makes contact he hits ball as hard as anyone, but he makes contact only about 50 to 60 percent of the time, and has only at times shown an improvement on that, but never consistent.Does a team think they have the solution, do the Twins think they do?  

 

I may catch some heat for this, but I think Twins should see what value other teams have for Buxton.Not saying they should trade him, but see what is out there.He is not that young anymore, and continues to show he could be amazing when on the filed, but that is not that common.I think many teams will still have high value of him, but I fear he will not age well.His whole game is based on speed and once that is gone, he will need to change up his game.He did show flashes of being a top hitter without his speed, but he had shown that in past only to come back swinging to way too many pitches out of the zone.I am still a huge fan of him, but if Lewis or someone else can step in and be not a huge drop off on defense I would look to see what value other teams have of him.I would not dump him for nothing by any means, but if you feel some times value him very high I would look into it.

 

Finally, I would not load up on rookies, but if Lewis is MLB ready I would bring him in, rooker, and Krioloff.Lewis I would figure out where he fits best OF or SS, and make rest of team adjust.  

    • glunn, TopGunn#22, jrod23 and 1 other like this

As with all of us, my opinion doesn't matter. 

 

But what will the Twins do? We just don't know what effect this crazy, crazy season had on the performance of all Twins players. Although many had very disappointing seasons, we just don't know if the Twins are giving all of them a 'mulligan.'

 

With that said, I have a feeling there may be less significant moves than we think should be. For example, how can you plan to have Sano playing every day after striking out 50% of the time. How much did Polanco's ankle effect what he did this year? Why was Garver so bad after being so good? What is the problem with Arraez' knee? Will it go away with rest or does he need another surgery?

 

There is little question that Jeffers will most likely be penciled in to about 50% of games behind the plate. There is no question that albeit in small samples, both Rooker and Kirilloff appear to have made claim for a spot on the opening day roster. How those spots are made available remains to be seen and I for one eagerly await their moves.

    • glunn, TopGunn#22, DocBauer and 2 others like this

I'd be shopping Sano. I don't see a higher ceiling for him, and you can't devote a full-time DH slot to someone with those numbers. We may still be able to get another team to bite on him, but it'll be tough. I'm in the "take what you get for him and move on" camp here.

    • TopGunn#22, D.C Twins and heresthething like this

I love offseason speculation. Love it.

 

But here's where I'm struggling with this offseason. There are two MAJOR questions that we don't have answers to, that would significantly alter my strategy.

 

1) Payroll - 90M? 140M? Normally I have a pretty good gauge of where they SHOULD be and can work from that. But honestly, at this point, I have no idea. And, frankly, they probably don't have a great idea either.

 

2) Playoffs? Back to 5, with the one game WC game? Stay at 8? If we stay at 8, are the 8 teams roughly on the same playing field like this year, or are there big advantages to being a high seed? Because if the playoffs are like this year except with ta longer season, I'm willing to give the youth movement a shot, because I have more room for error (and then I spend money on one high end starter). But if it goes back to the way it was before, I probably rely on more veterans, at least at the start of the season.

    • glunn, TopGunn#22, DocBauer and 2 others like this

Some of the biggest questions are what the season will look like. Will there be a normal season with spring training, minor league baseball, attendance at games? With all the uncertainty, can see Twins tightening the budget. Twins appear to have plenty of young players on cusp of breaking into MLB, maybe they go cheap and give them a shot.

    • glunn and rdehring like this

If we assume things will go back to normal in 2021 (that is a big assumption at this point), I would probably try to resign Cruz for another year.He not only was the team's most consistent bat this season but also is a good clubhouse presence and leader. 

 

While I would love to see Roasrio back, I don't see him being worth $10M.Now, we have no idea what arbitration is even going to look like this offseason so maybe that number will end up being less.If we could get him for $5-7M, I would get him back.I think there are options that are equally good in the Twins lineup that cost less than $10M.The payroll flexibility is going to be more important.

 

Can Rooker play other infield positions?I don't see the Twins bringing back both Adrianza and Gonzales (they might not bring either back) so having someone who can play a lot of positions could be helpful.What about Royce Lewis?Is this how he can fit in, the utility guy who can play about everywhere?We have to understand that the Twins have been very lucky to have two guys who can play virtually every position on the field the last two seasons.

 

Try to trade Garver (or maybe even Jeffers) and see what you can get in return.Can we get a handful of prospects with high upside?Can we get a major league ready starting pitcher?Can we get someone who can provide outfield depth?It is worth seeing what the market is but I would suspect that lots of teams are going to be cautious about making moves.

 

It is also worth pointing out that the current CBA expires after next season so we don't really know what the financial picture looks like beyond 2021.I would bet that there will be lots of short term deals in free agency this year, rather than long term big deals.

    • glunn and 4twinsJA like this
Photo
ToddlerHarmon
Oct 06 2020 12:16 PM

Gonzalez, Adrianza, Castro/Avila and Cave have got plenty of playing time under Baldelli. Not hard to imagine that Lewis, Kiriloff, Rooker, and Jeffers would also, even with Polanco and Garver as starters. Rooker is a little tougher while Cruz or Rosario are on the roster. Gordon or Javier might have an opening, too, if Lewis' bat is good enough for the corners.

 

One postseason lesson that teams seem to be absorbing is that a young. talented bench is better than a seasoned, mediocre bench. So that's my vote.

 

    • TopGunn#22 and wabene like this

My thoughts, which the Twins FO will ignore. They never return my calls. 

  • Rosario will likely not be back because they have three prospects ready for the position (Rooker, Kirilloff and Larnach). In a normal offseason, Rosario would have a bit of trade value. A 2.5 WAR OF for $10M is a pretty good deal. With Covid, he'll probably just be released.
  • Cruz is a difficult decision. It will probably depend on the magnitude of competing offers.
  • How do we know Jeffers is ultimately better than Garver? Garver has proven, when healthy, he can be very good through an entire season. Besides, it costs very little to keep the two of them and Garver's trade value is at a minimum right now.
  • Polanco won't be traded this offseason. If he's traded, the FO will have to sign another middle IF. They aren't going to get anyone near Polanco's caliber for a comparable salary.
  • Lewis is the only legit middle infield prospect in the high minors and he hasn't had a chance to prove he's ready for the majors. Arraez and Polanco ended the season with nagging injuries. Plenty of room for all three when Lewis is ready,
  • Sano has the most trade potential. Other teams will be interested because of his upside and the Twins have 1B options in Kirilloff and Rooker. This would work if Cruz is signed. I'm not saying the Twins need to trade him but if the offer is substantial, take it.

 

    • glunn, TopGunn#22, DocBauer and 5 others like this

The bench players, Marwin, Cave, Adrianza, Avila can go away. All of them are easily replacable. I'd be open to trading Sano, Buxton and Kepler for prospects, another top starting pitcher or bullpen help. Sano can't hit with any kind of consistancy, Buxton can't stay on the field with any kind of consistancy and Kepler probably had a career year in 2019 hitting .252 following that up with a .228 season this year. He's a career .237 hitter with an OBP of .319, Really??? from your leadoff guy? Nothing special going on there! If this season proved anything, we need some guys that can hit for average and get on base. Getting 5 or 6 homers each game isn't going to happen often enough to win when you need to. (Playoffs)

Rosario for $10M is too much. With Kirilloff, Rooker and Larnach ready to go, He's expendable. Throw in Lewis who can play in the outfield too and you definitely don't need to spend $10M for a guy who swings at anything and throws to the wrong base time after time, again and again. Don't any of these guys learn anything when they make mistakes? Spend the money and bring back Cruz. He was the only guy in the lineup that could hit most of the 2020 season. You definitely bring Polanco, Arraez and Donaldson back. Hopefully all healthy and able to play a full season. 

I'm comfortable with half a lineup of new young talent. Cruz, Donaldson, Polanco, Arraez, Garver joined with Kirilloff, Rooker, Larnach, Jeffers, Lewis. Teach Astudillo some plate discipline, let Wade Jr have a bench spot, add Blankenhorn and the hitters are set for 2021. 

 

 

    • glunn and TopGunn#22 like this
Parts of this offseason are easy. 1. Resign Cruz
2. Trade Rosario
3. LF a competition for Rooker and Killeroff
4. Let Gonzales walk.

Some decisions are less easy.
5. Resign Adriana to 1 year 1.25 million with up to 750k incentives based on plate appearances. He had a bad year at the plate and a make good contract with a team he had success with and is competitive makes sense. And Adriana can play 3rd. We could also sign a minor league insurance policy in addition to. Having a capable replacement at third should be a priority.
6. Make Lewis the everyday utility player. His bat wont need to do much to replace Gonzales and he is fast....

Now on to pitching.....
    • TopGunn#22, DocBauer and wabene like this

Clearly moves have to be made.  The problem is that you need trade partners. I'd look to move Rosario, Sano, and Buxton. I don't really see any of these players signing long term extensions and being productive. Who's going to bite for players with bad injury histories and/or  inconsistent play though?

 

Photo
IndianaTwin
Oct 06 2020 05:10 PM

 

... I also don't believe the Twins are as inclined to move Sano to DH as some posters here. ...

 

Concur. For what it's worth, they did not remove Sano for defensive purposes in any of his last 28 games. I mainly listened to games, but from what I could tell in the games I did see, I think Sano could be on his way to being a solid defensive first baseman. He did some things well (though not others) as a 3B, and he seemed to be very good on picks. He also seemed to have a very quick tag on pickoffs -- there were a couple of occasions where I think he outpsyched a 1B ump and got a call reversed. His mistakes seemed to be ones where he ranged too far going after balls and didn't get back to the base in time, which will come with more reps there. 

 

(Aside, I think the learning of a new position as a full-time 1B could have contributed to offensive struggles this year. His past offensive struggles seem to coincide with trying to learn RF and when trying to improve at 3B.)

    • ashbury, glunn, DocBauer and 3 others like this
Photo
IndianaTwin
Oct 06 2020 05:31 PM

 

 

My thoughts, which the Twins FO will ignore. They never return my calls. ...

 

  • How do we know Jeffers is ultimately better than Garver? Garver has proven, when healthy, he can be very good through an entire season. Besides, it costs very little to keep the two of them and Garver's trade value is at a minimum right now.....

 

 

A. I heard the Twins front office changed its number because they kept getting pestering calls from random people. I think we just found the source... :-)

 

B. Concur. I think they'll keep both catchers. No team gets through the season on two. Even with the two, I'd consider adding a veteran, Avila/Castro type. I assume both Garver and Jeffers have options and one could start in Rochester, knowing they'll get called up. Alternatively, guys like Avila/Castro/Erik Kratz sign minor league contracts with a general commitment from the team to get the first callup when a catcher goes down. 

    • TopGunn#22, DocBauer and dbminn like this

Would not surpise me to see the FO sign Cruz and find a way to jettison Sano.Opens up 1B for Rooker/Kiriloff and not bringing back Rosario opens up LF for Kiriloff.Rosario projects to about $10 million in arbitration and Sano makes the same.That $20 million would be a nice start to getting Trevor Bauer at the front of the rotation.

    • TopGunn#22, puckstopper1 and D.C Twins like this
Photo
stringer bell
Oct 06 2020 07:26 PM

 

Parts of this offseason are easy. 1. Resign Cruz
2. Trade Rosario
3. LF a competition for Rooker and Killeroff
4. Let Gonzales walk.
 

Getting anything more than a bucket of balls for Rosario would be a coup. I get letting Gonzalez go, He was paid starter money and last year, he was a replacement player. Not a lot of guys have his utility skills and he is a switch hitter, but last season he was pretty bad with the lumber. 

 

I don't think either Kirilloff or Rooker are locks to be ready. I said it before that 21 plate appearances isn't enough to make a judgment about Rooker and his minor league credentials don't say "future star" to me. I'm much more confident that Kirilloff will be a building block than Rooker, but I'm not sure if that is in April of 2021.

 

I have mixed feelings on Cruz. Ted Schwertzler's blog entry gives me pause. The topline numbers were just as good as last year, but especially in September, Cruz looked vulnerable. He's smart and takes advantage of mistakes, but I really fear that he is going to diminish and not gradually. If he can't be had for a one-year deal, let someone else see him decline.

    • DocBauer likes this
Can Rooker play other infield positions?I don't see the Twins bringing back both Adrianza and Gonzales (they might not bring either back) so having someone who can play a lot of positions could be helpful.What about Royce Lewis?Is this how he can fit in, the utility guy who can play about everywhere?

 

I think Rooker will likely end up at 1B, and he's never played 3B/2B/SS before. He's going to be a below average fielder if he does play in LF or RF.

 

I wouldn't count out Larnach making an impact in 2021, as he's done nothing but crush every level he's played at. I see him as a slightly better prospect than Kiriloff, who should also be in contention for a role early on.

 

I wouldn't pencil in Lewis into a utility role to start off, I think he needs to prove he can hit at AAA. I'd like the Twins to sign a veteran who can play SS to replace Adrianza and try out the internal options for Marwin's spot (Blankenhorn, if Gordon is still around).

    • TopGunn#22 and wabene like this

Here's my rough offseason outline:

 

I think Rosie is either tendered and later traded or is non tendered. Either Rosie or Cave/Rooker(Pillar?) platoon will hold down LF until Alex is used to playing exclusively LF in AAA for a couple of months. He gets called up after that and hopefully takes over there for the next 7 years. I would also be interested in signing Kevin Pillar as Buxton insurance given Buxton's injury history. 

 

For utility it will probably be either Gordon or an outside FA. I'm done with Marwin and Ehire. Maybe Blankenhorn could reprise Marwin's super utility role? More bat first than defense obviously.

 

I want them to sign 2 starting pitchers and have Dobnak as the 6th starter in Rochester in case of injury. Odo and Hill are fine to bring back on 1 year deals. If Bauer truly wants a 1 year deal he would be my top FA target besides Cruz. If we have to sign Cruz for 2 years to keep him I would do it. He's so integral to the lineup and the clubhouse. Obviously prefer to keep it to 1 year with maybe a vesting option or a highish buyout on the option but we need to keep him.

 

I count 6 BP arms we can count on in Rogers (move him off closer and use him mostly against LHB), Duffey, Thielbar, Wisler, Stashak, and Alcala. Assuming we go back to a 26 man roster next year that leave's two spots open.

 

I think May will sign a multiyear deal elsewhere for as much money as he can get. Biggest FA contract to a reliever Falvine gave out was 2 years to Addison Reed and with the question marks on revenue for next year I doubt they will meet May's asking price. Signing relievers to long term deals rarely work out and the Twins keep finding guys for cheap from all sorts of places that the money can be better spent elsewhere.

 

Hopefully they can bring back Clippard. Romo's option should be declined but they can try to bring him back for less if he's interested. Otherwise they have 2 spots to fill for either Clippard/Romo or different FAs. Chalmers and Colina need more time to develop in the minors but they will be the next wave of young BP arms to join as injuries inevitably hit.

 

Finally with Jeffers I would start him at AAA and sign a back up C for Garver to start. If Garver continues to struggle offensively for a prolonged period or gets injured again Jeffers is ready to step back in to catch full time. Garver has 2 options remaining so if he struggles offensively again he can go down to AAA to try to get himself right.

As you can see, outside of possibly LF and back up IF I don't have any of the Twins' young players with the team to start the year but I expect with injuries that most of them will inevitably get called up during the year. If you start the year with all the young players on the opening day roster and they struggle or get injured there is no depth to fall back on because they are already up with the team! That's my view at least.

    • TopGunn#22 and wabene like this

 

I'd be shopping Sano. I don't see a higher ceiling for him, and you can't devote a full-time DH slot to someone with those numbers. We may still be able to get another team to bite on him, but it'll be tough. I'm in the "take what you get for him and move on" camp here.

Remember David Ortiz, that is the scenario I am very afraid of if we trade him


Similar Articles


by Ted Schwerzler , Today, 01:16 PM
Photo


by Nick Nelson , 12 Oct 2020
Photo


by Ted Schwerzler , 29 Sep 2020
Photo


by Seth Stohs , 28 Sep 2020
Photo


by Cody Christie , 25 Sep 2020
Photo