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Feinsand: Twins Interested in Marwin Reunion

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:23 AM
The Twins reportedly have expressed interest in re-signing free agent utilityman Marwin Gonzalez. MLB.com's Mark Feinsand shares the repo...
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One less Grove to pick from...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:57 AM
Joe Musgrove to the Padres...who else   https://www.mlbtrade...e-musgrove.html   Feel free to rant, rave, bemoan, lament all th...
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Who do you think is the Twins best/worst Free agent that...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:35 AM
Who do you guys think is the one who got away? Was a free agent and the Twins let them walk? No not Johan Santana as they traded him, I...
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Pitchers and Catchers Report Date?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:51 AM
What is the current status of Spring Training, and the start of the season? Is there a schedule?
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Free Agency / Re-Signings 2020-21 Offseason

Other Baseball Today, 10:21 AM
Free agency is likely going to be a really slow burn this year, but I still think it's worth having a thread to discuss signings. ...
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Wolfson: Despite Lack of Action, Nelson Cruz Wants to Remain a Twin

KSTP 5 Eyewitness News reporter Darren Wolfson joined the Locked On Twins podcast Tuesday with juicy news on the Twins’ offseason pursuits.
Image courtesy of Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
“The Twins haven’t even come close to being as aggressive for Nelson Cruz as other teams.”

If the Designated Hitter is not expanded to the National League, Cruz’s list of suitors shrinks considerably. It’s not a surprise, then, that both the Twins and Cruz are hesitant to move forward on a deal. Wolfson acknowledged that the Twins want their heartbeat back and Cruz’s “number one choice” is to return in a Twins uniform. Wolfson said the Padres have shown interest in the 40-year-old masher.

“The Twins have brought Marcell Ozuna’s name up.”

Similar to Cruz, Ozuna has very little incentive to sign a contract until the DH rules are finalized. Ozuna bet on himself after a down 2019 season, signing a 1-year, $18 million deal with Atlanta for 2020. This move replaced the also-right-handed Josh Donaldson in Atlanta’s lineup after he signed with the Twins. Ozuna responded by hitting a monstrous .338 with a 1.067 OPS and an NL-leading 18 home runs. His 179 wRC+ ranked behind only Juan Soto and Freddie Freeman among MLB-qualifiers. MLB Trade Rumors projects Ozuna, who just turned 30, to receive a four-year, $72 million deal.

Wolfson “would be surprised” if the Twins traded for Cubs’ Javier Báez

The Yu Darvish trade spurred speculation that the Cubs could sell off more of their expiring contracts. Báez fits that bill. He has one more year of arbitration at a projected $11 million. The superstar defender struggled mightily at the plate in 2020, hitting .203 with an OPS more than 40% below league average. Báez was one of many usually good hitters who struggled in the truncated season. The electric brother-in-law of Twins starter José Berríos has the fourth most home runs (108) among qualified shortstops since 2016. Báez is also a terrific defender, saving more runs (33) than any shortstop in baseball over the last two seasons.

"The Twins have had dialogue with Andrelton Simmons"

Wolfson said, along with Marcus Semien, the Twins have at least inquired on the former Angel. Simmons is entering free agency after playing only 30 games in 2020 due to a left ankle injury. The 31-year-old ranks 10th among all position players in bWAR (36.8) since his rookie season in 2012. Simmons is perhaps the best defender in all of baseball. He’s saved 191 runs in his career, more than any player at any position during that time. The difference in DRS between Simmons and the second-placed Kevin Kiermaier (69) is the same as the difference between Kiermaier and the 32nd-placed Byron Buxton. Simmons is no pushover at the plate either. He’s hit a respectable .281/.329/.401 (99 wRC+) with 129 extra-base hits in 437 games since 2017.

The Twins talk parameters of varying contracts with RH RP Joakim Soria

Even after signing Hansel Robles to a 1-year, $2M deal, the Twins are seemingly in the market for another right-handed reliever. Wolfson said the Twins offered Soria a one-year deal for “more than Robles got” but not signficantly more. Wolfson went on to say the Twins also talked a two-year deal with Soria, albeit with less average annual value. It remains to be seen whether the two sides strike a deal. I pegged Soria as a strong fit for the Twins earlier this offseason.

The Twins have inquired on “almost every” top free agent

Wolfson made sure to say that inquiries are much different than offers. It sounds like the Twins are doing their due diligence, surveying the market and looking for ways to extract value. Wolfson says he believes the Twins have asked about “70-plus” free agents.

The Twins have “100%” called on Sonny Gray and Joe Musgrove

Wolfson believes the Twins are also exploring the trade market for upgrades. Reports have addressed the availability of both Gray and Musgrove. Gray has more pedigree with two top-10 Cy Young finishes and a career 117 ERA+. Musgrove is coming off a year where his strikeout rate ballooned to 33%, enticing many that he could thrive away from the rebuilding and less-progressive Pirates.

"The Twins will move; it’s just a matter of when"

This offseason has been slow for most teams, including the Twins. That doesn’t signify that significant additions aren’t on the way. Wolfson says the Twins have the payroll flexibility to make impact moves. In simple terms, hang tight.


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11 Comments

Thanks Nash, I needed this dose of Twins Medicine.Watching the Padres and White Sox fire volley after volley while Twins fans duck for cover had left me shell shocked.I'm better now.  

    • Nash Walker likes this
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Nash Walker
Jan 06 2021 07:55 PM

 

Thanks Nash, I needed this dose of Twins Medicine.Watching the Padres and White Sox fire volley after volley while Twins fans duck for cover had left me shell shocked.I'm better now.  

 

I always appreciate your kind words. Go Twins!

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Out State Twin
Jan 06 2021 08:00 PM

DH by committee (rotating 3 players keeping them fresh) problem solved using the money saved for pitching.

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tony&rodney
Jan 06 2021 08:29 PM

Let us all hope the Twins don't wait too long. There is plenty of budget for Cruz, Hendriks, and starting pitching. I would love to see a trade for Sonny Gray, but I see a Odorizzi and Kluber combination as viable. 

So many on TD are concerned about the roster dollars but I think that if the right players can be talked into Minnesota, Pohlad will match or even slightly exceed last year's initial budget.

The wonder pants execs need to convince the right players to sign up now or get lucky with a trade or two. It can be done-think positive.

Hmmmm... they're not going to get Cruz back, going by that quote. DH by committee is nice for getting different bats into the lineup, but our lineup is going to suffer without Cruz. 

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Doctor Gast
Jan 07 2021 05:48 AM

Looks like the FO are sending out feelers to quite a few FA (that's good). They are establishing a floor offer & letting them know we are interested, which in turn receive a ceiling counter offer. Things won't happen until things get more defined & more desparate. Once they do it'll be a wild few weeks.

Happy they are looking into Gray & Musgrove. Both would be good additions, I prefer Musgrove because he's cheaper & would be interesting how 'd respond to real pitching coaching.

Hope we sign Cruz but we have to be patient

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Doctor Gast
Jan 07 2021 09:43 AM

Just read that the Pirates are interested to trade Musgrove to the Twins for Larnach, they are very high on him. Hate to lose Larnach but I think it's the best deal for everyone. We have an abundance of corner OFs, Larnach will get more playing time. Pirates shed some salary & gain a power LH OF. Twins fill a rotation spot w/ a very good pitcher & Musgrove will access to a great pitching coach which can vastly improve his performance.

    • denarded and DocBauer like this
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Physics Guy
Jan 07 2021 09:43 AM

 

Hmmmm... they're not going to get Cruz back, going by that quote. DH by committee is nice for getting different bats into the lineup, but our lineup is going to suffer without Cruz. 

While Cruz has been an integral part of the lineup the past two years, I don't agree entirely that their lineup will suffer without him. Using the committee role could allow our regulars to stay healthy and stay in the lineup. Part of it depends on who they sign instead of Cruz. If they don't bring back Cruz, they can sign somebody with positional versatility. It also would allow for strategic use of Cave and Rooker for lefty and right matchups. It will force Baldelli to be more creative with his lineups, but it doesn't have to be a negative. I've come around to believing the Twins will be fine letting Cruz go if he requires more than a 1 year, 14-15M contract.

    • Major League Ready and DocBauer like this

If the Twins FO isn't inquiring into all the FA's they are not doing their job. Should just be common sense that they would. 

I think that this team in this window of opportunity needs Cruz. He is also a clubhouse guy and I know those things can't be measured but they are important in any team sport. Now if the twins were going to shut this window and prepare to start opening a new one then I'd say let him go. But if they think that they can hold off the White Sox one more year then they probably need Cruz as he is the glue that holds a lot of this team together.
    • DocBauer likes this

At one point, after Rosie non-tendered, I thought resigning Cruz was a must for the offense.Now, not so sure.Instead, think that FO should be all in on talks with Reds.While Castillo's price would be prohibitive, Sunny Gray's would not, especially if the Twins were willing to take on Castellanos' salary.He would be an excellent replacement for Cruz, albeit not quite the cleanup hitter Cruz has been.He would also add much more flexibility to the lineup, having played 1B, 3B and corner OF.Here in Chicago, his OBP was over .350.At 29(in March) he is in his prime and would provide some much needed RH pop.

 

Of course, the even bigger prize would be Gray who would likely be a #2 or 3 starter, with potential to rise even higher.He would most likely surpass Odo, not only in performance, but also durability.With his addition, the Twins would have a stronger staff and have the luxury of slotting one of their prospects as a #5 starter.Yes, to get this package, the Twins would have to give up a couple of prospects = maybe one top 10, one in the 10-20 range and possibly someone like Polanco.As many on this site have noted, there are 3 FA SS's available to replace Polanco, none of whom would break the bank, and all improving a vital defensive position.

 

This trade makes a lot of sense for both clubs.Just get it done!

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