Jump to content

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

The Forums

Kohl Stewart: An idea very few will like

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:07 AM
I felt bad for the kid. His major league career just hasn't started very well and it sure looked like a severe case of nerves. ...
Full topic ›

Ex-Twins in the Box Scores

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:32 AM
Baseball games are being played again! I know it's only spring training, but I'm a box score junkie and once again I can get my daily fix...
Full topic ›

Article: Logan Morrison Hip Impingement Q

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 11:40 PM
Twins DH/1B Logan Morrison was recently shut down for the remainder of the season and, by reports, is expected to undergo surgery for a h...
Full topic ›

Game Thread: Twins vs. Detroit 8/18 @ 6:10 PM CT

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 08:53 PM
ANND Welcome back. Today is my brother's bachelor party so I don't have time to type much. For those here, this isn't your first game th...
Full topic ›

Under the Radar: Taylor Rogers

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 09:19 PM
For some reason, I'm a Taylor Rogers fan. Actually, I know the reason--he's a living, breathing left handed pitcher who has the ability t...
Full topic ›

A Quick Look Around

When the Twins put Chris Gimenez in at third base and moved Miguel Sano over to first base on Wednesday afternoon, I jokingly said on Twitter that you can’t start thinking about 2019 (aka Year 1 A.7) too early.

No, I don’t really know that the Twins will move Sano over to first base as soon as Joe Mauer vacates the position. But it did get me thinking about two years from now.
Image courtesy of Kim Klement / USA Today Sports
Before I look ahead two years, though, I looked back at the Opening Day lineup from 2015, you know, the year the Twins won 83 and narrowly missed the playoffs. Beyond the top three (Danny Santana, SS; Joe Mauer, 1B and Brian Dozier, 2B), none of the other six remain with the Twins. (Kennys Vargas did DH and is with Rochester.)

Will there be that much turnover again in two years?

Jason Castro will enter the final year of his three-year pact. Assuming the Twins compete at some point between now and then, Castro will be the Opening Day catcher in 2019.

The Twins hold an option on Ervin Santana for 2019 and Phil Hughes will be in the last year of his very questionably-signed extension. The only other player under contract for the season is ByungHo Park.

As previously mentioned, Mauer and his $23 million will come off the books. At that point, you’d be hard-pressed to find a spot for Mauer. He’d have to re-sign for an amount significantly less than he currently plays for and agree to a huge reduction in playing time. Sure, I could find him some time to DH against right-handers… but it would be hard to forecast anything but retirement for number seven.

Home run bangin’ Brian Dozier will earn $6 million this year and $9 million next year before getting the opportunity to test free agency for the first time. I’m sure the club will explore extending Dozier before then, but trading Dozier for important pieces (plural, yes) remains the most likely outcome.

The outfield trio is going to remain affordable for the next few years. Eddie Rosario and Byron Buxton will likely be entering arbitration in advance of the 2019 season. Max Kepler isn’t scheduled to hit arbitration until the following season, 2020. As teams start to realize the value of locking up pre-arbitration players, look for the Twins to do their homework on Buxton and Kepler. Rosario, in my opinion, remains a player that Twins could look to move, maximizing his value at some point in the next couple of years.

Moving into the infield, Miguel Sano is on the same schedule as Buxton and Rosario. Though his defensive home will be questioned, his true home is in the middle of the lineup. Park, under contract, and Vargas, with less than two years of service, could still fit into the equation.

The middle infield is more interesting. Assuming Dozier moves on, does Jorge Polanco, who still has five years of team control left, slide to second? (This year will help answer that question.) Can Nick Gordon stick at shortstop? Does Engelb Vielma hit enough to be the everyday shortstop? Do the Twins pursue keeping Eduardo Escobar, who will also be a first-time free agent?

The rotation could still include Santana and Hughes. The combination of youngsters Jose Berrios, Adalberto Mejia, Stephen Gonsalves, Fernando Romero and Kohl Stewart, among others, will compete for rotation spots too.

That makes no mention of Kyle Gibson, who will be arbitration-eligible for the last time in 2019.

Then there’s the bullpen…

Fortunately, there are more potential relievers than ever before. Without diving into the dozens of names, there is both power and depth from both sides of the pitching rubber.

No matter how you look at it, it’s hard to imagine a lineup in early April of 2019 that doesn’t resemble this week’s club.

That is very encouraging… and jibes well with the baseball operations crew looking at the team they inherited and not making significant changes.

Of course, you can’t just wait for the future to show up. There’s always things you can do to improve the club… and over the course of the season we’ll look at some specific moves the Twins can make before 2019 to ensure meaningful October baseball.

  • Sconnie and tarheeltwinsfan like this

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

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

6 Comments

Outside of Palka, Vargas and Lewin Diaz, there's not a solid left-handed first base/DH prospect. Assuming Mauer hits similar to what he does now, there may be room for him on a small deal. Strictly platooning at DH/1B with someone and Sano (Sano playing every day)

    • glunn and Oldgoat_MN like this
Photo
HitInAPinch
Apr 07 2017 01:58 AM

For lack of a 40 man roster spot, Park would have been on this team.No question.

I have no interest in keeping Vargas.Moving forward, the Twins shouldn't be considering 1-dimensional players like Vargas.

 

Dozier and E. Santana need to be traded for the obvious reasons:

1.they have skills

2.they will command larger paydays in their declining years

3.there aren't really ready replacements for Santana right now, but there is for Dozier.

 

"That makes no mention of Kyle Gibson".And there shouldn't be.This past start is pretty much what we've seen of Gibson:good start and then he starts collapsing around the 5th inning.Time to move him, if possible.

 

I don't see Falvey resigning Mauer.Just doesn't make any sense.Well, that and no emotional attachment.

If the other young position player start making better AB's, there's definitely a place for a defense-first player like Vielma.But I'd definitely keep an eye on NIck Gordon.

    • LA VIkes Fan likes this

I think there is a pretty good chance that we can field a middle infield with Escobar, Polanco, Goodrum, Gordon and Vielma. Not sure who else might show up and of course any of these players might decline early, but I'm not too worried about the MI.

 

The corner infield positions may feature Sano, Park, Goodrum/utility MI and a number of possibilities, though I do not have high hopes for Palka and Diaz will still be young. Still, 1B is among the easiest positions to fill in FA.

 

A lot of the preparation for the future will be determined by the play of Rosario and Vargas this year. Rosario is a good fielder and has speed, and therefore has a much longer leash than Vargas. If Rosario doesn't step forward we have a big gap in the OF. Bigger than I want to count on Granite to fill, as I see him as a 4th OF.

If Vargas does step forward I would consider that a major win for the Twins.

 

And even this rosy outlook depends on Kepler, Buxton and Sano becoming at least close to the players we have been hoping they would. 

 

With the way the pitchers are lined up in the minors I wouldn't put any money on a post-season game next year, but the future holds some reason for optimism.

 

 

As for locking up STARS.....

 

http://www.fangraphs...star-extension/

 

Now, as pointed out, some of these players are Boras clients, and we "know" NYY and LAD will be pursuing Harper/Machado....

 

Also, I don't think Buxton is a STAR, at least not that you can predict right now. He could maybe be had, but I doubt Sano signs an extension any time soon.

    • d-mac likes this

It is so hard to project two years form now with the new baseball minds running the show.  With Joe off the books that gives a huge contract to sign someone too if they want from outside the organization, and many potential trades will be made and prospects getting figured out.  This year and next I think a lot of potential movement to the new style of player the new minds want.  It also takes a whole shift in organizational teaching of prospects.  

Photo
Jeremy Nygaard
Apr 07 2017 09:52 AM

 

As for locking up STARS.....

 

http://www.fangraphs...star-extension/

 

Now, as pointed out, some of these players are Boras clients, and we "know" NYY and LAD will be pursuing Harper/Machado....

 

Also, I don't think Buxton is a STAR, at least not that you can predict right now. He could maybe be had, but I doubt Sano signs an extension any time soon.

 

Fair point. But 3/8 of the players mentioned are Rangers/Indians... which probably doesn't deviate far from the Falvey/Levine mode of thinking.

 

I would imagine that the way Cleveland is and the way the Twins are under Falvey will be very, very similar.

    • Mike Sixel and HitInAPinch like this

Similar Articles


by Seth Stohs , Yesterday, 08:56 PM
Photo


by Tom Froemming , 14 Aug 2018
Photo


by Nick Nelson , 14 Aug 2018
Photo


by Nick Nelson , 12 Aug 2018
Photo


by Tom Froemming , 12 Aug 2018
Photo