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8 Twins Who Could be on the Move for 2020

The 2019 season has come to an abrupt end after 101 wins. This means we may have seen some players in a Twins uniform for the final time. With a lot of question marks about the rotation and a few key position players, I take a look at who should come back and who should be on the move.
Image courtesy of © Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
The key Twins who could be moving on to a new team for 2020 are listed here.
(* = option or ARB eligible)
  • C Jason Castro
  • 1B C.J. Cron*
  • 2B Jonathan Schoop
  • SP Kyle Gibson
  • SP Michael Pineda
  • SP Martin Perez*
  • SP Jake Odorizzi
  • RP Sergio Romo
Nelson Cruz was originally on this list, but as expected, the Twins have picked up his option for 2020.



C Jason Castro
Castro began the season as the starting catcher, but Mitch Garver took Minnesota by storm with one of the Twins best hitting seasons as a catcher. That mixed with Castro’s struggles in the second half (.196/.333/.299) make it unlikely that he will return. He can probably find a starting job somewhere in free agency as a left- handed hitting defensive catcher. The Twins could also bring him back on a one-year deal if he does decide to stay and that wouldn't hurt.

1B C.J. Cron
Cron will still be under control next year, but it comes down to if the Twins want to pay for his final season or let him go to a new team like the Rays did last season. He suffered a thumb injury this past season that altered his production a lot. He had a .700 OPS in the second half and a .685 OPS vs RHP on the season. He plays a decent first base and crushes left-handers. With Alex Kirilloff on the horizon, I think Cron comes back for 2020 but could end up in a platoon role at some point. This could also depend on the Twins plan for Sano to either stay at 3B or move to 1B in the future.

2B Jonathan Schoop
The emergence of Luis Arraez along with the drop off from Schoop made it fairly clear who the starting second baseman will be next season. The Twins will likely ride with Arraez on Opening Day next season, and Schoop will definitely be able to find a starting job somewhere else in 2020. He was a solid addition and the Twins probably got what was expected from him.

SP Kyle Gibson
Moving on to pitching, Gibson is one of the longest-tenured Twins after seven seasons that started off rough, but ultimately ended well for him to land a nice deal next season. He had a 3.72 ERA from the 2017 trade deadline until now even with some unfortunate health concerns. He will probably get a multi-year deal with someone other than the Minnesota Twins and all of you who hate Kyle will be extremely happy.

SP Michael Pineda
Despite having his 2019 success stained by his suspension for a possible PED masking agent, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to bring Pineda back for next season. His 3.04 second half ERA, as he basically carried the rotation, was extremely impressive so he could be back. The Twins will likely bring two starters from this season back, and Pineda has a good chance to be one of them.

SP Jake Odorizzi
The Twins acquired Odorizzi before the 2018 season for AA infielder Jermaine Palacios who had a .192 AVG this past season. Odorizzi has produced 6.9 fWAR over those two seasons and was a 2019 All-Star. The Twins will likely send a qualifying offer around $18 million and if a team doesn’t want to lose a draft pick for him then I think Odo could be back. He could also come back on the QO because he can't be offered the QO two years in a row so he may come back to build his free agency stock for 2021.

SP Martin Perez
With a $7.5 million team option for next season, I don’t expect to see Perez back for the 2020 season. Maybe I can get behind seeing him as a relief pitcher, but the Twins should definitely be moving on from him in the rotation. From June to October he allowed a 5.93 ERA and a .831 OPS so I would hope the Martin Perez experiment has come to an end.

RP Sergio Romo
I challenge you to find one Twins fan who does not love Sergio Romo. You can’t, so don’t even try. The 36-year-old reliever would be a valuable asset who I believe will be back for 2020. His veteran presence mixed with his playoff/World Series experience and his electric energy on and off the field are all tools that would fit right in on this young team. Plus he is also an effective late inning reliever so that’s a plus.

Alright, now that I have finished going through all the players, here are my predictions:

Returning for 2020: Cron, Pineda, Odorizzi, Romo
Heading to a new team: Castro, Schoop, Gibson, Perez

As the off-season progresses, each one of these players will be monitored closely by everyone here at Twins Daily, so follow us on Twitter and be looking out for more in- depth articles about each player. Leave a comment here saying who you would like to see come back for 2020.

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77 Comments

Castro: I'd try pretty hard to bring him back. 1 year, 1 + option year, I'm open to either.

Cron: Nah, let him walk. Wasn't that valuable. Save the money for pitching.

Schoop: Probably best if he found a starting job elsewhere. He did his job this year filling in as a stop gap until internal options forced their way up.

Gibson: Don't agree with you that he's getting a multi-year deal. Too much of a question mark with his health. He'll be waiting around until spring training at least.

Big Mike: Bring him back. I'll take 3/4 of a season of his production anytime.

Odorizzi: Top Priority on this list. They better be comfortable going 4 or 5 years on their offer.

Perez: No, man. Just no.

Romo: Meh. I guess he'll be cheap enough to discard if it's not working out.
    • 70charger, LA VIkes Fan, mikelink45 and 4 others like this
Pretty much agree except maybe for Cron. I’m not opposed to bringing him back but I think it depends on whether the FO might consider moving Sano to first. Their moves aren’t tempered just for now but also how it impacts the future.
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Aerodeliria
Oct 09 2019 05:56 PM

I agree that this may be the way things go, but personally, I'd swap Gibson and Cron.

 

I complained about Gibson as much as anyone, but the guy still has skills--hidden somewhere in that damaged body and mind. I just envision some weird scenario playing out in my mind whereby he ends up in NY, gets healthy and gets 16 wins for their team (including two against the Twins, of course).

    • David HK and Jeff_M like this

I mostly agree with the assessments. Gibson probably time to move on. Don't hate him. Just think we have seen the best of him. Romo...great insurance in the pen. Dyson...remember him? Looks like he might not even pitch next year. What a lousy deal that turned out to be. Still think Twins got hosed for damaged goods. I know it has been debated.

Cron--here's the thing. Would Twins trade Sano for the right deal? Pitching. If so, Cron should stay.

Castro...he's gone. Twins are pretty deep in catchers. Hopefully Garver recovers from his crappy post season...both offense and defense.

Odorizzi...bring him back. Perez...no

Schoop had an OK year, but definitely Arraez made him expendable and Adrianza is a good backup. Turtle should stay. Valuable fill in player.

Clap clap....Cruz is returning. Excellent.

Pineda...I really hated what he did to the team. I guess you bring him back and hope he remembers that he owes us bigtime.

 

    • LeePinLee and Jeff_M like this
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tarheeltwinsfan
Oct 09 2019 06:41 PM

 Sign Gibson to a 1 year, incentive loaded contract, with an option for 1 more year of a similar contract. He reinvented himself once and I believe he will be strongly motivated to do so again.

    • LA VIkes Fan likes this

I don't understand why people want Pineda, Odorizzi, Perez, and Gibson back.At some point one has to realize that if they do things the same way, the results will be the same (0 for the postseason.)

 

This pitching staff needs major overhaul, and the biggest elephant in the room is that Berrios has not improved in 3 major league seasons...I hope that the new regime realizes that and makes drastic changes.They need 2 pitchers better than Berrios to compete in the postseason.

 

Cron was third in the majors in xwOBA-wOBA and not sure that there are any cheaper better performing free agents or that any of the farm solutions are ready for a postseason contender.

    • birdwatcher, Kelly Vance, NapoleonComplex and 7 others like this

 

I don't understand why people want Pineda, Odorizzi, Perez, and Gibson back.At some point one has to realize that if they do things the same way, the results will be the same (0 for the postseason.)

 

This pitching staff needs major overhaul, and the biggest elephant in the room is that Berrios has not improved in 3 major league seasons...I hope that the new regime realizes that and makes drastic changes.They need 2 pitchers better than Berrios to compete in the postseason.

 

Cron was third in the majors in xwOBA-wOBA and not sure that there are any cheaper better performing free agents or that any of the farm solutions are ready for a postseason contender.

 

Because Odorizzi and Pineda were good pitchers this year.I haven't seen one person clamor to bring Perez back.  

 

In terms of FIP and WAR Berrios and Odorizzi were Top 30 starters this year, there's good reason to want to bring Jake back. Berrios is 25 years old and put up the best ERA+ of his career.Even if the Twins had 2 more aces, they likely lose Games 2 and 3 anyways because they didn't score any runs.

    • Twins33, Danchat, Monkeypaws and 13 others like this

I go back and forth on Gibson all the time. I'm with Aerodeliria in the belief that he still has something left in the tank. The E-Coli to begin the year, plus the colitis to end it took their tolls. Despite that, he still had a career best 9.0 K/9

 

I'm not too upset if he's on a cheap 1-year deal as your #5, but I also think he may be a great change-of-scenery-will-do-him-good candidate

    • Jeff_M likes this
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Cooper Carlson
Oct 09 2019 07:09 PM

 

I don't understand why people want Pineda, Odorizzi, Perez, and Gibson back.At some point one has to realize that if they do things the same way, the results will be the same (0 for the postseason.)

 

This pitching staff needs major overhaul, and the biggest elephant in the room is that Berrios has not improved in 3 major league seasons...I hope that the new regime realizes that and makes drastic changes.They need 2 pitchers better than Berrios to compete in the postseason.

 

Cron was third in the majors in xwOBA-wOBA and not sure that there are any cheaper better performing free agents or that any of the farm solutions are ready for a postseason contender.

Nobody wants them all back, but 1-2 are necessary because you cant just overhaul a pitching staff while your window is open. Bring back Pineda/Odorizzi, go sign Zack Wheeler and trade for someone to pitch ahead of Berrios.

    • Twins33, dbminn, gagu and 3 others like this
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Cooper Carlson
Oct 09 2019 07:10 PM

 

I go back and forth on Gibson all the time. I'm with Aerodeliria in the belief that he still has something left in the tank. The E-Coli to begin the year, plus the colitis to end it took their tolls. Despite that, he still had a career best 9.0 K/9

 

I'm not too upset if he's on a cheap 1-year deal as your #5, but I also think he may be a great change-of-scenery-will-do-him-good candidate

I think you try to get two starters back. Try for Odo and Pineda but if either of them move on then bring Gibson back.

    • Twins33, LA VIkes Fan, DocBauer and 4 others like this

 

I think you try to get two starters back. Try for Odo and Pineda but if either of them move on then bring Gibson back.

100%...would much rather have one of those if not both. I don't know what it is, but I think they're getting Wheeler, just have a feeling.

 

I think they should target a LH starter as well, MadBum/Keuchel/Hamels/Ryu, as that rotation is pretty RH heavy (would be interested to know how many rotations feature 5 RHP). 

Gibson has taken the "human rain delay" ownership that Mike Pelfrey used to have. I'm tired of all the 0-2 counts turning into 3-2 counts and missing out on extra sleep every night he pitches. He said at the beginning of the year he knew he needed to pound the strike zone and then went out and basically refused to through strikes. I know he had the illness issues this year (and someone said the colitis stays with you, it just has to be treated). I say it's time for Gibby to move on. 

 

Cron played good defense most of the year and if his thumb issue will be healed by next spring I agree that he'd be a reasonable 1st baseman to keep around. 

    • 70charger, DocBauer, gagu and 4 others like this
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Dan In Real Life
Oct 09 2019 07:36 PM
Castro will be offered multi year starting catcher contracts, so I doubt he's coming back. As much as we have devalued Gibson based on the heartbreak, Gibby will have a market. There will be more than one team willing to offer him 3 years as a #3 or #4 starter. I don't see the Twins getting him back at the 1 year contract some folks would like. I'd like to see them take a low risk flyer on Gibby, but I don't think that will be an option.
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Cooper Carlson
Oct 09 2019 07:38 PM

 

Castro will be offered multi year starting catcher contracts, so I doubt he's coming back. As much as we have devalued Gibson based on the heartbreak, Gibby will have a market. There will be more than one team willing to offer him 3 years as a #3 or #4 starter. I don't see the Twins getting him back at the 1 year contract some folks would like. I'd like to see them take a low risk flyer on Gibby, but I don't think that will be an option.

Definitely what I was thinking. A 31-year old who has been solid for over two years will have a good market for sure. I wouldn't count the Twins out, but it's not likely.

Cron is the biggest question mark to me.

 

I expect a defensive focused free agent catcher to replace Castro.

 

If Cron goes, I wonder about a Marwin/Arraez/Sano/Adrianza rotation at 1B/3B and an Arraez/Gordon rotation at 2B.

 

I think this team did so well this year because of those 10th men, Marwin and Arraez so I'd be hesitant to pencil either as an everyday starter. Somebody will get hurt and they'll become everyday at some point anyway.

 

After watching the playoffs, I think this team needs to focus on pitching and defense with any additions. Can they upgrade from Castro or Cron in that sense without taking much of a hit offensively?

    • wavedog, gagu and jz7233 like this
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Halsey Hall
Oct 09 2019 08:00 PM

I don't care to see Castro back, or Schoop for that matter.I'd try to keep Odor and Pineda and Gibson .

I do wonder who they turn to for the #2 catcher...or #1B. I believe Levine did an interview (it might've been at the Baseball Prospectus event with Gleeman?) where the question came up as to why Garver didn't play more, and the answer was something to the effect of because that's what's best for him (correct me if I'm wrong TD).

 

Bring Odorizzi, Pineda and Romo back and add a few effective pitchers like Minor and Harris...

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birdwatcher
Oct 09 2019 09:10 PM

 

I don't understand why people want Pineda, Odorizzi, Perez, and Gibson back.At some point one has to realize that if they do things the same way, the results will be the same (0 for the postseason.)

 

This pitching staff needs major overhaul, and the biggest elephant in the room is that Berrios has not improved in 3 major league seasons...I hope that the new regime realizes that and makes drastic changes.They need 2 pitchers better than Berrios to compete in the postseason.

 

Cron was third in the majors in xwOBA-wOBA and not sure that there are any cheaper better performing free agents or that any of the farm solutions are ready for a postseason contender.

 

 

I agree with much of what you're saying, but I'd still lobby to make a QO to Odorizzi and bring back Pineda for 3/4 year on a make good, cheap offer. I would imagine this FO agrees with us that to compete next postseason they need two starters better than Berrios. He's a #2 for stretches, but can't be counted on to give you better than #3 performance consistently right now, and I agree they need to hedge that bet.

 

Personally, I'm speculating that they want to land a front end guy via FA, and then either through FA or trade, make magic happen like they did to acquire Odorizzi. They need Odo and Pineda, or maybe someone else, as placeholders for the year, even with two decent acquisitions. They're probably counting on a couple of the starters at AA and AAA to eventually be capable of holding down spots. They probably project one or two of them to eventually become stalwarts. They certainly have numbers now.

 

Internally, they'll have a slew of prospects who are further along than Dobnak was to start the year. Besides Dobnak, Smeltzer, and Thorpe, they can consider Graterol, Poppen, maybe Gonsalves, and then drop down to guys who finished a level higher this year than Dobnak started, in Balazovic, Duran, Colina, Ober, Enlow...in other words, they have the luxury of sufficient financial room and a wealth of prospect capital to solve the immediate need for front line guys.And they have a number of exciting prospects close enough to being ready, and that affords them the option to push guys like Cron and Pineda out if a prospect explodes onto the scene like Arraez did.

 

I think I'd be good with them bringing back Cron as a one-year or less placeholder. Kirilloff replacing Cron mid-year might look a lot like Morneau replacing Mientkiewicz. I'm leaving Sano at 3rd until Cruz hands over the DH spot for 2021.

    • mikelink45, DocBauer, kenbuddha and 3 others like this

Sign Gibson to a 1 year, incentive loaded contract, with an option for 1 more year of a similar contract. He reinvented himself once and I believe he will be strongly motivated to do so again.

Tigers don’t change their stripes. KG has always been an obstinate head case. Twins won’t pay him what his elevated self worth thinks is due him. Wes Johnson and staff can spend their time more effectively than trying to get KG to change.
    • mikelink45, Shaitan, Captain18s and 2 others like this
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Old Twins Cap
Oct 09 2019 09:18 PM

Time to move Sano to 1B. Sure, a guy that big with that kind of arm at 3B is an amazing sight, but, he doesn't have the range or agility to dive and get back up -- witness the balls hit by him in the Yankees series. And, he won't help anyone once he pulls a hammy from running after foul pops.

 

Sano to 1B, Cron given his papers.

 

Gibson and Perez, would someone figure out their pitching performance against Central Division opponents and the rest of the league?

 

At some point, beating up on patsies in the Central just doesn't equate to being a ML pitcher who can deal with first tier competition.

 

Revamp around Odo and Berrios. At some point, either Buxton or Rosario has to be traded for a front-line starter.

    • Captain18s likes this
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ChrisKnutson
Oct 09 2019 09:41 PM
Only way I’d bring back Perez is if he’s willing to move to the bullpen.
    • DocBauer likes this

I don't understand why people want Pineda, Odorizzi, Perez, and Gibson back.At some point one has to realize that if they do things the same way, the results will be the same (0 for the postseason.)
 
This pitching staff needs major overhaul, and the biggest elephant in the room is that Berrios has not improved in 3 major league seasons...I hope that the new regime realizes that and makes drastic changes.They need 2 pitchers better than Berrios to compete in the postseason.
 
Cron was third in the majors in xwOBA-wOBA and not sure that there are any cheaper better performing free agents or that any of the farm solutions are ready for a postseason contender.


Fully appreciate many of your thoughts but can't completely agree.

I don't want Perez back unless its on a cheap flier. I respect Gibson a lot and think he's been undersold because he wasn't a stud steal everyone wanted him to be. If he could prove diet and medication could do the trick, I could be convinced on a flier with incentives.

My sticking point is Oddo, Pineda and especially Berrios. Odorizzi is no stud. Except, he generally is for about 5 IP, sometimes 6. I'd take him for my #3 SP. Healthy, Pineda is very nice. Those 2 for my 3rd and 4th slots? I have no problem.

I don't know if Berrios will ever evolve in to a #1. I don't know that he won't. But the arm, ethic, attitude is all there. Kid won't be 26 until next season. I'm still betting on the kid to be a stud #2 at least.
    • rdehring and Jacks02 like this
Great thread!

My opinions:

Castro: Questionable. But I see him coming back to catch 30-40%. I just don't see a big offer for him comjng despite being a solid backstop overall. Despite a late slump, he had a nice season coming off knee surgery. But he is in the perfect place right now. He wasn't the #1 And I don't feel anyone will believe be can be that at this point. The young catchers in the system aren't ready yet. He's smart at a reduced salary about $4-5M.

Cron: He plays solid defense, can hit, hit with power, and is coming off his best 2 career seasons. If not for the thumb injury, this might have been his best year yet. Prospects are not yet ready. Unless there is some move yet to take place that moves Sano to 1B, (I don't see it) he is back. Find me solid defense, and power and production to exceed him for $5M and I'm fine.

Odorizzi and Pineda: Tell me how you can find 2 better options than these 2 for your 3rd and 4th SP for a combined salary of around $27-30M and I will tip my cap to you and suggest you send in a resume to the MLB team of your choice. And really, unless things just blow up in the 2020 FA market, why would either WANT to leave?

Romo: Wheels are going to fall off one day. Rhetoric, but nothing wrong with a 1yr deal. Guy still gets it done most days. And he's fun and experienced and a good clubhouse guy. He made less than $3M this season. He will probably slide down behind Duffey and May, but why wouldn't you bring him back?

Schoop: Great Guy! Productive and good defense. But be doesn't fit. We all know this, so does he. Gone.

Perez: Big question mark! The FO knows him, believed in his potential, and we saw glimpses of it. Great start! Poor middle. Mediocre finish with decent glimpses. HUGE FA signing, he's gone. Lesser FA signing or trade, budget says maybe bring him back on a decent deal to compete for the 5th spot. Logic says he's gone unless he takes a small deal to come back to re-invent himself as a RP.

Gibson: HUGE question mark. Super Guy! Quality SP, if you truly reflect on his career. But how on earth do the Twins, or anyone, look at his illness and decide to sign him with optimism at this point? In limited action his FB showed real life out of the pen. But even still, can he convert? Can he maintain velocity with day to day use? Could he possibly maintain himself every 5th day for a full season as a SP? Unfortunately, his question marks are larger than any future potential. I think he's gone, unless he is a late signing flier. I honestly think he will be signed as a milb invite.

Dyson: Not mentioned, but I'm including him here. The Twins cou,d easily walk away. But they could also do a split deal, like they did with Pineda, and sign him to a "small" 2020 contract, hoping for the best, with a 2021 option with incentives in mind.
    • gagu, wabene and rdehring like this

Cron hit well before his injury.If he is good to go by Spring training then I say bring him back for 1 more year.  

 

Castro.I would sign him to a 2 year contract at around 6-7 million per season to be the 40-45% of the time Catcher.

 

Romo a 1 year 3-4 million is fine.more than that probably not.

 

Schoop and Perez are definitely not coming back.though Schoop did a good job so he should get offers this offseason.  

 

Gibson, Odorizzi. and Pineda.I am fine with bringing back 1, 2, or all 3.Once a player like Gibson has been around a long time,I like to see them stick around even past their shelf life so I will leave that decision to management but I am fine with bringing Gibson back because I think he can be a solid 4th starter for us.One who could win 12-15 games in a season.It all depends on costs and other moves made.

 

    • wabene likes this

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