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LeVelle E Neal III to Become a Columnist For Strib

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:05 PM
I looked and didn’t see this on Twinsdaily. Like a great baseball writer before him (Reusse), LaVelle E Neal III is being promoted from...
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Could Dobnak be an All Star?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:43 PM
 Could Dobnak be an all star? With this terrific infield, I believe he could be. When Donaldson was in the line up Dobnak shine...
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FA Value Shopping

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:37 PM
Just for fun-here is 1 player at each position that might be worth the money and my contract estimates:   C- Sandy Leon 1 year/1.5 m...
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Who’s the Top Twins Prospect? Alex Kirilloff vs. Royce Lewis

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 06:54 PM
Many teams would be ecstatic to have the likes of Alex Kirilloff and Royce Lewis headlining their farm system. For Twins fans, a debate c...
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Is Cruz a MUST signing? And what if he doesn't fit?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:01 PM
Let me state I love Cruz and want him back if possible. I not only believe he brings class, experience, knowledge and leadership to the t...
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How Many Roster Spots are Locked in for 2021?

The offseason can be complicated sometimes. Why not clear up a bit of confusion by looking at who the Twins AREN'T trying to acquire? It'll be a fun experiment.
Image courtesy of © Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Every offseason we like to focus on the players who will be moving around either by trade or free agency, but why not switch it up? Let's look at the players on the Twins roster who have about a 95% chance to start the season where they're currently projected. This will also give us an update to where the team still has to improve!

Let's see how many players on the 25 man roster the Twins could still be having conversations about and who is locked into their spot.

Infield/catcher locks (3/5):
  • Mitch Garver, C
  • Miguel Sano, 1B
  • ??, 2B
  • ??, SS
  • Josh Donaldson, 3B
Miguel Sano could be argued as a trade candidate, but the Twins just extended him one offseason ago and he wouldn't have much trade value. Both Garver and Donaldson are about 99% locked into their spots, although Garver may be a backup very quickly.

The positions not listed here, shortstop and second base, will hopefully be cleared soon. If the Twins acquire a player like Trevor Story or Andrelton Simmons, who will play second base? That is yet to be seen, but the rumors are flying high.

Outfield locks (2/3):
  • ??, LF
  • Byron Buxton, CF
  • Max Kepler, RF
Both Buxton and Kepler are looking to bounce back a bit in 2021, and both will definitely have their chance to do that. The left field position that was formerly held by Eddie Rosario is now wide open. Will Alex Kirilloff steal it? Will the Twins bring in a free agent for just one season? That is a question we have no idea about still.

Rotation locks (3/5):
  • Kenta Maeda
  • Jose Berrios
  • Michael Pineda
  • ??
  • ??
It wouldn't be an offseason if the Twins weren't looking for starting pitching help. They seem to want to bring in a big name, or someone comparable to Berrios and Maeda to fill one of those spots. Perhaps a trade for Sonny Gray or Joe Musgrove could be in the Twins future. The other spot will likely be filled internally or on a player like Chris Archer who can be had for very cheap.

Bullpen locks (6/8):
  • Taylor Rogers
  • Tyler Duffey
  • Jorge Alcala
  • Hansel Robles
  • Caleb Thielbar
  • Cody Stashak
  • ??
  • ??
This is what I think a fair list of bullpen locks would be. The remaining two spots can either be filled internally with guys like Derek Law or Glenn Sparkman or via free agency. I would expect one free agent and then one spot filled with internal options.

Bench locks (2/4):
  • Ryan Jeffers, C
  • Jake Cave, OF
  • ??
  • ??
These four bench spots ultimately round out the 25 man roster. I think Cave will stick around and once again be the fourth outfielder. Jeffers showed enough last season to become the other half of a catching duo with Mitch Garver. The other couple spots could be filled with a large variety of players internally and externally.

According to my finished list, the Twins have 16 of their 25 roster spots basically ready to go. The other 9 will be confirmed or adjusted by the time Spring Training comes to a close.

Will the Twins make a big trade or two? What about getting that big name free agent? Only time will tell. A chunk of this will also depend on the Nelson Cruz decision.

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29 Comments

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tony&rodney
Jan 11 2021 05:21 PM

There are two scenarios where Polanco and/or Arraez are not total locks for the coming season.
1) One or both of them are disabled and unable to play which necessitates a sudden decision to sign or trade for a regular shortstop or second baseman.
2) The Twins complete a total blockbuster trade like some have suggested. For example, Sonny Gray, Luis Castillo, and Mike Moustakos arriving in return for Luis Arraez, Mitch Garver, Trevor Larnach, Randy Dobnak, and Lewis Thorpe.
The Twins signed Polanco to a very team friendly long term contract and while not permanent there were discussions about his position and place on the field at that time. Arraez has a unique set of skills that portend possible special player status.
Nothing short of debilitating injuries or a major trade will change their status in my opinion.
If this wasa gambling site, I would play 10 to 1 odds on Polanco and Arraez as locks.
However, I have lost before. Such is life. Go Twins.

    • DocBauer likes this

Nothing short of debilitating injuries or a major trade will change their status in my opinion.

But I thought that's what we were talking about (or roster changes in general, such as free agents). Of course, if the roster remains as it is, we have Jorge and Luis turning the double plays. Royce Lewis is extremely unlikely to be promoted, and there aren't really any other internal candidates for middle infield.

 

There is no similar discussion at third base. Healthy, Josh Donaldson will be the starter, and there are zero rumors about trying to acquire a different starter there. Sano's at 1B, Buxton's our CF, Maeda/Berrios/Pineda make up the front of our rotation - barring injury, in each case - and while there may be contingency plans for filling in for any of these players in case of injury, there are no signs of actually going in some different direction than these locks.

 

SS and 2B, by contrast, could change before Opening Day.

 

The article stated pretty clearly: "Why not clear up a bit of confusion by looking at who the Twins AREN'T trying to acquire?"

 

 

    • DocBauer likes this
Photo
Major League Ready
Jan 12 2021 03:50 PM

Has there been any news regarding How much Lewis progressed defensively while working at the alternate site last summer? I supposed any report by the Twins is going to be somewhat propaganda but it would still be nice to hear they are happy with his progress. One of the FA SS makes sense if they think he is still a full year away from being ready.

Photo
tony&rodney
Jan 12 2021 04:52 PM

 

But I thought that's what we were talking about (or roster changes in general, such as free agents). Of course, if the roster remains as it is, we have Jorge and Luis turning the double plays. Royce Lewis is extremely unlikely to be promoted, and there aren't really any other internal candidates for middle infield.

 

There is no similar discussion at third base. Healthy, Josh Donaldson will be the starter, and there are zero rumors about trying to acquire a different starter there. Sano's at 1B, Buxton's our CF, Maeda/Berrios/Pineda make up the front of our rotation - barring injury, in each case - and while there may be contingency plans for filling in for any of these players in case of injury, there are no signs of actually going in some different direction than these locks.

 

SS and 2B, by contrast, could change before Opening Day.

 

The article stated pretty clearly: "Why not clear up a bit of confusion by looking at who the Twins AREN'T trying to acquire?"

 

Buxton, Sano, Berrios, Maeda, and more are all available under the right circumstances. Twins Daily articles and discussions have mentioned Garver, Sano, and more in trade conversations. The post has a lock like Cave, but leaves off two players who are just as certain as any others to be locks on the roster. Donaldson because of his contract is an exception, but the Twins would trade him too if they could.

I'm not opposed to any combinations of moves that result in the Twins being a stronger competitive team in 2021 than in 2020. 

The post was locks for the roster and I believe Arraez and Polanco qualify as locks. Others disagree and want a new set of players in the middle of the infield.

I think the Twins are looking for two reserve players, one or twostarting pitchers, and one or two relief pitchers. If they stumble into JT Realmuto or other free agents or find a trade that is too good to pass up, then they will gladly make a move. The roster is pretty set on one hand but with a big wallet in hand, the Twins would clearly react to a favorable set of circumstances. It is possible to see the Twins signing Bauer, Adrianza, and Clippard and call it a day. An example of a player the Twins really needed but was clearly not available at a cost suitable to the Twins planning sheet: Liam Hendriks. So they wait, call, talk, and listen.