Offseason Blueprint: Bet the Farm
Image courtesy of © Geoff Burke-USA TODAY SportsBut what if the Minnesota Twins can head into 2020 with a VERY conservative $130 million payroll, still land big time players and roll into the season as a heavy favorite not only in the Central, but in the American League. Through savvy trades and leaning on a talented farm system, the Twins are in an excellent position to make this happen. Here’s how …
Non-Tender C.J. Cron, replace him with Alex Kirilloff at First Base
Cron’s 2019 season was truly a “tale of two thumbs”. Pre-injury Cron was looking to be a revelation for the Twins, but after his injury his OPS dropped to .700. Now entering his final year of arbitration, and with the thumb still a question mark, the $7M arbitration price is too much for me.
The price tag is even more for me considering that I can replace him with Kiriloff and save $6.5M that I can put towards starting pitching (which we’ll see played out later). Kirilloff is a young bat with plenty of upside who posted a .851 OPS in his final month in Pensacola. Kirilloff will also benefit from having Marwin Gonzalez and Ehrie Adrianza on the 26-man roster who can nobly fill in at first base as needed.
Trade Eddie Rosario, Trevor Larnach and Jhoan Duran to the Detroit Tigers in exchange for Matthew Boyd — replace Rosario with Brent Rooker in Left Field
While Eddie Rosario somehow received MVP votes for his 2019 performance, I continue to find myself looking at the peripheral stats and fast declining defense as a player that the Twins can afford to part ways with. That’s why I’m trading away Rosario and prospects to the Tigers in exchange for Matthew Boyd, the 28 year old starting pitcher with a devastating slider. Boyd is set to make just $6.4M in 2020 and still has three years of team control to his name.
In my offseason blueprint, I will be replacing Eddie Rosario in left field with AAA prospect Brent Rooker. Rooker was dominant in AAA in 2019 when he was healthy, posting a .933 OPS with 14 home runs in 65 games. Rooker is already 25 years old and appears to be major league ready. Swapping out Rosario for Rooker allows the Twins to acquire a potentially dominant rotation arm while saving money that can be used elsewhere.
Re-sign Jason Castro to a 1 year/$6M deal
Bringing Castro back on a one year deal makes too much sense. He’s a left hander which works well for platooning with Garver and he provides enough production both at the plate and behind the plate to warrant bringing him back.
Sign Gerrit Cole to a 8 year/$280M deal
Because of the money we saved by replacing C.J. Cron and Eddie Rosario with minimum salary prospects, the Twins are now in a place to acquire a big time salary without sacrificing as much on the books. In my offseason blueprint they will do this by signing Gerrit Cole to a 8 year/$280M contract. While our offseason handbook has Cole tabbed for a 7 year year contract at $32M a year, I believe the only way for the Twins to have a shot at signing the superstar would be to up the years 8 and AAV to $35M. By doing this the Twins will set themselves up to have a true ace in Cole to go along with elite depth in Berrios, Odorizzi and Boyd.
Should the Twins be unable to get Cole to agree to a deal with Minnesota, that $35M could be used to sign two of Wheeler, Ryu or Bumgarner, which would hardly be something we could be disappointed with. For this exercise though, the Twins nab Cole.
Sign Sergio Romo to a 1 year/$3M deal
The Twins bullpen had an up and down year in 2019, but finished the regular season on an incredibly high note. I will look to keep the bullpen together to start the 2019 season knowing that I have arms in the farm system as well as plenty of trade targets throughout the season that I can always acquire if I need to. Sergio Romo is as consistent and reliable of a reliever as you can ask for, and for just a one year deal at $3M, I’m ecstatic to bring the fan favorite back to Target Field in 2020.
With all of the previous moves taken into account, here is how final payroll will look:
- Starting Lineup: $33.7M
- Bench: $18.6M
- Starting Rotation: $64.3M
- Bullpen: $13.2M
- Perez Buyout: 0.5M
The odds of the Minnesota Twins upping their payroll to the likes of the Dodgers and Yankees is next to zero. It won’t happen. But should the Twins decide to get creative by making strategic cuts and trades, they could up their payroll to a more conservative and realistic $130M and still make impactful moves that would put them in the driver's seat of the American League.
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- Mike Frasier Law, alphanumeric, tarheeltwinsfan and 2 others like this