Twins Extension Candidate: Alex Kirilloff
Image courtesy of © Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY SportsAlex Kirilloff
2020 Stats (1 game): 1-for-4 in AL Wild Card Series
Current Contract (Arbitration Eligible: 2024, Free Agent 2027)
Kirilloff technically hasn’t accumulated any service time since his long big-league appearance came in Minnesota’s final playoff game last season. The Twins are clearly high on Kirilloff after trusting him to appear in such a high-pressure game. He has at least six more years of team control, so it might seem ridiculous to consider signing him long-term.
Pros of Extending Now
It would offer the team some financial certainty and it would remove any idea of trying to manipulate service time to start 2021. With Eddie Rosario likely a non-tender candidate, Kirilloff is the most obvious choice to take over at a corner outfield spot. However, the Twins could keep him down for multiple months to gain an extra year of team control. By working out an extension now, this wouldn’t be needed, and the team could have their best roster on the field from season’s start.
Cons of Extending Now
While Minnesota is certainly high on him, there is no guarantee he will be able to succeed at baseball’s highest level. He’s already missed an entire professional season due to Tommy John surgery, so there is no rush to get a contract extension on the books. The Twins could likely let him work through his first two seasons at big-league level and then offer him a similar contract extension. He’s on pace to be one of the team’s best players over the next decade, but few teams have followed the path of offering early extensions.
Other teams have taken this strategy with young players to lock in their costs moving forward. Chicago did this last year with Luis Robert as they signed him to a six-year, $50 million extension with two $20 million team options on the backend which keeps him on the southside through his age-29 season. This seems like the ideal extension for Kirilloff. Would Minnesota consider something similar?
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