Twins Hinting at a Huge Month
Image courtesy of © Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY SportsWhen Derek Falvey and Thad Levine inked Donaldson to a four-year deal that will pay out a franchise free agent record $100 million, he was the 41-player tied to the Minnesota 40-man roster. With minor league additions and veterans brought in before him, a move would need to be made in order to accommodate his presence. It was ultimately Ryne Harper that was DFA’d in order to clear room and the roster would then be set.
Although 2020 would not commence on schedule as planned, Spring Training got underway without a hitch and the 2019 Bomba Squad knew what they were bringing to the table. In 2021 we’re a month away from the slated Spring Training report date, and despite not yet having concrete rules, Minnesota couldn’t be less in order from a roster standpoint.
As things stand today the Twins have just 36 players on their 40-man roster. There are a few spots that could probably be finagled with if need be, but four openings is a massive amount for a team with legitimate Major League holes to fill. Maybe the incomplete nature of the roster is bad news, but then the good news is that roughly 80% of free agents are still unsigned and available. In other words, buckle up.
We have seen a certain process play out for this front office over the course of their time in charge. They have been patient, calculated, and methodical. It’s a processed based approach that looks for the fit to happen within their developmental process rather than fitting how Minnesota now does things around a specific player. With that being said, there’s any number of logical trade fits that could make sense based on roster construction. On top of that, it remains a matter of when they’ll dip their toes into the waters of free agency as well.
Earlier this week I considered the process of future financial flexibility being a possible workaround to monetary constraints in the season ahead. It doesn’t necessarily decrease payroll from a bottom-line perspective but acquiring players on one-year contracts in an unprecedented situation feels much more workable than the grudgingly accepted scenarios both Logan Morrison and Lance Lynn found themselves in a couple of years ago. Rounding out a team of heigh ceiling reinforcements could make a lot of sense if there’s a hesitancy due to money or an expiring CBA in 2022.
We’re still going to be in a wait and see pattern for the Twins right now, but every indication suggests a flurry of moves are being loaded up for. Exactly one month ago Jeff Passan suggested Minnesota was seen as a team to watch. Although it’s still hard to fathom a seamless and traditional Spring Training in just four weeks, time for player acquisition is coming to a head. Falvey will begin to utilize those open roster spots if for no other reason because logic says that’s how it must play out. Given the glacial pace of the offseason, an average of an acquisition per week would be a breakneck pace.
This winter Major League Baseball has done itself no favors when it comes to staying in an otherwise stale sports news cycle. With the ability to dominate the headlines through player movement, there’s been just a handful of teams that have made any sort of noise. It’s easy to crown teams’ champions of the offseason, but that holds even less weight when so many have yet to fie any of their ammo. We’re about to see what the Twins have been waiting for, and that along should be quite the appetizer for a season that will reintroduce a chief rival and look for a much-needed Postseason victory.
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