Twins Offseason Chapter has a Loaded Amount of Spoilers
Image courtesy of © Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsThe more I worked through my own disappointment regarding the reality that Wheeler would not be coming to Twins Territory, the more I concluded that my expectations are largely built on straightforward belief. The Twins have a substantial amount of unallocated cash flow to deal with. They also have a very distinct area of need, even before considering corner infield and backup catcher. From there it’s pretty simple to assume that pieces are plugged in following a linear decision-making process and that it resembles the simplicity of a puzzle coming together.
One of the greatest impressions this front office has made on me since taking over however, is the depth and talent within an infrastructure that supports all the club does. From fresh and progressive coaches and coordinators in the player development realm, to outside-the-box thinkers on the big-league side, everything about the way Minnesota is building looks different than ever before.
Rather than simply operating from the standpoint that Madison Bumgarner is now the best available talent with a logical degree of signability, Minnesota is likely considering previously glossed-over factors. Wes Johnson has brought a wealth of knowledge and information, but which arms will be most open to latching onto it and utilizing suggestions. Does the loss of assistant pitching coach Jeremy Hefner pose challenges in the relay or dissemination of information? Are there talented players that simply won’t fit within the confines of how the Twins work toward performance growth? I think that may be true now more than ever, and it’s beyond just a changing culture.
With so much money, and plenty of holes yet to fill, finding angst in who or what opportunities Minnesota passes on in December or January is a losing proposition. This free agent cycle has certainly started better than those in years past, and that gives us a bit of belief that the offseason will truly conclude before spring training begins. Until that dust settles though, there isn’t much reason to make conclusive statements on the pending number of transactions.
Although the Twins are going to be building to repeat as AL Central Division winners and sustain a high level of performance, we should be trying to find the takeaways from each addition that they make. There’s a high level of intrigue regarding who steps in to important roles vacated by Hefner and Derek Shelton. There’s an even higher level of intrigue regarding the free agents or trade acquisitions and what their profiles tell us about how Minnesota assesses them internally.
Maybe I’m reaching a bit too far into the realms of uncertainty here, but I think the takeaway from the next few months will be an additional understanding of what this front office is trying to construct. The Twins have overhauled a process and blueprint and have positioned themselves to be a force for the foreseeable future. Finding the right pieces to capitalize on that, both coaching and players, is more about spending on the right assets than the expected ones. Certainly, there’s an intersection of those two narratives combining forces, but part of this whole process will be understanding which situations that Derek Falvey and Thad Levine find worthy of pulling the trigger on.
Sign me up for the shopping spree, but we already know that needs to take place. To whom the checks are written and what they tell us going forward is the chapter I’m excited to read.
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