Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

The Forums

Article: MIN 5, KC 4: Bats Rally, Bullpen Protects 1-Run...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:38 PM
With this lineup, you can never count out the Twins. They fell behind 4-1 tonight, but rallied back to tie the game in the fifth and took...
Full topic ›

Fun With Numbers 2019

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:00 PM
I feel out of place starting this thread...
Full topic ›

Game Thread Royals @ Twins 6/15/19 6:10 PM CDT

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:39 PM
Hello everyone and welcome to the game thread for the Royals vs. Twins on Joe Mauer Day. The weekend is all Joe Mauer all the time and hi...
Full topic ›

Article: Twins Minor League Report (6/15): A Mostly Quiet...

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 10:02 PM
One team sent their players to participate in all-star festivities and two games were suspended due to rain, leaving just one game played...
Full topic ›

Non-Twins 2019 season news

Other Baseball Today, 09:12 PM
As the off-season is over, thought we might have this thread back for non-Twins, non-thread worthy news and tidbits.     Watchi...
Full topic ›

Where Are We Now?

On Monday, the Twins Winter Caravan began. Twins broadcasters and some players will travel the Upper Midwest this week and next week. Late next week is the Diamond Awards, Twins Fest and the Twins Daily Winter Meltdown. And at that point, we will be two weeks from the start of spring training. What do the Twins roster and payroll look like today? And what does that mean for the team’s 2019 chances? What moves remain?
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo of Thad Levine, Jeremy Zoll, Derek Falvey)
Let's look around the diamond and see what the Twins roster may look like if the season was to start today. Check it out and then discuss Rocco Baldelli’s chances in his first year as manager. What would you do yet in the final month before spring training begins?

Catcher (2) - Jason Castro ($8.0 million), Mitch Garver (est $575,000)

The Twins appear to be set behind the plate. Jason Castro should be at 100% when spring training begins. Mitch Garver made huge improvements behind the plate over the course of 2018. And Willians Astudillo is ready when needed.


Infield/DH (6) - Nelson Cruz ($14.0 million), CJ Cron ($4.8 million), Jonathan Schoop ($7.5 million), Jorge Polanco (est $600,000), Miguel Sano ($2.65 million), Ehire Adrianza ($1.3 million).

The Twins added one of the top bats available in free agency this offseason in Nelson Cruz. CJ Cron and Tyler Austin will likely compete for the first base job in spring training. Austin is out of options and Cron’s deal isn’t 100% guaranteed. Presumably they won’t both remain on the team and in the organization. Jonathan Schoop and his upside take over at second base on a one-year deal. The left side of the infield is expected to remain manned by Jorge Polanco and Miguel Sano. Ehire Adrianza, assuming his shoulder is fully recovered, will be the utility infielder. Ronald Torreyes is the next in line for that role, and Nick Gordon could be called up by mid-season if a job opens up in the middle infield.


Outfield (4) - Eddie Rosario ($4.19 million), Byron Buxton ($1.75 million), Max Kepler ($3.125 million), Jake Cave (est. $575,000)

Pending injuries, this is pretty well set as well. Eddie Rosario will be in left with Byron Buxton in center and Max Kepler in right. Jake Cave will the the fourth outfielder. Zack Granite and Michael Reed provide the team with other options in the outfield, along with recent 40-man add LaMonte Wade.


Starting Pitchers (5) - Jose Berrios (est $700,000), Kyle Gibson ($8.125 million), Jake Odorizzi ($9.4 million), Michael Pineda ($8.0 million), Adalberto Mejia (est $565,000)

The first four of the rotation appear to be set. The question really comes with the fifth starter. Who will it be? I included Mejia just because he is out of options. But Fernando Romero, Kohl Stewart, Stephen Gonsalves, Zack Littell, Chase De Jong and Lewis Thorpe fit into that discussion as well. Each of these options would come in at about league minimum. Romero and De Jong will be in their final option seasons. Gonsalves, Littell and Thorpe each have two options remaining. Stewart has three option years available.

The other option, of course, would be signing a free agent such as Dallas Keuchel, Gio Gonzalez, Wade Miley or any number of pitchers on minor league contracts.


The Bullpen (8): Trevor May ($900,000), Addison Reed ($8.5 million), Taylor Rogers ($1.525 million), Blake Parker ($1.8 million), Trevor Hildenberger (est $600,000), Gabriel Moya (est $565,000), Matt Magill (est $565,000), Tyler Duffey (est. $575,000)

Even with the addition of Blake Parker, I would guess that the Twins will still add another arm or two. From the left side, the Twins have Taylor Rogers. If they want a second lefty reliever, Gabriel Moya and Andrew Vasquez are options. Tyler Duffey and Matt Magill are out of options, so if they’re on the 40-man roster, they have to be favorites at this time.

The new bullpen roles and how Rocco Baldelli and Wes Johnson utilize the bullpen will be interesting. Will they go with an Opener/Primary in the fifth spot? Could there be opportunities for piggybacking a couple of starters? In that case, the fifth starter candidates are certainly possibilities for one of these spots. Will the team go with a traditional closer? And, what will the Twins decide (or have they already decided) on the role of Fernando Romero?


Payroll

Hitters: $49.065 million
Starters: $26.89 million
Relievers: $14.435 million
Phil Hughes: $5.93 million
Total 2019 payroll (as of right now): $96.32 million


What Questions Remain?
  • Will the Twins add another bullpen arm, or two?
  • Will the Twins add another starting pitcher? Free agent, or a possible trade option?
  • What is the role for Fernando Romero?
  • CJ Cron or Tyler Austin?
  • Long-term contracts? Jose Berrios would be at the top of the list of me, but are there others?
That's where the Twins roster is right this moment, as well as some areas of need.

What do you consider the Twins areas of strength, and how would you prioritize their areas of need this offseason?

  • brvama, mikelink45, tarheeltwinsfan and 6 others like this

  • Share:
  • submit to reddit
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

57 Comments

If the Twins did sign a free agent starter or trade for one on a major league contract it will be interesting to see what they do with Mejia.Will they try to deal him before the end of spring training or utilize him out of the 'pen in some capacity.  

 

On the other hand, we only need to look back to last spring and the Ervin Santana saga to realize nothing is etched in stone at this point in the offseason.Plans can change in a hurry as we get closer to opening day.

 

As the saying goes...can never have enough pitching.

    • beckmt and Minny505 like this

The payroll is too low not to grab another arm or two. Given that injuries happen and Pineda is likely to get hurt some time this season, I think the Twins should heavily consider adding Keuchel, Gio Gonzalez, or even Clay Bucholz as well as Ottavino to round out the bullpen.

 

The lineup looks very solid on paper. Sano and Buxton can get this team to 90 wins alone by each having a 2017-like year. The powerful additions of Schoop, Cron, and Cruz will make the middle of the lineup very dangerous. There's very good potential for this team to have 6-7 20 HR hitters. Add in improvements from Kepler and Castro and you've got a rock solid lineup top to bottom. 

The only thing that will hold this team back is most likely that 5th starter spot (if no additions are made), and the back of the bullpen, which is relatively unproven. That's why getting Ottavino would be huge. 

 

 

    • bluechipper, blindeke, nytwinsfan and 4 others like this

 

The payroll is too low not to grab another arm or two. Given that injuries happen and Pineda is likely to get hurt some time this season, I think the Twins should heavily consider adding Keuchel, Gio Gonzalez, or even Clay Bucholz as well as Ottavino to round out the bullpen.

 

The lineup looks very solid on paper. Sano and Buxton can get this team to 90 wins alone by each having a 2017-like year. The powerful additions of Schoop, Cron, and Cruz will make the middle of the lineup very dangerous. There's very good potential for this team to have 6-7 20 HR hitters. Add in improvements from Kepler and Castro and you've got a rock solid lineup top to bottom. 

The only thing that will hold this team back is most likely that 5th starter spot (if no additions are made), and the back of the bullpen, which is relatively unproven. That's why getting Ottavino would be huge. 

 

Keuchel would and Gonzalez probably would be a better option than the Twins current starting pitcher depth. Buchholz is a maybe at best. Ottovino would be nice in the bullpen. The other options are in the hit or miss category. 

    • Twins33, mikelink45, Sconnie and 2 others like this

I would say we will either acquire a pitcher through a trade like last year or we will pick up player released during spring training. My guess we sign a reliever before spring training from free agent market. These are moves i expect us to make before season starts unless we have major injury then we could make a move.

I was pessimistic about coming season but i can see possible path where we could make a run this season. I also could se where we just post another bad season again and wait for the prospects to arrive here.

I also wonder what are long term plan is when we haven't locked up any players for the future. I look at where we stand even if we have decent year what is the plan for the 2020 year when we will be loosing three of projected starters for this year to free agency. Pitching has improved for the Twins but not if we loose all three of these starters because following year we will be looking for starting pitching and we don't have that kind of depth in minors to just fill these openings and pitching on free agent market is always expensive and risky. The chances of resigning our pitchers could become expensive and not lock to get them back on the pitchers we would want back to pitch.

Agree that Berrios should be the top choice for an extended contract.Yes, pitchers have more injury risk as a general matter, but Berrios' excellent injury history and obvious attention to offseason fitness and strenghtening lessen that risk somewhat.

    • diehardtwinsfan, Twins33, bluechipper and 8 others like this

I feel they need to sign another reliever as the bottom end looks weak.I also favor Vasquez over Moya.Maybe a better utility player than Moya and one less pitcher and have Astudillo up.Would like to have seen what Austin can bring for a full season, but the front office does not seem very sold on him, so I guess barring Cron having a very bad spring, he is gone.  

Worried about the lack of OBP type players, as this club looks like it could have problems scoring if the ball does not leave the park.  

Pitching rates to be better, but would like one more stabilizer in the pen.At least this club has hope if at least one of Buxton and Sano rebound to be upper 80's to low 90's in the win column. 

    • mikelink45, tarheeltwinsfan, ToddlerHarmon and 2 others like this

Definitely need to add another proven arm at the back end of the bullpen. They may be waiting for Cody Allen's price to drop a little bit. I believe they will let the young guys fill the 5th starter slot throughout the year. Kohl Stewart looked pretty good down the stretch and Gonsalves figured it out in his last few starts

    • mikelink45 likes this

At catcher we have two guys coming off injuries that can have long-lasting consequences. In my thinking, either guy could come down with a recurrence, or a related malady, that suddenly leaves us short. Injuries are part of the game, and many are unforeseeable, but this situation seems higher risk than average. Who do we have stashed at AAA on a make-good contract, in case Willians suddenly is our starter and we have no backup?

    • DocBauer likes this
Photo
diehardtwinsfan
Jan 15 2019 07:58 AM

I think you're selling Tyler Austin a bit short here by not including him. I suspect if no more changes are made, he'd make the team over Duffy. 

 

Heck, even if they sigend another arm, I could see him making the team over one of the other arms listed in your pen... especially since some have options. 

    • ewen21 likes this

 

I think you're selling Tyler Austin a bit short here by not including him. I suspect if no more changes are made, he'd make the team over Duffy. 

 

Heck, even if they sigend another arm, I could see him making the team over one of the other arms listed in your pen... especially since some have options. 

 

That's fair, and that depends on whether they go with 12 or 13 pitchers. Duffey and Austin are both out of options. They could start the season with 12 pitchers and keep Austin, but at some point within the first month, it's likely they'd go to 13 pitchers and then what? (of course, by then any number of things could happen) 

    • howieramone2 and Minny505 like this
Could Austin play OF?

Cave has options.
    • Minny505 likes this
Photo
jorgenswest
Jan 15 2019 08:59 AM
The roster resource has Duffey with 1 option.

If that is the case the Twins must not have used an option in 2015 or 2016.
    • Minny505 likes this

Man, the Twins could add Machado and still have a payroll lower than last year.

    • SF Twins Fan and Minny505 like this
Photo
killertwinfan
Jan 15 2019 09:00 AM

Curiously absent from this discussion is the word "closer". Maybe that is too old school, but, this team will regret not having one.The guys on our roster are fill-in level not stopper level.This team had and AL leading 30 blown saves last year with the best team being 14 and the league average being 21.There is a potential for 9 wins if we just become average.Get a stopper if possible. 

    • mikelink45, DocBauer, howieramone2 and 1 other like this
Photo
ToddlerHarmon
Jan 15 2019 09:02 AM

Am I correct that the Twins have ZERO dollars guaranteed to anyone next year (notwithstanding buyouts)? Talk about playing for their jobs.

 

That colors whether we "should" add anyone. This looks like Falvine are ready to see whether the team competes in the first half. If so, add some oomph at the deadline, and expect to pick up options and start signing extensions next year. If not, they can clean out a lot of roster spots, and still keep enough talent to jump-start a rebuild.

 

The roster guess sounds reasonable. I think it's possible for Vasquez, Astudillo, and/or Austin to break camp with the team, with Duffey being the most likely to drop on performance alone.

 

I would like to see Astudillo get a chance, and not just for entertainment. He seems the easiest way to add consistent OBP, which is the missing element in this lineup.

 

    • mikelink45 and Doctor Wu like this

1.Will the Twins add another bullpen arm, or two?  

Very possible. For some reason my hindbrain keeps coming back to Cody Allen being announced here before too long... but then I may have eaten too many paint chips as a kid.

 

2.Will the Twins add another starting pitcher? Free agent, or a possible trade option?

Also for some reason I don't see this happening other than a possible bullpen piece (I.E. Allen), but we shall see I suppose.

 

3.  What is the role for Fernando Romero?

This one really intrigues me. Romero just has too much potential to leave in the wings waiting. I like the Adam Wainwright comparison to this one (just hear me out).When Adam broke into the league he pitched out of the pen mostly during his rookie year. The comparison? His stuff was too good not to use and the team had a need that he could fill.  

 

Yes, he was and had been a starter his whole career, but he was happy to fill the role to help the team. My feeling is that the pen is not the "death sentence" that some make it out to be. I feel that Romero's stuff could play well there and if he is needed to move back to the rotation, then he is slotted back there.

 

4.CJ Cron or Tyler Austin?

Honestly, I don't prefer one over the other. I think they both have a lot of talent and potential (whether that is fully realized and maximized we shall see), and I for one am more than happy to let people far more intelligent than I in baseball matters make that decision.

 

 

    • brvama, DocBauer, howieramone2 and 2 others like this
Photo
RatherBeGolfing
Jan 15 2019 10:01 AM

I'll admit, I read the title as "Where are THEY now" and got very confused as to why our current roster was in an article with that title.

 

That's all, carry on

    • gil4 and Minny505 like this
Photo
MMMordabito
Jan 15 2019 10:50 AM

Tyler Austin will probably hit 30+ homers this year ............................................... for Kansas City, Detroit or Baltimore.

    • Doctor Wu and miracleb like this

 

The roster resource has Duffey with 1 option.

If that is the case the Twins must not have used an option in 2015 or 2016.

 

He was called up in 2015 and then optioned, but he was called up pretty quickly again, probably didn't use an option that year.

 

Was optioned in 2016 and 2018, but he was not optioned in 2017. So, you are correct that it appears that Duffey has one option remaining. 

    • Minny505 likes this
Photo
LA VIkes Fan
Jan 15 2019 11:57 AM

I think you're probably right but have one question to which I can't seem to get an answer. I question why the assumption is that Kepler starts in RF with Cave as the 4th OF. Based on performance, it should be the other way around at least until we see if Cave's solid second half last year (much better at the plate than Kepler) was a mirage. They're both good in the OF, with Kepler reputedly better. Yet Molitor tried both in CF last year and Cave was the starting CF when both were available.That at least suggests that last year's manager thought Cave was the better outfielder. I've thought about 3 possible answers but none really answer the question for me:

 

(1) Kepler has more potential/a higher upside. That might have made sense last year or two years ago, but Kepler now has 1500 plus ABS and can't hit. A .730 OPS just isn't good enough for a corner OF. Not even close. 1500 ABs suggest that he may be close to his ceiling now. 

 

(2) Small sample size for Cave who didn't make the majors until age 25. Fair point, but not a reason to bench him. He won the job last year with superior performance so he should get the chance to build on that performance. Good teams reward on field performance. Mediocre to bad teams pick favorites, play them regardless of performance,and then wonder why the team doesn't get better. Which one are we? 

 

(3) Cave strikes out to much and we need better OBP with all of the SO prone power hitters we now have. Logical thought process to get rid of Austin, but Kepler has an OBP of .309, .312, and .319 the last 3 years and is projected at .317 for 2019. Cave was .316 OBP last year with an OPS that was 70 points higher. The OBPs are basically the same and Cave is more productive overall. . 

 

This decision isn't a big deal in the larger sense that there are enough ABs in the OF for both to get 500 plus this year, particularly if Kepler plays some as the LH hitting 1B, something he absolutely should do. We don't need 600 plus ABs of Cron at 1B.He's better than Austin but he isn't an All-Star. It's just that the assumption that Kepler is the starting RF when he just hasn't performed at the plate now for 3 years looks like more of the same scholarship thinking that has killed this team for years. We need to reward performance, not hoped for potential. 

 

That's the larger point. I look at the lineup and every single player has question marks as to whether they are quality MLB players except for Cruz (and he's old), and I would say Rosario. Same for the pitching staff outside of Berrios, Gibson and maybe Rogers. Yet I read these reviews and we're assuming guys like Kepler, Polanco and Hildenberger are established Major League players who shouldn't have to compete for their jobs and be moved aside if some unknown shows up and plays better.They aren't. I'm very hopeful/optimistic about the new FO and this year in part because I'm thinking/hoping that the new regime will actually reward on field performance without being tied to past favorites. That thinking has to prevail or we can't improve. Otherwise, it's just the Terry Ryan era all over again.

    • DocBauer and Minny505 like this
I'm guessing one more relief pitcher, and out of the race by the ASB, and a sell off of pitchers.
    • TheLeviathan and ChrisKnutson like this
Photo
TheLeviathan
Jan 15 2019 01:10 PM

I need two more significant signings.Right now, this team is an 80ish win, frustrating team.

    • Mike Sixel, LA VIkes Fan and Vanimal46 like this

Perhaps i'm off base, but I don't see why the Twins wouldn't be at least interested in either Harper or Machado at this juncture seeing as how most of the big name teams are out. Singing either would immediately put us into another competitive echelon. 

    • gunnarthor, Twins33, SF Twins Fan and 2 others like this
Photo
Hosken Bombo Disco
Jan 15 2019 01:39 PM

Whatever they plan to do, I'd like to see it get wrapped up soon. 

 

Last year, too much of the nucleus was added after the players were already in Ft. Myers. I think any big additions should be made before Twins Fest so that the players can come to Minneapolis and mingle, meet their teammates off the field, establish some esprit de corps. Just my opinion. 

    • ChrisKnutson and Minny505 like this

Magill and Duffy don't belong on a team that's trying to contend.

    • Twins33, TheLeviathan, LA VIkes Fan and 2 others like this

Similar Articles


by Andrew Gebo , 13 Jun 2019
Photo


by AJ Condon , 12 Jun 2019
Photo


by Cody Christie , 12 Jun 2019
Photo


by Ted Schwerzler , 10 Jun 2019
Photo


by John Bonnes , 09 Jun 2019
Photo