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Hopefully Simmons "issues" are not like Romero...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:08 AM
Per multiple sources, new Minnesota Twins shortstop Andrelton Simmons has been delayed to the team's camp by visa issues. The exact detai...
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Timeline for Top Prospects: 2021 Edition

Twins Minor League Talk Yesterday, 11:54 PM
The Minnesota Twins will enter 2021 as one of the best teams in baseball, and whether they’re projected to win the AL Central or not, a f...
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Twins Daily 2021 Top Prospects: Recap

Twins Minor League Talk Yesterday, 10:36 PM
What did we learn while updating our annual Twins top prospect rankings after a year that offered no minor-league games, and very little...
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A Good Comp for Jhoan Duran and His Splinker

Twins Minor League Talk Yesterday, 11:54 PM
Getting one’s head around the unusual profile of Twins pitching prospect Jhoan Duran can be tricky. It might be helpful to use a starter...
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Twins Daily 2021 Top Prospects: #7 SS Keoni Cavaco

Twins Minor League Talk Yesterday, 11:54 PM
Yes, we are still high on Keoni Cavaco, our #7 Twins prospect for 2021. Let's take a look at what's to like (a lot), what's to work on (a...
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Recent Blogs

Who Are the Best Free Agent Starting Pitchers?

Here’s a tier list of every starting pitcher left on the free agent market from Trevor Bauer to Trevor Williams.
Image courtesy of Peter Aiken, USA Today
Trevor Bauer is in a tier on his own, but things start to get interesting after that. It doesn’t take long before the lines are blurry enough to not feel particularly strong about one pitcher versus the next. I think that’s exactly why things have been so slow.

I put every starting pitcher on MLB Trade Rumors’ free agent list into a tier in the video below, discussed my rationale behind the rankings and then circled back for a Twins-focused overview.

This Twins front office has had success on the trade market, acquiring Kenta Maeda and Jake Odorizzi before that, so I fully expect them to explore that route. Regardless, it seems like a safe bet the Twins are going to sign at least one of these free agent starters.

In case you missed any of the previous transactions, here are the contracts signed by free agent starting pitchers so far this offseason:
  • Charlie Morton to Atlanta for one year, $15 million.
  • Drew Smyly to Atlanta for one year, $11 million.
  • Corey Kluber to the Yankees for one year, $11 million.
  • Mike Minor to Kansas City for two years, $18 million.
  • Robbie Ray to Toronto for one year, $8 million.
  • Anthony DeSclafani to San Francisco for one year, $6 million.
  • Martin Perez to Boston for one year, $5 million.
  • Jose Urena to Detroit for one year, $3.25 million.
  • Kohei Arihara to Texas for two years, $6.2 million.
  • Alex Wood to San Francisco for one year, $3 million.
  • Michael Wacha to Tampa Bay for one year, $3 million.
  • Chris Flexen to Seattle for two years, $4.75 million.
Let me know what you think. Who was too high? Too low? Anybody stand out to you as someone the Twins should target?

Pitch Movement and Spin Axis Data Suggest the Twins Should Acquire This Rocky
Why You Shouldn't Be Mad About "Losing Out" On [Insert Top Reliever Here]
Free Agent Faceoff: Marcell Ozuna vs. Nelson Cruz
Twins Should Sign This Under-the-Radar Free Agent

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Not excited about this list - it is long, but nobody belongs in your A category.I like your approach, but you convinced me that no one who is left is above a C.  

Pretty much agree 100% with you, Tom. Not surprising as I've pretty much been saying the same things for two months.

Tanaka probably has only 1-5 teams he would sign with and the Yankees a clear #1 choice.

Healthy and coming off solid years, I'm interested in both Richardson and Walker. Each offers up a bit of healthy "upside", especially Walker.

I think it's about 50/50-60/40 the Twins sign a FA or trade for a SP. But it has to be Paxton or Odorizzi if they go the FA route. They have the $ to afford either and both are clearly the best options available. Good news is each of them are really solid pitchers. Honestly, how can anyone feel bad about either of those guys competing for the 3/4 spot with Pineda?

I strongly believe the Twins will also be signing someone from your D and F list for around $3M-ish for depth and to compete for the 5th spot. Just not sure I can offer up a best option list. But there's going to be a lot of guys who want to play and will be looking for work in the next few weeks. Might even be some milb signings with ST invites who could surprise.

I also wouldn't be surprised if the "cheap" option was added first, much like Bailey last season.

I'm bored to tears right now waiting for things to happen, but I'm still kind of excited about the options available.
    • adjacent, Dman and Strato Guy like this

I had just posted that I thought the Twins should sign BOTH Paxton and Odorizzi to 2-year deals.

If they only signed ONE, I'd want Paxton (we need a Lefty in the rotation).

If I was going to take a flyer on a guy who could come back to former promise I think I'd go for Mike Foltynewicz.He's still relatively young and he he could probably be had on a 2-way contract.What does Wes Johnson think of him?That would be my take.If Johnson sees something he could fix Folty could pay big dividends at a low cost. 

Jan 18 2021 10:30 AM

As far as starting pitchers go, this year I'd go quantity of quality.


Mostly because I don't see much in the way of quality.

I've thought from the end of last season that the Twins would have to bring back Odorizzi.I don't see the sense in giving up too many minor league prospects (and I don't the FO would) on a trade and I don't think the Twins can compete on the high level SPs like Bauer.I'm curious to see who will be this year's Hill and Bailey.We also need to get cracking on he bullpen.I can't believe we haven't signed Clippard yet and I hope we don't get stuck with Romo.

    • DocBauer likes this
Jan 18 2021 01:04 PM

If the top guys are getting around $10M/yr, Odorizzi isn't going to get what he is expecting.


Hopefully the Twins have spoken to him about the market and given him an appropriate offer.

Anyone else notice they are all 1 or 2 year deals?I wonder how many of the remaining FA are hoping for more than a 1 to 2 year deal.I bet many of the remaining guys have 1 year offers out there.  


I have been saying all off season, there will be very few long term deals.Most will be 1 or 2 year deals.This is because of COVID this coming season, still we do not know how much attendance will be there.The other is the CBA is coming up and I expect a work stoppage, with possible major changes to CBA.This could greatly affect what a bad contract could mean to a team.With all the unknown it is hard to agree to long term deal. 

    • DocBauer likes this
Doctor Gast
Jan 19 2021 09:07 AM

Looking at recent stats, Iagree w/ you pretty much, Tom. By stats I'd probably rate Richards lower & Archer higher but both have a much higher ceiling than what the stats show.I agree that if 2020 was a normal year, Richards would've had time to stretch out & find his rhythm but that didn't happen. Also if he hadn't wasted time bytrying to work thru his injury & got the TJ surgery, , he wouldn't be labeled as injury prone. Archer had a lot of hype at TB, but still needed a lot development. TB didn't want to  wait for him to develop when they could dump him at his high demand. At PIT they have a good eye for pitchers but don't have the ability to develop them (I'm sad that the FO hasn't taken advantage of this flaw by scooping up their available pitchers). In fact they made Archer to go to his inferior pitches & did nothing for his development. Archer has a few tweaks that need to be done but is well worth the effort by Wes. His prognosis is very good just a matter of time for him get to 100%, get stretched out & work out what needs to be tweaked

I doubt that the FO will find a reasonable high/mid-rotation pitcheron the FA so I hope they trade for one. But my 1st choice Musgrove has been taken. 

Richards & Archer are both low risk & high reward projects.