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2018 Wish List

Posted by MaxOelerking , 15 November 2017 · 1,044 views

free agent pitchers otani payroll
Baseball fans around the country are ready for another exciting MLB free agency free-for-all. Especially excited are Twins fans. Coming off a Wild Card season, the Twins and their new management look to become a power in the AL.

Lets first look at what the Twins already have:
  • Solid starting outfield
  • Infield depth/flexability
  • Strong offensive prospects
And what we need to be successful:
  • Stronger rotation
  • Reliable bullpen
  • One more solid bat in the middle of the lineup
For the last bullet point in the "needs" list, some of our own guys have shown the ability to be that guy. Byron Buxton was very impressive in the second half of the season, but I think his defense makes him a valuable piece anyways. The player I was impressed with was Jorge Polanco. Polanco's offensive numbers through June were .242/.290/.346. Not impressive at all, but from July 1st till the end of the season he produced a much better stat line at .268/.333/.467. That is a huge jump not only in average and on-base but his slugging percentage jumped up 121 points! Hopefully he can continue his second half success at the plate and be a threat in the middle of the lineup. Another reason why Polanco can be valuable is because finding a solid shortstop is tough. An everyday shortstop who is dangerous at the plate is a scarce commodity.

For a comparison, here are the number of players with at least 500 PA and wOBA greater or equal to 0.330 by position:

1B ----> 15
2B ----> 9
SS ----> 6
3B ----> 10
OF ----> 24

So having players like Polanco and Escobar that can play SS and do damage at the plate are valuable if they continue to produce.

Now onto the wishlist.

Here are my top 5 pitchers that I want the Twins to sign:

1. Yu Darvish RHP
The obvious #1 here is Darvish. He's one of the best Pitchers in the MLB and at age 30, still has a nice chunk of career left. At around 6 years/$150M, Darvish will cost a lot to get, but he would be the best pitcher the Twins have had since Johan Santana.

2018 predictions:
75 Runs / 200 IP

2. Lance Lynn RHP
At $56M over 4 years, Lance Lynn is a solid starting pitcher with lots of experience with over 970 major league innings pitched in his career. Lynn missed the 2016 season to have Tommy John surgery but didn't miss a beat last season. Lynn has a full repertoire of pitches and mixes them well. He has never been a huge strikeout guy but with his movement and control, he gets a lot of weak contact. In 2017, Lynn ranked 14th in the league with 21.1% of his batted balls hit softly. (Darvish - 20.5% Arrieta - 20.0% Scherzer 19.5%).

2018 predictions:
78 Runs / 200 IP

3. Alex Cobb RHP
Alex Cobb is my number two pitcher at around 4 years/$48M, Cobb is a steal. He's got the stuff to be a 1 or 2 in the rotation. He has a fastball and slider both in the low to mid 90s, and a curveball in the low 80s. Something interesting about Cobb is his windup delivery, which can only really be described as herky jerky, but it can mess with hitter's rhythm.

2018 predictions:
69 Runs / 170 IP

4. Yusmerio Petit RHP
Last season, Petit threw over 85 innings in relief with a WHIP of 0.96. Petit would be a great addition to the bullpen as a guy who can come in and eat up a couple innings per game. Holding onto a lead in the 6th - 8th innings is obviously important, which is what Petit can help the Twins pitching staff do.

2018 predictions:
22 Runs / 70 IP

5. Brandon Morrow RHP
Morrow came into last season with just 43.2 innings pitched after a stint in AAA. Morrow has an exploding fastball that can reach 100mph. What I like most about Morrow is not only his incredible velocity, but his ability to hide the ball from hitters till the last second. Its hard enough for a hitter to pick up a 98mph fastball, and its that much tougher when they don't know where its coming from. Morrow is a strikeout machine and can really help the Twins in the later innings of ball games. Morrow would be higher on this list had it not been for his asking price of around $24M over 3 years.

2018 predictions:
11 Runs / 60 IP

Obviously the Twins need pitching, but here is a quick rundown of free agent fielders that I wouldn't mind seeing the Twins sign:

1. Logan Morrison 1B/DH
2017 Stats: .246/.353/.516 wOBA = 0.363

2. Jay Bruce RF/DH
2017 Stats: .254/.324/.508 wOBA = 0.350

3. Yonder Alonso 1B/DH
2017 Stats: .266/.365/.501 wOBA = 0.366

4. Welington Castillo C
2017 Stats: .282/.323/..490 wOBA = 0.344

5. Lucas Duda 1B/DH
2017 Stats: .217/.322/.496 wOBA = 0.341

Basically I want another Jim Thome circa 2010, or Welington Castillo to split time with Jason Castro for more offensive production behind the plate.

If the Twins make some moves this off season and buy during the trade deadline, this is a team that could make a run in the postseason.

Well said.  At the same time bat wise, let's not forget Mitch Garver. Maybe I'm reaching a bit, but if he takes the next step in progression he could really be a force multiplier with his flexibility and bat.

Nov 16 2017 10:37 PM
Very true, Garver could be a nice piece in the near future.
Castro is probably gone in 2 years. Garver needs to be able to step up and start and there needs to be a plan in place as to the backup C. Your list should go to Santa as you have that kingd of chance to have any of it come true. Good call on Petit; but he wants to start. If you promise him genuine consideration as #4 or #5 starter, couple with the appropriate $, Twins can realistically expect to land him.