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Article: Sizing Up The 2017-18 Offseason

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Five Pieces To Change Minnesota Fortunes

Posted by Ted Schwerzler , 05 October 2017 · 1,608 views

With the dust still settling on the Wild Card loss to the New York Yankees, it's probably early for some to be thinking about the offseason for the Twins. That being said, we've officially entered that portion of the program, and this will be the first true offseason for Derek Falvey and Thad Levine to tip their hand.

A year ago, Falvey and Levine were new to the organization, and looking to evaluate more than they sought out making waves. Additions came in the form of low risk, low reward types, while the current roster was viewed under a microscope. As we've seen towards the end of the 2017 schedule, internal decisions have been put in process, and there's been a handful of shakeups throughout the organization.

Looking towards the 2018 season, the Minnesota Twins find themselves in a good place. The AL Central, aside from the Cleveland Indians, should be in the doldrums. Another playoff berth should be the expectation, and challenging for the division could be a realistic thought with some well timed additions. So, in bolstering the 25 man roster, here's five acquisitions the Twins should be keen on making.

Starting Pitching x 2

There's been more than enough talk of the Twins needing an ace. That couldn't be more true, but in reality, that's a need of virtually every team in baseball. Ace's don't grow on trees, and when they hit the market (which is rare), everyone jumps at acquiring them. Yu Darvish would be more than a nice piece for Minnesota, and the Levine connection is there, but Minnesota simply isn't going to be able to compete with other suitors. I'd imagine both Los Angeles and Texas will be at the top of his list, and that's a tough duo to crack.

More realistically, the Twins adding capable middle-of-the-rotation starters makes a ton of sense. Hector Santiago is gone and bringing in more back end fodder like that doesn't do anything for the growth of the club. Names like Lance Lynn and Tyler Chatwood would be near the top of my list. Adding two pitchers of that ability gives the Twins four set starters by including Jose Berrios and Ervin Santana. That makes for a good amount of depth competing for the final spot, and puts the organization in a much better place on the mound.

Relief Pitching x 2

I'm generally not a fan of spending on relievers. There's so much uncertainty year over year, and most of the time, big money deals in the pen can flame out. The reality for the Twins however, is that they lack strikeout arms in the bullpen. Aside from Ryan Pressly, there isn't much velocity among the Twins relief corps, and not being able to get timely strikeouts is a problem. I'm a believer in the young arms Minnesota has in the system, but they've been stalled for a myriad of reasons. It's time to bolster that group from outside.

Getting some real velocity for the Twins to call upon in the late innings is a must. If Minnesota is going to hand out a couple of deals in the $7-10 million range, I'd be more than ok seeing that come in relief. Names like Addison Reed or Bryan Shaw would be at the top of my list, with some consideration for a Jake McGee or Luke Greggerson type. The reality is the more games the Twins can close out late, the better off they'll be a year from now. The pen has been as much a deficiency as the starting pitching has, and it's time to rectify both.

Right-handed bat x 1

Throughout the course of the season, one of the Twins greatest issues on offense was the lack of another right-handed power bat. While Robbie Grossman filled in nicely at DH, he leaves plenty to be desired. The reality is, his greatest asset at the plate is his ability to work counts and draw walks. There's a lot more potential in a right handed power bat that Minnesota left on the table. Down the stretch, having that at your disposal would've been a nice boost for the club.

Going forward, there is a little reason to be cautious here as Miguel Sano likely won't play the field forever. When he does have to shift to a full time DH role, making sure any player brought in also has a position is a big deal. That being said, the pipe dream would probably be Carlos Santana. He's a plus defender at first base, a switch hitter, and brings plenty of pop. From there, someone like Mitch Moreland may be a fit as well. There was a good deal of interest in Mike Napoli last offseason, but that appears to have been a bullet dodged.

I'd be far from surprised if the Twins aren't active on both the free agent market as well as the trade front this offseason. Derek Falvey has displayed a keen ability to identify talent, and this club is very close to making that next step. Allowing the 25 man roster to be boosted with some key additions could be more than enough to get this club over the hump. For the first time in years, the Twins will see a new regime have their way with the offseason process, and that's something that should absolutely be welcomed.

For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz




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howieramone2
Oct 05 2017 11:12 AM

Before I spend big money on relief pitching, I would start think Longoria contracts. The walls won't come tumbling down, as long as we call retain the core of four. 

    • JaleelWhite FanClub likes this

I'm interested in older relievers, kind of like the deal Neshek just finished.

 

33+ relievers tend to come on 1-2 year deals that aren't a significant burden if it doesn't work out. Yes, Belisle is ancient--but the Twins really weren't out anything if they'd cut their losses. (And this example worked out pretty well in the end.)

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Ted Schwerzler
Oct 05 2017 02:25 PM

 

I'm interested in older relievers, kind of like the deal Neshek just finished.

 

33+ relievers tend to come on 1-2 year deals that aren't a significant burden if it doesn't work out. Yes, Belisle is ancient--but the Twins really weren't out anything if they'd cut their losses. (And this example worked out pretty well in the end.)

The problem here is that you really aren't fixing anything. Relievers at that age aren't generally strikeout guys, which is what the Twins need. You can't continue to run guys out of the pen that just allow the ball being put in play. When you need it, you have to have guys that can blow it by someone.

    • beckmt likes this
Sure you want to invest in 2 SP? Wouldn't keeping Gibson be a smarter and less expensive option at this point? Assuming, of course, you buy in to his new direction.
    • tarheeltwinsfan likes this

Not a Gibson fan, but believe he will be here. Do not think we can compete in the starting pitcher market(do you want to shell out $60 - $80 million over 4 years for Lynn or Chatwood).I would more likely take a flyer on Brett Anderson and hope the calvery arrives at midseason or earlier(Gonsalves and Romero).Would only spend major money on an ace type and do not think Twins will win those battles.

Yes, get two SPs in FA to compliment Santana and Berrios. Yes, keep Gibson. He's good enough for the back end of the rotation and can be swapped out for one of the other up-and-commers in the minors (Gonsalves, Stewart, Romero, etc.) Those guys don't quite seem ready for the show anyway. I'm a big fan of the cheap young RPs to fill out the Pen. There are some other fireballers that may be on the cusp in AAA and AA, plus guys like Busenitz and Pressly as mentioned above. If you can add a decent FA RP on the cheap then great. I think unless you're going to get 3 top end closer types and drop about $30mm for it, build from within as much as you can. The current pen has some decent pieces to it. My queation is: who will be the 2018 versions of Hildenburger and Busenitz??
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tarheeltwinsfan
Oct 07 2017 05:53 PM

When is that first round pick, Tyler Jay, going to burst upon the scene?

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Homer Hanky
Oct 10 2017 08:33 AM

What would be interesting is... 

 

My dream is Gordon at 2B and Lewis SS and then move Dozier to 3B and Sano to DH 

 

I'm just not sure how we can keep Gordon and Lewis and get the starting pitching we need... 

 

Thoughts?

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Ted Schwerzler
Oct 10 2017 08:46 AM

 

What would be interesting is... 

 

My dream is Gordon at 2B and Lewis SS and then move Dozier to 3B and Sano to DH 

 

I'm just not sure how we can keep Gordon and Lewis and get the starting pitching we need... 

 

Thoughts?

I'd be looking to deal Gordon this offseason, though I'm not sure he's a big enough to chip for a solid pitching return.