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Blake Snell a trade target or not

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:22 PM
I would personally be happy to offer up Kirilloff and a few other prospects for him!!! What do you guys think he would cost and would you...

Is Cruz a MUST signing? And what if he doesn't fit?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:18 PM
Let me state I love Cruz and want him back if possible. I not only believe he brings class, experience, knowledge and leadership to the t...

2020 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook Available NOW!

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The 2020 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook will be now available.By clicking here, you can order the paperback version of the PDF/E-Book...

Twins Minor League Signings

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I thought I should set up a thread for minor league signings. Use this thread to post when the Twins sign a minor leaguer or when a forme...

Free Agency / Re-Signings 2020-21 Offseason

Other Baseball Today, 04:18 PM
Free agency is likely going to be a really slow burn this year, but I still think it's worth having a thread to discuss signings. ...

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My Twins 2020-21 Offseason Priorities

Posted by Nate Palmer , 29 October 2020 · 2,539 views

Recently I was on Twins Daily’s Offseason Live with John Bonnes and Ted Schwerzler and discussed the Minnesota Twins payroll outlook for 2021. Most years it has been relatively easy to make an estimation on the team’s payroll but a year of COVID-19 has made it anything but easy.

While having payroll conversations, it became a quick reality that if the Twins need to at all cut payroll from a 2020 payroll just shy of 140 million, the dollars will be spent quickly. As that realization hit, I began to form my own list of priorities for the Twins this offseason and wanted to share those thoughts here.

Find a 4th/5th Starter

While the Twins farm system is better stocked with high level arms than in previous eras, it would seem foolish to go into 2021 assuming they would be ready to perform on a World Series contending team. With two starting rotation spots open next to Jose Berrios, Kenta Maeda, and Michael Pineda, the Twins need to sign another starter.

That would leave a spot still open to someone like Randy Dobnak to fill for the duration of the season. Everyone is going to clamor for Trevor Bauer. While that would be great he will almost definitely cost too much for the Twins this offseason. If the Twins can bring in a starter somewhere in the $8-12 million range that would help raise the talent level of that group which will be important moving into 2021. A trade is also very possible here!

Utility player with the ability to play shortstop

I recently wrote in more detail about this move over at Twins Daily. With both Marwin Gonzalez and Ehire Adrianza hitting free agency, this will be an important role to fill. Especially with the injury question marks surrounding both Jorge Polanco and Josh Donaldson.

I am on board with Adrianza returning to the Twins because of his ability to play shortstop. Other possibilities if they become available would be the likes of Kike Hernandez, Jurickson Profar, and Jose Iglesias. An even more drastic shuffling of the deck would be trying to supplant Polanco as the starting shortstop and move him into a utility role.

I really doubt that the Twins would move Polanco into a utility role unless Royce Lewis is ready to make the jump to the big leagues. Today I think the most likely scenario for the Twins would be to make Travis Blankenhorn one of the utility players and then either resign Adrianza or trade for a somewhat blocked player on another roster.

A trade scenario could be someone like Mason McCoy who finds himself somewhat blocked on the Baltimore Orioles organizational depth chart. He has made it to Triple-A but has two shortstop considered bigger prospects than him ahead of him in the organization. McCoy likely lacks the MLB experience the Twins may want if they bring someone in from outside the organization, but the situation fits the sort of player the Twins could pursue.

Bullpen arm, preferably with some power.

The Twins will be watching Trevor May, Tyler Clippard, and potentially Sergio Romo hit the free agent market. The Twins should try and bring in one more bullpen arm and preferably a power arm like May.

If the Twins tender Matt Wisler and Caleb Thielbar in theory they will have an arm like Romo’s. That in mind gives freedom to the Twins to let Romo walk and not pick up his option. Bringing May back may be the most ideal, but if he gets too expensive there will be other routes to bolster the pen.

Re-sign Nelson Cruz

To be clear, I really want Cruz back in a Twins uniform. As the money slips away from the payroll it simply becomes hard to commit to. The Twins are also in theory much better prepared to replace a DH bat with Alex Kirilloff and Brent Rooker getting the MLB experience they did this season then they are to replace a spot in the rotation.

Cruz was the steadying force in the lineup for much of the 2020 season. The reality is, even with Cruz, if the other Twins core players like Donaldson, Max Kepler, Byron Buxton, Polanco, etc don’t perform the team isn’t going to win the World Series anyways. This team will go as that core goes at the plate.

I don’t mention Eddie Rosario in my priorities, because I really think the approximately $10 million that will be owed to him in arbitration will cause him to be non-tendered. With Jake Cave and Lamonte Wade already on the bench, Rooker and Kirilloff ready to challenge them for a spot, and money being a prime asset it will be time to non-tender Rosario. He has been a fun and integral part of this team so it will be hard to say good-bye.

I will most definitely at a later date put together a more complete offseason blueprint, but that is the framework I will be working through. Would love to hear where you are ranking some of these moves as a priority for the Twins this offseason.

Post can also be found at Left Field Gap

  • mikelink45 and gagu like this



I agree with your overview. I think the biggest thing the Twins need to do is find the good value moves they have had recently like Thielbar, Wisler, Dobnak, etc to help with filling out the rotation and BP so they can keep Cruz for 1 year. If Cruz gets a 2 year deal somewhere else (like the White Sox) you let him walk and they can replace his bat with someone like Brantley or maybe Grossman. 

The market seems like it will be really depressed given all of the options being declined so I think the cost to acquire interesting bounce back candidates like Kluber or undervalued guys like Smyley and Clippard will go a long way to filling out the roster as the team waits for their top prospects to matriculate through the system. Outside of bringing back Clippard and tendering Rogers I don't think the Twins need to spend a lot of money on the BP like a lot of other teams.

Outside of spending big on a bat like Cruz the other big issue for me is getting a quality "10th" man to cover for Polanco and Donaldson given their injury history like Iglesias or Hernandez. I would spend most of my FA money on those two roster spots, Clippard, and a couple interesting bounceback/undervalued guys not on this year's team.

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tony&rodney
Oct 30 2020 03:33 PM

I'm wondering if anyone on Twins Daily is familiar with Shane Bieber, Aaron Civale, Triston McKenzie, Zach Plesac, and Adam Plutko? These were pitchers in the #5 spot.

We cannot expect a Bieber, but why can't the Twins field a #5 pitcher from their system? Berrios is good and older than all but Plutko. It is very reasonable to put a young arm down for the #5 SP slot, especially with off days early in the season. I'm a big fan of the vets like Cruz and Donaldson and also a fan of seeing a few young players move on in at an appropriate time. 2021 is a good time. Let's see what we got.

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Nate Palmer
Oct 30 2020 08:39 PM

 

I'm wondering if anyone on Twins Daily is familiar with Shane Bieber, Aaron Civale, Triston McKenzie, Zach Plesac, and Adam Plutko? These were pitchers in the #5 spot.

We cannot expect a Bieber, but why can't the Twins field a #5 pitcher from their system? Berrios is good and older than all but Plutko. It is very reasonable to put a young arm down for the #5 SP slot, especially with off days early in the season. I'm a big fan of the vets like Cruz and Donaldson and also a fan of seeing a few young players move on in at an appropriate time. 2021 is a good time. Let's see what we got.

This may not make a difference, but for clarity, that heading is supposed to read a 4th or 5th starter. One of those spots will maybe simply out of payroll necessity need to be a guy within. I want to give Dobnak a chance to bounce back, Smeltzer and Thorpe a chance, best case maybe is Duran or Balazovic push themselves onto the roster. I like one spot for one of or a rotation of those guys, but not for both open spots plus any injuries that may happen. Hopefully one day, the system will be more plug and play like the Indians and Dodgers where the Twins just call the next guy up every time! 

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tony&rodney
Oct 30 2020 08:55 PM

Kluber, if healthy, is my choice for a 4th starter. There may be someone looking at the Twins players who may offer a pitcher but one doesn't jump to the front page right now. Maybe San Diego?

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Nate Palmer
Oct 31 2020 09:29 AM

 

Kluber, if healthy, is my choice for a 4th starter. There may be someone looking at the Twins players who may offer a pitcher but one doesn't jump to the front page right now. Maybe San Diego?

I am personally nervous about Kluber, but there is a reason to be nervous about any of the available starting pitching options not named Trevor Bauer! If a team can get him on the right track it could be the steal of the offseason. 

:All the list of Cleveland pitchers makes me wonder why we are not - next man up.Duran?Let's start moving our own arms into the rotation - not Thorpe, not Smeltzer.Resign Odorizzi, then put in Duran and let Dobnak be the fall back option. 

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