Here's the thing that I already know is going to irritate the hell out of me...
Even IF you want to accept that uncertainty over Buxton/Sano means you're not going to shell out money for any of the top free agents (which certainly is worthy of debate, but for the moment let's go along with it), the fact that you have all that money coming off the books means that AT LEAST you don't have to wait out the market and be satisfied with signing the guys still available in February.
Yes, a lot of teams played that card last year and maybe even more will wait the market out this year. But because the Twins have way more payroll flexibility this year than virtually anyone else in MLB, they can afford to take the risk that they're going to "overpay" by some moderate amount to get the "best of the rest" in that tier below the really expensive guys.
While the big spending teams are focused on the top FAs and the teams with budget issues are waiting for the market to shake out so they can pick up the guys who are still looking for jobs in February, the Twins could be getting their pick of the tier of players just below the big money guys.
The FO should be identifying exactly who they feel are the best fits for their needs, based on whatever magic algorithms they've decided they like, and then go get those guys early, even though they would have to pay a little more than they would if they played the waiting game again.
With so much money arguably available, there's no reason to pinch pennies all the way into February/March again.
Well said, Mr. Buhr!If the Twins were serious about contending in 2019, they needed to identify their holes, fill them speedily before the market shakes out, and not wait for the annual Twins' dumpster dive.
Their holes are glaring, no doubt.Bullpen, one ace starter(at least), 1B, 2B(or SS), DH/cleanup hitter .One obvious target was Davidson(arguably the best hitter in FA other than Harper/Machado) for cleanup hitter.Cruz for DH seems like the best DH around.Together these two would have given the lineup the needed significant boost.Instead, the Twins sign a highly mediocre filler in Cron.Why?Because he was DFA, so an easy grab.
I, too, am afraid the FO will play around the edges again, seeking bargains - in a year where the Twins easily have $50+MM to add to payroll.They also have an ability, if not the desire, to land an ace in the form of Thor(or lesser, Wheeler) if they were motivated.But all indications are they will not strike quickly and that is perplexing when Cleveland is retrenching and the rest of the Division is a year or two away from contention.Why not now!It is likely that either Sano or Buxton will rebound to 2017 values(no, probably not both), that the Twins have a pretty good #2-#5 rotation, and some good above average major leaguers in Polanco, Garver, Rosario and hopefully, Kepler.Yes, some ifs but with the right risk-taking, it is easy to see this team more competitive next year.They have money to spend, tradable assets in a strong minor league system, and a decent, albeit not overpowering , core of young players.
There is simply no excuse for the FO to sit back and wait for bargains.They have the means to strike; unfortunately, the will seems to be missing!