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Front Page: Twins Winter Meetings Primer

thad levine derek falvey madison bumgarner hyun-jin ryu miguel sano
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#1 Seth Stohs

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Posted 08 December 2019 - 03:21 PM

On Sunday, the annual baseball Winter Meetings will commence in at the Hilton Bayfront in San Diego. The event is another opportunity for the Minnesota Twins front office to continue working on their 2020 roster. Here are areas that the Twins still need to address this offseason.Over the next four days, we will hear about teams talking to teams, and agents talking to GMs. We’ll have to work hard (or at least think hard) about many of the vast rumors that we will hear and read about. Many will fall into the “That’s Silly” category. Others will warrant interest and discussion.

But it’s important to remember that the Winter Meetings are just that. They are a series of meetings. Minor league teams will be there, sitting in on meetings. Independent Leagues will have representatives there, going to meetings. There will be a lot of college kids and others, wearing suits, trying to line up jobs in baseball. It isn’t just about making roster transaction.



Let’s admit it though. That’s the only part we care about. So, let’s discuss what the Twins need to do yet this offseason, while at the same time reminding us all that it doesn’t have to all be done by Thursday.


~~ Read Nick’s Offseason Update ~~


Here are some things to watch this week:


Number One: Add an Impact Starting Pitcher

The Twins have Jose Berrios under team control, signed Jake Odorizzi to the qualifying offer and are a passed physical from having Michael Pineda inked up. While not as exciting to bring back players, two of those players could have been lost via free agency and now will return.
However, we all know that the Twins need an “Impact” starting pitcher to give themselves a better chance to compete not only in the AL Central but in short series in the playoffs too.

I think we can all understand that they aren’t going to get Gerrit Cole or Stephen Strasburg.

But they have clearly been involved in conversations for the next level. They were involved in Zack Wheeler discussions. They clearly have strong interest in lefties Madison Bumgarner and Hyun-Jin Ryu. Is either interested in leaving California for Minnesota?

If not, Derek Falvey and Thad Levine will likely need to shift gears and start contemplating trade options for an impact starter. A call to Colorado’s front office to discuss Jon Gray or German Marquez might make a lot of sense. What other starters might be available in trade?


Number Two: A Second High-Quality Starting Pitcher

Even if they add an impact arm, the Twins front office will need to ask itself another question. Do they want to bring in one more starting pitcher or do they want to trust their young pitchers and player development to fill one of the five rotation spots?

Randy Dobnak, Devin Smeltzer, and Lewis Thorpe all showed signs in 2019 that they are either ready to pitch in the big leagues in 2020 or are very close. Brusdar Graterol will likely get another opportunity to start at some point in 2020.

But could the front office bring in another veteran pitcher or two to compete for a roster spot. Last week, I mentioned Kevin Gausman as a possibility for a veteran coming off a tough year who could potentially be a #3 type of starter if Wes Johnson & Company are able to help him. Also, Julio Teheran fits into that category. Both of them are still well under 30 years old.


Number Three: Who’s on First?

Last week, the Twins non-tendered first baseman CJ Cron. That opens up a roster spot, if the Twins front office wants it to. One option, of course, would be for Miguel Sano to stay at third base and Marwin Gonzalez to play first base. Or vice versa. Ehire Adrianza is the utility man, and Willians Astudillo remains in the picture. There are also other internal options for first base.

But if the Twins are unable to convince Bumgarner or Ryu to take their money, maybe they chose to offer it to a position player. They could get someone like Mitch Moreland within a budget to do a nice job defensively at first base, saving errors for the other side of the infield. Or, they could make the move of Sano to first base and sign someone like Josh Donaldson for big money. Maybe a trade for an all-star, like Matt Chapman, could also be explored.


Number Four: The Bullpen

While I don’t think that the Twins bullpen would be considered a strength, it certainly can be solid. The Twins have not been mentioned in rumors around relievers, with the possible exception of bringing back Sergio Romo, so it’s hard to know how active that have been or will be in the bullpen market. In general, the bullpen market has been fairly quiet so far.

Taylor Rogers has turned into a great late-inning reliever, but the Twins may be interested in adding another lefty (though Smeltzer and Thorpe could compete for a spot as well). They have added Blaine Hardy on a minor league deal and he is certainly an option.

Rogers, Tyler Duffey, Trevor May and Zack Littell were all really good in 2019. Cody Stashak showed a lot, and Fernando Romero is out of options. Matt Wisler signed for $700K.

I can certainly see the Twins looking to add one more high-quality late-inning reliever, if not two.


Number Five: Rule 5

On Thursday, the Rule 5 draft will take place. The Twins 40-man roster is currently at 35. With the additions of Alex Avila and Michael Pineda (whenever they are announced), they will be at 37. They could add a free agent or two and still have a 40-man roster spot for a Rule 5 pick.

Without knowing who might be available for the Twins to consider, teams should absolutely always consider adding in the Rule 5 draft. It is a good, cheap way to potentially add talent. With rosters jumping up to 26 in 2020, the Twins - and every other team - may use the Rule 5 draft more liberally as an opportunity to add a piece.

While I think it’s something to be considered, I don’t necessarily think it’s likely for the Twins to add a player in the Rule 5 draft. As Twins fans, we will likely be paying attention more out of concern for potentially losing high-talent prospectslike Wander Javier and Luis Rijo or near-ready talents like Griffin Jax or Tom Hackimer.

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So there you have five things to watch for during the Winter Meetings in San Diego. As always, the Winter Meetings will be complete on 12th, so not all of these things will need to be answered by then.

Be sure to refresh Twins Daily often as we will try to keep close tabs on any Twins news and rumors.


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#2 tony&rodney

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Posted 08 December 2019 - 04:37 PM

Moreland is more than enough for 1B. It's possible to cover 1B with those currently on the roster if the Twins need the $5M for pitching or the roster spot. The bullpen depends on what starting pitcher is signed. I think Treinen is worth a call but I like the young Twins pitchers to cover most of the relief pitching. A signing of Alex Wood and/or Julio Teheran could be promising and hopefully could be accomplished for around $12-16M for both. The Twins should check on Pittsburgh and the possibilities of adding Marte and Archer via trade. Heck, for that matter talk to Boston too. My gut says the Twins should hold their young guns and add a couple of pitchers via free agency. Sign Cole and be done.


#3 beckmt

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Posted 08 December 2019 - 06:45 PM

According to mlbtraderumors the Yankees are going to offer 7/245, so start at 7/260 and be willing to do more.  

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#4 Rosterman

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Posted 08 December 2019 - 11:44 PM

Who's on first? I picture Garver only catching half-the-games at best. So we'd like to keep him in the line up - at first base. Gonzales is also a man without a position. He could rotate at first with Garver, or pull a rotation with Sano at third. I could live with this, if we feel not having a permanent scoop at first will work. 

 

Willians Astudillo is also in the mix and with the 26th man spot, a perfect addition for carrying a third catcher who can also play multiple positions and come off the bench.

 

The Twins need one starter, who is better than Pineda or Odorizzi. Period. Then it would be nice to have a second body that, fer sure, is better than Gibson. They will be able to rotate bodies from the 40-man in the early days of the season (Thorpe, Smeltzer, Drobnak) until Pineda comes back. They can decide if Graterol is a starter, too. Hopefully these names will hold fort during the year and into 2021 and not go the way of Gonsalves, Stewart, DeJong, Mejia and Slegers.

 

I would love to see the Twins have a real closer...unless they truly feel May can hold down the job. I would ratehr see Rogers as the lefty setup guy, occasional closer, at best.

 

There is no real need for a Rule 5. The Twins have adequate infield backup on the 40-man (Gordon) or in the wings (Raley/Rooker/Wiel). They have an abundance of outfielders and could even afford to part with Rosario if they can use him to get a rotation arm or surefire closer candidate. If a Rosario position opens, I would like to see Krilloff or Larnach go on fast trak!

 

The team will get better if they sign or trade the best rotation arm available that is better than anyone they currently have behind Berrios.

 

And use some of those prospects for trade bait if you must. 

 

Anyone else think it is pretty amazing that the team still has three open spots on the 40-man, and possibly four other spots that could easily be swapped out for...better players?

 

Joel Thingvall
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rosterman at www.twinscards.com

#5 beckmt

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Posted 09 December 2019 - 04:06 AM

 

Who's on first? I picture Garver only catching half-the-games at best. So we'd like to keep him in the line up - at first base. Gonzales is also a man without a position. He could rotate at first with Garver, or pull a rotation with Sano at third. I could live with this, if we feel not having a permanent scoop at first will work. 

 

Willians Astudillo is also in the mix and with the 26th man spot, a perfect addition for carrying a third catcher who can also play multiple positions and come off the bench.

 

The Twins need one starter, who is better than Pineda or Odorizzi. Period. Then it would be nice to have a second body that, fer sure, is better than Gibson. They will be able to rotate bodies from the 40-man in the early days of the season (Thorpe, Smeltzer, Drobnak) until Pineda comes back. They can decide if Graterol is a starter, too. Hopefully these names will hold fort during the year and into 2021 and not go the way of Gonsalves, Stewart, DeJong, Mejia and Slegers.

 

I would love to see the Twins have a real closer...unless they truly feel May can hold down the job. I would ratehr see Rogers as the lefty setup guy, occasional closer, at best.

 

There is no real need for a Rule 5. The Twins have adequate infield backup on the 40-man (Gordon) or in the wings (Raley/Rooker/Wiel). They have an abundance of outfielders and could even afford to part with Rosario if they can use him to get a rotation arm or surefire closer candidate. If a Rosario position opens, I would like to see Krilloff or Larnach go on fast trak!

 

The team will get better if they sign or trade the best rotation arm available that is better than anyone they currently have behind Berrios.

 

And use some of those prospects for trade bait if you must. 

 

Anyone else think it is pretty amazing that the team still has three open spots on the 40-man, and possibly four other spots that could easily be swapped out for...better players?

This is pretty typical.A few spots for FA signings, maybe a little more for a trade.Will have to see how this plays out.You also are going to want a few spots you can move during spring training if a surprise shows up. Should know more this week (Rosario maybe being moved, or even Buxton in the right deal).


#6 old nurse

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Posted 09 December 2019 - 05:07 AM

A trade for a top of the order starter there will be more open roster spots.

Position flexibility had been a buzz word.I don't think they will add a 1b only player.

Rule V will have a selection. There is always somebody to love out there. There is always a high ceiling fixer upper out there. At worse they are returned, just like most selections are.


#7 Doctor Wu

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Posted 09 December 2019 - 06:51 AM

Let's make a deal! Please please please!


#8 Brandon

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Posted 09 December 2019 - 09:47 AM

Because of how competitive we are right now, I would be disappointed if we don't get 1 of Donaldson, Bumgarner, Ryu, or Keuchel. I like Tony and Rodney's idea if Alex Wood and Tehren. Or Wood and Tanner Roark if need be.
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#9 howieramone2

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Posted 09 December 2019 - 09:54 AM

 

According to mlbtraderumors the Yankees are going to offer 7/245, so start at 7/260 and be willing to do more.  

We don't need another Mauer contact. Cole doesn't come with a guarantee to win a ring.


#10 beckmt

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Posted 09 December 2019 - 10:39 AM

 

We don't need another Mauer contact. Cole doesn't come with a guarantee to win a ring.

True, but he is more likely to help get you one than having to face him in the postseason.


#11 akmanak

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Posted 09 December 2019 - 11:07 AM

Let's just say for a minute that the Twins do absolutely nothing during the winter meetings like so many years prior, I am curious if people will finally believe that the owners do not care about this team. I don't think they will get any impact pitcher at all simply because of what history tells us.

#12 jhoffman

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Posted 09 December 2019 - 12:17 PM

#1 I agree, Jon Gray should be the target. 6 million for 2020 and arbitration for 2021.  

(see below for trade proposal)

#2 I agree, I prefer Teheran for 3 years at 12 to 15 million per year if necessary.

#3 I disagree about Donaldson, too high risk. Move Sano to1st.

#4 I disagree, the bullpen will be fine by adding 2 quality starters and wait for the 2020 trade deadline before making a deal for this volatile commodity.

#5 I don't know most of the names so "no comment" instead of pretending to be smart!

 

Trade Proposal:

The Rockies finished 20 games below .500 and have Jon Gray who is a good starter, and a shortstop in Trevor Story who would be an upgrade at short and allow the Twins to move Polanco to 2nd while improving both middle infield positions with Arraez moving to 3rd and Sano to 1st. I propose giving the Rockies Lewis, Larnach or Rooker, Gordan, and Thorpe. Your thoughts?




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