I feel like there are 9 distinct scenarios – 3 levels of potential payroll (90M, 110M, 130M) & 3 potential playoff formats (Like LAST year, like THIS year, like this year but more advantage to the best teams). Not to even mention 2021 season length.
There are several things I’d do regardless of the scenario:
Say goodbye to Rosario
Say goodbye Marwin
Listen to Offers for Sano (not expecting much, so he stays around)
Listen to Offers for Garver (I’m not looking to get rid of him, but if some team(s) value him near 2019 level, I’m willing to deal from a position of strength – Garver for Trevor Story… who says no?)
With all of our likely existing 2021 payroll commitments we are around $75M, so regardless of the playoff scenarios if we’re looking at a $90M payroll, I’d say it’s likely Cruz is gone, and the biggest move might be bringing Odo back on a 1-year make good deal. Besides that I’d spend $5-6M total on two players 1) veteran back infielder (maybe Adrianza), 2) Veteran right handed 4th OF that you have no problem playing center. Then I’m filling the rest of the roster with near-minimum pre arb guys (Rooker, Kirilloff, Dobnak, Smeltzer, RP, RP) – 90M
If we’re in that $110M range, then I start to alter my strategy depending on the playoffs (and to a lesser extent, the length of the season)
2019 Style Playoffs: Bring Cruz back (1yr/15), Pay Rogers $5M in arb, Say goodbye to Romo, Odo (1yr/8), Bailey (1yr/4), Splurge a little on the 4th OF (1yr/6), Get a backup IF.
2020 Style Playoffs: Sign Bauer (1yr/30). Everything else (besides that 4th OF spot) gets filled in house with pre-arb guys.
The reason these are so different is because having 8 playoff teams gives the Twins the flexibility to take some lumps by giving innings/AB to the youth movement (Kirilloff, Rooker, Larnach, Duran, Balazovich, Lewis). Find out over the course of the season who’s ready for the big time then roll into the playoffs knowing that answer and having at least Bauer, Maeda, Berrios, and Paneda as your rotation. As much as I think the 2020 style of playoffs is a crapshoot, that would likely be an exceedingly fun regular season.
130M range (not likely IMO): Add Cruz to the “2020 style playoffs” above (Bauer), spend a little more on the 4th OF, and get a legit backup IF. The main difference between the playoff styles is that if the league goes 2020 style (likely IMO), I’m still ushering in the youth movement, but it’s just a little dialed back with Cruz as my DH anchor, and I’m giving Lewis some more time in the minors to work on 3B.