Critique of a front office is easy to make in the midst of a deeply disappointing season. While many fans are languishing over the incoming July trade deadline, I've heard a lot of complaints about the lack of waiver claims made this season by the Minnesota Twins.
Why are the Twins continuing to trot out the likes of Colomé, Happ, and (formerly) Shoemaker, when the front office can claim replacement-level players from other teams for essentially nothing?
The outright waiver transactio
The day is January 26th, 2021. The Minnesota Twins had been rumored to be interested in various middle infield free agent options, but Marcus Semien was their top target, according to Darren Wolfson. The fit made some amount of sense, as the right-handed Semien would provide some pop against lefties and defensive flexibility across the infield.
Semien did not sign with the Twins on January 26th. He accepted a one-year contract worth $18M to join the upstart Toronto Blue Jays, as their prim
The three-team mega blockbuster involving the Minnesota Twins, Boston Red Sox, and Los Angeles Dodgers is finally complete. At this point, most Twins fans are aware of what happened - a deal was in place on February 4th, sending Graterol to Boston as part of the return for offloading Mookie Betts and David Price to the Dodgers. However, that soon changed after Boston came to the conclusion that Graterol was not destined to be a starting pitcher. This was a conclusion that the Twins publicly an
Jhoulys Chacín has signed to a minor league deal with the Minnesota Twins, according to Robert Murray. This move raises the floor of the starting rotation with no risk, and Chacín has a history of being a dependable mid-rotation starter. However, that history was clouded by a terrible 2019, which is why the Twins were able to sign Chacín to a minor league deal. Chacín’s major league career to this point can be summarized in four acts: ACT I: Colorado High (2009 - 2013) 608 IP, 37 W, 41 L, 3.
Byron Buxton has proven that he will provide multiple wins above replacement, if he stays healthy and hits at an acceptably average level. The bad news is that Buxton failed to stay healthy for the latter half of 2019, limiting what could have been. The great news is that he appeared to be making major swing and philosophy adjustments that may lead to above-average offensive production going forward. The first step was reducing his strikeout rate (K%), that allowed him to have a chance to put
It is beyond obvious that Jorge Polanco is essential to this Minnesota Twins team. Polanco's offense at the top of the lineup provides all-star level production, despite being on the most questionable defensive shortshops in the league. You could make a convincing case that he was the MVP of the team in 2019. With that out of the way, let's play a twisted game of "What If?". What if Polanco goes down with an injury in 2020? It's not inconceivable, as he had offseason surgery for an ankle impin
Luis Arraez was a human adrenaline shot for the 2019 Minnesota Twins, providing 2.1 fWAR in 92 games. That value was driven nearly entirely from his .334/.399/.439 slash line, which amounted to a 125 wRC+ and comparisons to Tony Gwynn. Arraez is clearly mature beyond his years with his ability to handle the bat, but his defense is among the team's worst. Earlier versions of this Defense Evaluation series summarized the two position players that had the least defensive value in 2019 - Eddie Rosar
As I mentioned in Part 1 of this Defense Evaluation series, the Minnesota Twins were in the bottom third of teams when it came to aggregate fielding ability. The first post in the series focused on the team's weakest position of LF, manned by Eddie Rosario. I determined that while Rosario had a terrible year defensively, it can be alleviated with a healthy year of Buxton and Kepler, along with mixing him in at RF on occasion. Now that Statcast has released it's Outs Above Average (OAA) metric
The 2019 Minnesota Twins were an exceptional team. However, they were exceptional despite their defense, not because of it. Starting pitching is receiving the bulk of the worry this offseason, but should the state of the team's defense get the same treatment? The Twins were 21st among MLB teams in Defensive Runs Above Average (Def) in 2019, with a total of -9.1. That's the lowest among all playoff teams (the Dodgers were the closest, ranking 19th with -5.0 Def). FanGraphs considers the -9.1 De
Max Kepler was arguably the Minnesota Twins 2019 MVP last year (according to this particular website). He made huge offensive gains, provided incredible RF defense, and led the team with a 4.4 fWAR. Kepler's ability to step in for an injured Buxton in the second half saved their playoff hopes. Could Kepler's multi-positional flexibility come into play again in 2020? Surely it will, and I'd argue it could extend from the outfield to the infield. First base is a long-lost friend for Kepler. It i
The Minnesota Twins bullpen was the dominant topic yesterday for...various reasons. It looks like it will remain a dominant topic as we head toward the July trade deadline. This blog series will be all about the Twins bullpen, but won't be concerned with internal or external additions. I wanted to take a look at how the coaching staff is tweaking the pitch selection of the current Twins relievers, and how that compares to the usage across their careers. I won’t pretend to know the reasons why pi
You have convinced me about Rodon being a worthy project gamble. For it to happen management would need to focus on long relief and less on starters and short relief. With his agent Boras I doubt we'd get a good deal on him. But if we can, I'd OK with the gamble. He does have good stuff.