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Plan B: Dallas Keuchel and Josh Donaldson

Nash Walker



blog-0075631001575775839.jpgSomewhat expected news dropped on Saturday night when LaVelle E. Neal of the Star Tribune basically removed Hyun-Jin Ryu from the Twins' potential list of targets in his latest Winter Meetings primer article.


Similar to Zack Wheeler, Ryu has a preference to stay on the coast. For Wheeler, the east was most desirable. But for Ryu, he would like to remain in or near Los Angeles, where he has spent his entire career.


With this presumably in mind, Madison Bumgarner has the best resume of the remaining free agent pitchers. Tom Froemming wrote today about why you shouldn't be fooled by Bumgarner's legacy.


There is no doubt that the Twins need to improve their rotation to repeat success, but if Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, and Ryu are off the board, and Bumgarner isn't as advertised, who is next?


His name may carry ill-advised weight because of the Cy Young Award back in 2015, but former Atlanta Braves hurler Dallas Keuchel could still provide depth to the staff for at least the next two years.


Keuchel is entering his age-32 season and has posted sub-4.00 ERA seasons in back-to-back years. His strikeout numbers don't pop, and his fastball averaged just 87.8 MPH in 2019, so how is he getting outs?


Keuchel posted the highest ground ball rate among pitchers with at least 100 innings pitched last year. He did benefit from his defense as his FIP was almost a full run higher than his ERA.


The Twins had one of the worst infield defenses in baseball in 2019, but can improve defensively and help maintain Keuchel's ERA with the common denominator: Josh Donaldson.


Donaldson saved 15 runs and posted a 2.4 UZR at third base last year for the Braves. Keuchel started two games in the NLDS and struggled, but that was mostly because he allowed three home runs in eight innings.


Donaldson's 6.1 bWAR in 2019 was higher than Wheeler, Bumgarner and Ryu, and was just shy of Strasburg and Cole. He will also likely demand only a three-year contract because of his age (he turns 34 on Sunday).


Acquiring Keuchel and Donaldson on three-year deals, along with team friendly contracts on Odorizzi, Pineda, and Alex Avila, is hardly a failed offseason. I would consider that haul a slam dunk with Donaldson as the headliner.


What do you think? Enjoy your Sunday!


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While the Twins have a very obvious need to improve their starting pitching, it looks likes the big guns are going to be out of their price range. So on to Plan B. I like Donaldson and Keuchel, That would be a solid plan B. Since they probably will not be able to acquire that stud SP, it would also be a good idea if the Twins improve the pen. How about adding Treinen! I think there is a very good chance he returns to dominance. Maybe not the kind of year he had in 2018, but excellent, nonetheless.

Another infielder that would be a great fit is Gregorious. I think he would improve the defense even more than Donaldson. In this scenario the infield would probably look like this:

Arraez at 3B,

Didi at SS,

Polanco at 2B 

Sano at 1B.

Planco is faster than Arraez to play 2B and I think that would be his best infield position defensively. The thing I do not know is what the contracts would need to be for Didi and Donaldson. That is going to play a big factor. I would be more than happy with either of them.  

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If the Twins go with Keuchel and Donaldson I hope they also go after Gausman or another reclamation project to compete for the 5th spot in the rotation.  I also would like to see them get another pen arm.  trade for Giles?

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I would be pretty happy with that but here’s my World Champion plan:


Using Spotrac.com I took the top 19 salaries for the 2020 Twins and came up with 95.02 million. 


I read an article from a team exec that he/she expects the final salary for Cole to be 280 million over 8 years, which is 35 million per. Twins should swoop in and blow Cole away while Dogers/NY are much lower and do the deal tomorrow or Tuesday.


Add Donaldson at 54/3 = 18 million


Then fill out with four MLB minimum salaries such as Stashak, Graterol adds another 2.23 million.


This is $160 million dollar payroll for 25 players and a possible World Championship for at least 3 years or more.  Why not do it???  They’ll bring in much more money with a real WS Champion caliber team all year.



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Why not? Because you can't win the world series with one player. If the Twins swooped in and offered 35-42 million for 8-10 year to beat the Yankees upcoming offer of 280-300 million they would be Cole poor, kinda like House Poor.   

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