Currently, the Twins RP group ranks 11th in MLB. A far fall from their #2 ranking as a core in 2020. There is work to be done.
Here is how the Twins RP group projects in 2021.
The Twins can do better. In fact, the hope is that they add at minimum two more arms to this bullpen.
Here are some RP options. I noted how the Twins would benefit in “net WAR” as well as the 2021 estimated salary of each player (via Fangraphs).
“Net WAR” in this scenario is the difference between the Fangraphs Depth Chart projection for each player below and the least valuable option for the RP position on the Twins currently.
For this purpose, we will use the WAR for Ian Gibaut who is projected .1 WAR in 2021 and figures to be the last man in the ‘pen.
For example: Brad Hand projects .9 WAR so to calculate “net WAR” you subtract .9 from .1 for a net of +.8 WAR.
*All WAR projections use Fangraphs Depth Charts
Free Agent RP Options:
Brad Hand: +.8 WAR ($9.3M)
Collin McHugh: +.4 WAR ($2M)
Alex Colomé: +.4 WAR ($8M)
Joakim Soria: +.3 WAR($7M)
Mark Melancon: +.3 WAR ($8M)
Trevor Rosenthal: +2. WAR($6.5M)
Tyler Clippard: +.2 WAR ($3M)
Darren O’Day: +.2 WAR($2M)
Keone Kela: +.2 WAR ($4M)
Brandon Workman: +.2 WAR($5M)
Shane Greene: +.2 WAR ($5M)
Jake McGee: +.1 WAR ($4M)
Sergio Romo: +.1 WAR($3M)
This is not a perfect formula. There are a lot of moving parts in each of these instances due to how each player would impact the rest of the team. Also, Fangraphs Depth Charts is very conservative when projecting the output for relievers. Please keep in mind, I pulled these projections from a website, I didn’t make them myself so don’t shoot the messenger
It’s kind of difficult to run these scenarios for the reliever market. It’s not as clear how each individual reliever impacts the rest of the team like it was for SS, DH, and SP.
Currently there are really only a few top end guys left (Hand, Colome, and Rosenthal). The rest fall in the middle tier of the market and as you can see, the options are plentiful.
In any case, there are opportunities the Twins can pull from to improve their pen. The real value is when you add 2-3 of these guys and can replace Gibaut, Thorpe, and Smeltzer on your RP depth chart.
I would love to see the Twins add 2-3 arms here. I am a big fan of Rosenthal, I see value in having Soria’s veteran presence (plus, he’s good), and I want to see Clippard return.
That would line the Twins up to have a bullpen of:
Optional/minors: Gibaut, Sparkman, Waddell, Colina, Law, Coulombe
That bullpen will absolutely play. Especially in the AL Central.
In the comments below, let me know who you think the Twins should sign and why!