The Twins 2021 season has gotten off to a slow start to say the least. Between early injuries to Josh Donaldson and Byron Buxton, COVID-19 IL stinks from Andrelton Simmons and Max Kepler, among others, and slow starts from Miguel Sano, Jake Cave, and Jorge Polanco. However, the hot stove is always on, even if we are only in April. I fully expect the Twins to turn it around at some point and to be buyers at the deadline like we thought they would be. We will see names emerge, and I'm going to identify some early names to keep an eye on, in part 1 of a 3 part blog post.
Eduardo Escobar - Arizona Diamondbacks - 1yr/7M
(AP Photo/John Minchillo)
I've seen old friend Eduardo Escobar brought up a few times by Twins fans on Twitter, and it makes a lot of sense. He is beloved by Twins fans everywhere, and had the best farewell post I've ever seen. That said, he is a great fit on the diamond as well. The DBacks are going to struggle in 2021, and Escobar has an expiring deal and will be traded prior to the deadline. His days of playing shortstop are over, but thats okay. He's been a league average second basemen in 2021, and has filled in at 3rd sparingly, but hasn't done so well. Eduardo already has 6 homers and 4 doubles for Arizona, and is crushing left handed pitching -- something the Twins have struggled at thus far. Escobar would start at 2nd base against LHP, and can fill in at 2nd or 3rd if injuries happen (hint: they will).
Miguel Andújar - New York Yankees - Arb Eligible 2022
There were a fair amount of baseball fans who were in Andjuar's corner for the AL ROY voting in 2018. Andújar put up a solid slash line of .297/.328/.527. He hit 27 home runs and drove in 97 runs, but things have gone downhill for Miguel since. He has only played 33 games since finishing second in the 2018 ROY voting, and has only homered once. He's yet to appear in a 2021 game as he is sidelined with an injury, and the defense is limited. He's a poor thir basemen, and has appeared in a handful of innings in left field, also not going well. One could assume he could also play first, but thats it. The Yankees' seem to have spoiled on the thought of giving him everyday playing time, but he could fill a role for the Twins as someone who hits lefties.
Wilmer Flores - San Fransisco Giants - 1yr/3M, 2022 option for 3.5M
Flores is best known among baseball fans for his on-field crying moment when everyone was certain he was being traded from the Mets. However, a deal never came to fruition. Flores is another infielder who would be brought in to crush left handed pitching. Flores has a career OPS of .813 against left handed arms, including 40 homers. Flores has been a rollercoaster in the field, but at best is nothing more than an average second basemen. He does have experience playing first base, as well as third, but is best fit at 2nd. Much like Eduardo Escobar, he would fill in as the everyday 2B against LHP, and can fill in around the infield when an injury happens.
Who are your favorite targets in the early going?