Before we look into our crystal balls post-deadline, a quick review of what's just transpired might be in order. First, we lost our best hitter and best pitcher. For this very reason, chances are this season is going to get even worse. Three of our new starters will likely be Ober, Jax and Barnes, none of whom figures to be better than a #5 starter. The bullpen has arguably gotten worse without Rogers and Robles. And the offense will likely continue to be erratic - some big run production outings against below average pitching, but more likely low run production against even average pitching. And with a very difficult August schedule, the likelihood of the Twins climbing out of the cellar looks mighty slim.
But let's look at the bright side. The Twins prospect depth greatly improved. We've added at least 3 top 10 prospects, probably catapulting our depleted, injury-stricken minor league system into the top ten in MLB, at least on paper anyway. And just as importantly, we kept several players who can be building blocks going forward. You cannot underestimate the importance of Maeda and Pineda, solid #2 and #3 starters in leading a reenergized rotation in 2021. Nor can you ignore the importance of having a Donaldson and hopefully healthy Buxton leading the offense next year. Which brings me to my first point : they need to resign both Pineda and Buxton if this team has any chance of jumping into contention in 2023. This team will likely not be a playoff contender next year but for them to bounce back to at least a .500 record and set the stage for contention in 2023, these 4 players must be kept..
Continuing on the bright side, this FO did a great job in the trade department. They received at least 3-4 players who should be playing in the big leagues as soon as next year, but most likely by 2023. The rotation's future looks much brighter with guys like Joe Ryan and SWR, not to mention our top prospects, Winder and Balozavic, should yield one or two rotation mainstays by 2023. Which brings me to point#2: Sign a FA with ace potential this offseason. My first choice is Syndergaard who should be more affordable due to injury but still young enough to lead a contending staff. He should be an offseason priority. This is a risk but one well worth taking if the team is committed to rebounding quickly. The new additions will also mitigate against rushing some of our younger prospects and perhaps switching some to relievers.
Which brings me to the bullpen. We added some middling prospects, one of whom might prove valuable in the pen. We still have Rogers, Duffy and Thielbar, with a few minor leaguers on the verge. Let;s bring up guys like Cano, Hamilton, and Moran and see how they do. Coulombe has looked decent. Point #3: they must spend the $ for a top FA reliever. Any suggestions? I'm at a loss here. And let's try to get Alcala straightened out at AAA now, as well as transitioning Duran to the pen. This is still a dumpster fire but at least it can't get much worse than it is now.
So count me as positive for the retool. It sure beats a long rebuild!!