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My 2022 Blueprint using TD Spreadsheet




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Here’s my Twins 2022 roster. Like Nick’s plan, there are moving parts where Donaldson DHs a decent amount and Miranda plays 3B, 1B, DH. Kirilloff takes over for Max Kepler in RF. Kepler just hasn’t been able to change from an ineffective pull first approach. I see Kirilloff as a hitter who can use more of the field and still blossom into a very fine hitter.

Hopefully the second-half Sano shows up next year. I’m optimistic about that.

I chose Iglesias as the SS for good D and his .271 average, much better than Simmons but for the same price.

I chose Mark Canha for LF, liking his prior 26, 17, and 16 HR seasons. And last year walking 77 times, stealing 12/14 bases, scoring 93 runs. Even with a .231 average, he had a .358 OBP. In any case, he should be much better than Cave, Larnach in 2021. 

Like Nick I’m signing Byron Buxton with an escalating deal and incentives.

I’m banking on Jose Miranda to log 500-550 ABs.

I like the Saint’s Mark Contreras as the 4th OF with Jimmy Kerrigan as an alternative at AAA.

For the rotation, I’m signing Robbie Ray as the ace with Danny Duffy as the #2 starter. That’s a significant part of my 142.1 million dollar payroll. I think Jim Pohlad will go for that. If they can’t get Ray, then Syndergaard and Verlander are other ace options. I’m bringing back the steady Michael Pineda, his 9-8 record and 3.62 ERA. Both sides want a reunion, so it’s just a great fit.

Ober and Ryan start as #4 and #5 starter. I’m one who thinks Charlie Barnes will eventually be a solid major league pitcher but maybe not next year. Cole Sands could be another guy getting some starts for the Twins.  Duran has a lot to prove. He would be a bonus.

I filled out the BP with some of the most talented AAA relievers and Ralph Garza Jr. who did a good job. Alcala’s continued growth will be a big and important factor.

I really like Nick Gordon and hope Rocco steals with Buxton, Canha and Gordon so the offense is more balanced.

Celestino also provides depth and could easily be up with the inevitable injuries. I like Kerrigan’s 19 HR and 10/12 SB.

I also want to emphasize that I do think that once Rooker gets the requisite amount of ABs at the ML level, he should hit 30 HR with a .240 -.270 average. So, he’s in play also depending on injuries.





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Well, as they say, go big or go home.  That applies to dreams too, it looks like, as this is a great dream, but a dream none the less.  

First, it is predicated on JP going to 142 mil payroll, and I haven't been able to find a season in history (my amateur investigating) where we have started a season that high.  And, coming off of two large loss seasons (financially), and a new CBA looming, with all the increases in spending that is likely going to be associated with it, I really think it is a pipe dream to think JP is going to shoot for the stars money wise.  

Not going to argue with any of the free agent signings, as they look sound, but the reality is even if JP will approve the money, will every one of these players want to come to MN?  As for the current group and how they will fit in, you appear to believe in Miranda even though he has yet to take a major league at bat, as well as Contreras.  You replace a very sound defensive right fielder with a less than stellar one, and leave Sano and his sub par defense at first, even though Kirilloff has graded out well at first.  And if Kepler is healthy and gets his 500-600 at bats, he has the power to match (almost) Sano in that area.  As much as Kepler will not change his approach, neither will Sano and his 34-36 percent strike out ratio.  We might want to put the best defensive team on the field if we are going to go with a bullpen that doesn't change from '21 and 4th and 5th starters who are still unproven.  

This scenario appears to be very high on free agents, costing a boatload of money, and low (any?) on trades.  I have a feeling before JP opens the checkbook for some salaries, he will want to move a few others to compensate; he will just not be willing to go to 142 mil after losing so much the last two years.  But, hey, I would rather dream in late October than in late August when it is too late, so let the fun begin.  

Oh, and just for fun, where did the 16 mil figure for Buxton come from?  It must be a long term contract, but how many years and what dollar amounts were figured in?  

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Generally payrolls go up over time so from 130 to 141.1 is about an 8.5 increase, nothing radical. And the Twins have said they want to win a WS. With the decimation of the roster, it’s going to cost a few dollars. JP will get it back in 38,000 crowds. JP has often said he’ll stretch if his baseball people thing it’s prudent. The Twins are also the recipients of revenue sharing checks. This years should be substantial.

Kepler’s career home runs are way behind Sano’s (160 in 7 seasons for Sano, 120 in 7 seasons for Kepler) plus Sano had a much better slugging percentage . Sano adapts. (.466-.413). Kepler doesn’t.

No other than Justin Morneau pointed out Kepler’s deficient approach repeatedly on the Twins TV broadcasts, even calling Kepler stubborn. He reminds me of Hosken Powell and the way he pull happied his way into oblivion.

Speaking of the OF, I think Canha, Buxton and Kirilloff will be far better than Cave/Larnach, Buxton and Kepler. 

I’m surprised you questioned Miranda. He just dominated AA and AAA this season in a way few ever have including .340 plus batting averages at both stops and over .900 OPS, 30 HR. Tom has him rated as the Twins #1 prospect and I agree. He has zero to prove in AAA.

Of course this is a dream.

But it’s my dream that Nick invited me to post.

So many times I’ve wished that I could GM the Twins with the way Calvin Griffith totally destroyed the team from 1971 well into the 80s. You probably have to have lived through that.

Then Terry Ryan’s abysmal 2nd term as GM, making awful trades and decisions (too many to list, D.O.)

Now this regime with mind bogglingly bad decisions and yes that includes Eddie Rosario

So this is my chance to say, the Twins have been too cheap for a long long time with exception of McPhail’s term and this is my chance to say raise the payroll, knowing that JP is the owner most likely to do so.  

It’s just an opinion piece but if you look real hard in my post, you’ll see that it comes from a fan that is extraordinarily passionate about the Twins and has followed them for over 50 years and seen lots of mismanagement. I just want to win.

And a big cleanup is needed, so no half steppin’! Get bold, spend a moderate amount of additional money and try to turn this mess around. If trades will deliver a LF or starters, then that’s OK by me BUT as somebody here in Twins Territory referred to the current Twins roster as a dumpster fire, it’s hard to see where they have excess to obtain quality players.

As you say, hold on. But my opinion is that Falvey and Levine need to reverse course and have a vastly better offseason than last. Or they should go. WIN TWINS!

Oh and I signed Buxton to a long term deal for 6 years and give deference to what he thinks is fair. The contract would escalate and with incentives could be $25 M / year.

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As someone who has watched the Twins from near and far since the '65 World Series when I was 11 years old, I have learned to live with the fact that they will never spend the kind of money that some of the other teams do.  For better or worse, all 3 have considered the Twins a business first, and a fun enterprise second.  As I said above, my amateur sleuthing has been unable to produce a single season where the payroll began with the numbers 140, and after back to back losing seasons financially I just don't see a track record that would suggest that '22 is going to be that year.  If it is, I will not only stand corrected, I will take the item off of my bucket list for all time.  As such, I just don't see JP parting with 16-25 mil for a player who is continually hurt and has had what amounts to one spectacular month in what is otherwise an average offensive career.  If all we cared about was gold glove defense, we wouldn't be so quick to jettison Simmons, who actually anchored the infield defensively last season.  I still say I have no problem with any of the FA's you picked to sign, I just argue with the price tags of a couple of them as well as the price tag of Buxton.  I wonder why the BP hasn't changed much at all from the end of '21, and why we would rely on two rookies who combined have never had a major league at bat.  That is not to argue with giving Miranda a look, but I have seen too many guys excel in AAA and not in MLB; gotta prove yourself before 500 at bats are penciled in.  

I don't want you to think that by critiquing the roster I am being critical of the roster; not the same things.  I just wonder how much money JP will shell out to bolster a roster that includes 14 players making the minimum or close to the minimum (in your above roster), meaning they do not have the overall experience and proven track record to provide the faith to write the really big checks for the proven veterans necessary to lean on for an entire season.   One or two injuries in the starting rotation or another of Buxton's stints on the IL, (along with Donaldson and Garver?) and I can envision a drop off in the Win/Loss column and another sell off in July, after which it will be harder than ever to convince JP to spend again.  

And I still don't see a single trade in your scenario.  A blockbuster package deal might be just the thing to free up the money needed to sign the guys you are hoping to sign.  I know I am kicking a dead horse here, but I just do not see money only being spent, with none being moved.  

I truly hope you are right and I am wrong in all of this.  And I hope the above roster becomes a reality, at least most of it; it would be a fun team to watch, but I won't hold my breath.  It means keeping 3 players (Buxton, Rogers, and Duffey) who become FA's after '22 and would have no trade value, so if we decide not to sign them longer term we will trade them sometime in '22.  And it means relying on FA's wanting to come here, which hasn't always been the case when it comes to front line pitching.  And, as I said in the above trade comment, those 3 might just make a pretty good blockbuster trade if we don't resign them.  That changes the scenario somewhat I would guess.   But overall, I say again:  go big or go home!  

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It looks like we’re in the same age cohort! That makes me feel better, in that you have a full understanding about the cheap owners we’ve had since the start of the franchise especially the Calvin years where he let Bostock, Hisle, Ford, Carew, Bill Campbell, Ward, Goltz all walk. Man, that period was really rough!!!

I may be overestimating Jim Pohlad’s spending vis a vis the desire to win but based on his statements, I’ve concluded that he would go that high. If I’m wrong, I probably need to rework my spreadsheet!

If they need to trade for payroll purposes, Kepler and Donaldson would be the most obvious choices. I don’t think they’d get much for Kepler.

If they traded Donaldson, they could either play Miranda at 3rd, provided he’s ready or open up 3rd base for Arraez. Maybe they could get a viable LF for Donaldson, probably not a frontline pitcher.

Another option for a backup for Buxton is Billy Hamilton. I know he doesn’t hit much for average but he has great speed and I think he’s a sensational CF. He kind of fits in with the whole thought process I had about the possibilities of a player being a net asset, when he couldn’t hit.

Buxton had shattered that theory for me a few years back when he was hitting about .160 but I felt he was still a net asset to winning due to his dominant fielding.

I think Hamilton could do something similar.

Well, strap in and get ready for the ride and I’m really curious where the payroll ends up and who is gonna pitch. There’s so much work to do!




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Seldom, if ever,  will we get everybody on here to agree 100%.  That's why we all come on and post our comments, so we can agree, disagree and offer up "why."  I think it's a good, well thought out plan, but there are things I'm not in agreement with.  That's O.K. !!  I'm off the same age as well (I was 8 in 1965) and I "get" the idea we've never had a payroll to start the season that started with 1. 4. 0.   But, I think it's O.k. if a few of us "dream" of a payroll starting at $140 million.  

Ray was the #1 SP target in my off season roster building plan.  He's got great strikeout stuff and I believe in last season's breakout.  I think it's for real.  However, it would appear that signing him would not only cost a boatload of cash, but also have the Twins losing their #8 overall pick in the draft come June.  I'm wavering on Ray now and looking more at guys like Eduardo Rodriguez, Kevin Gausman, Danny Duffey and maybe a flyer on someone like Andrew Heaney. Pineda is also very much in the mix.  But in the remaking of this roster I'm also looking at TRADES to further bolster the pitching staff.  They need to fill the #1, #2 and #3 slots in the rotation.  Ryan and Ober will be on pitch/innings limits ALL Year.  They need a minimum of 4 NEW SP's for this roster in 2022 (and that's even if you're counting on Dobnak for depth).  Injuries will happen.  Doing the "minimum will not be good enough.  They need a SS.  There are lots of Good but also expensive options.  There are also cheaper options like Iglesias or Galvis or trade options like Adelberto Mondesi or Paul DeJong.  We're all going to have a FUN winter speculating on what the Twins FO ends up doing and...not doing.

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22 hours ago, TopGunn#22 said:

Ray was the #1 SP target in my off season roster building plan.  He's got great strikeout stuff and I believe in last season's breakout.  I think it's for real.  However, it would appear that signing him would not only cost a boatload of cash, but also have the Twins losing their #8 overall pick in the draft come June.

Under the current rules, the Twins would not lose the #8 pick for signing Ray. See the draft pick compensation rules here:

Which Draft Picks Each Team Would Forfeit By Signing A Qualified Free Agent


Revenue Sharing Recipients: Brewers, Diamondbacks, Guardians, Marlins, Mariners, Orioles, Pirates, Rays, Reds, Rockies, Royals, Tigers, Twins

These 13 teams received revenue sharing and did not exceed the competitive balance tax. If one of these teams signs a qualified free agent, it forfeits its third-highest pick. These teams face the smallest draft pick penalty. 

So at worst, we'd have to forfeit our 2nd round pick (and that's only if we receive a competitive balance pick between rounds 1 & 2). And even if there's a new CBA soon, I doubt that would change much for the Twins (and I suspect any new rules may not affect QO comp picks until next offseason).

FWIW, every team's highest first-round pick is exempt from forfeiture under the current CBA. And the previous CBA (2012-2016) protected the top 10 picks.

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On 10/30/2021 at 7:35 PM, Nick Nelson said:

I like this a lot Greg! Well thought out. Ray would be so fun. Big fan of Canha and consider him a very plausible Twins target. 

Thanks Nick! I appreciate that, especially coming from you. It was definitely a fun exercise.

This way of building a viable roster with the spreadsheet was a really good idea and is the kind of thing that makes Twins Daily special! I think there have been several interesting and creative rosters built!  Greg

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