I wanted to create a blueprint that would be interesting. I hope you enjoy it! My goal was to have a flexible team (in terms of roster/lineup) and add a good amount of high end pitching via trade and free agency. Let me know what you think.
1) Extend Byron Buxton. He is your cornerstone, and I don't see a way we trade him and are better for it, short or long term. 7/110 with incentives. I'll put him at 15 million for 2022
2) Sign Chris Taylor, 4/60. Opening day ss, but can play anywhere and has turned into a good power threat. Great teammate. IF Royce can show he can be the guy, then Taylor is a HIGH END utility option later in 2022 or some point in 2023.
3) Trade Luis Arraez to St. Louis for Jack Flaherty. Baseball Trade Values says this is a pretty major overpay on our part (Arraez 33.3 to Flaherty's 14.3) but I thought it would be good to take a chance on Flaherty's upside. He has 2 years team control remaining, and missed time last year with a fairly major oblique injury. IF he is healthy he has ace upside. I'd prefer the Twins to take a shot at someone with a ceiling like him, someone who ended the year in the Cardinals bullpen. Arraez would certainly help the Cardinals offense (anyone's really) and I don't know that I see a future defensive home here in MN. 4 years team control for Arraez looks good for St. Louis too.
4) Trade Matt Canterino, Matt Wallner and Blayne Enlow to Oakland for Sean Manaea. Manaea has 1 year remaining, and Oakland is looking at a rebuild. They get 3 VERY quality prospects for a pitcher who will be a free agent after the 2022 season. Manaea should slot into the top of our rotation day 1.
5) Trade Miguel Sano to Miami for a player to be named later. Include 4 million in the deal to get a better prospect. IF the universal DH is here to stay, then I can see someone wanting to take a chance on Miguel. The stretches he has where he is Babe Ruth are exciting, but the stretches where he he is hitting .150 and striking out 60% of the time isn't something that is overall as beneficial to our club. I slide Kirilloff into the full time 1B slot, and have the DH open for primarily Donaldson in 2022, as well as Garver.
6) Sign Jon Gray, formerly of Colorado, 3/42. This might be low on the AAV, but I love his fastball/slider that he brings, which means that the Twins should too. Another healthy arm to pencil into the rotation day 1.
7) Sign Corey Knebel, formerly of the Dodgers, to a 2/16 deal.
Here is the layout from twinspayroll.com, but payroll comes in at JUST shy of 130.
Couple of thoughts...
1) I have Jax initially as my long reliever. I think he is a good option for a 2 inning guy, sometimes 3 innings, and he would just focus on his fastball/slider.
2) I have Miranda making the team, as the starting 3B. Donaldson would play over there a lot too (and probably start opening day) but having Miranda be 3b, 2b, 1b and some left field is a good thing. I listed Larnach as the starter in left field, but if he needs time at AAA to start the year, maybe Rooker/Refsnyder make that combo for a time?
3) When/if Austin Martin and Royce Lewis and Gilberto Celestino show they are ready, there are moves to be made to make room.
4) When our pitching prospects are ready, there are moves to be made to get them up too. But, if they are NOT ready, I think the depth is solid. COULD we look at another relief pitcher signing? Sure. I think they'll do lots of minor league signings again (which is smart.) I also think Colome is back, which I am ok with.