I've read plenty of opinions on what the Twins should try to achieve this off-season, ranging from pleas to make a few big-ticket free agent moves to get themselves competitive in 2022 to demands that they tear it all down to start the big rebuild.
I suggest a different path; one that management is perhaps already following, and one that the current roster is best set up to accomplish. The 2022 season is the team's chance to give their top prospects big league at-bats, to find out which of those prospects have big league gloves, and to let young pitchers find their footing.
Let's start with position players. Right now the team has five names they can write into the lineup without thinking; a proven core in my opinion capable of matching up with any team in baseball:
- Byron Buxton - CF - Signed through 2028
- Jorge Polanco - 2B - Signed through 2025 (including team option)
- Josh Donaldson - 3B - Signed through 2024 (including team option)
- Mitch Garver - C - Arbitration eligible through 2023
- Miguel Sano - DH - Signed through 2023 (including team option)
That leaves four positions to fill, plus (in this day of crowded bullpens) at least three spots for capable backups:
- Backup C
- Backup IF/OF #1
- Backup IF/OF #2
I'll tackle my top candidates for those spots in the next post.