Frustrated by Falvey and Levine’s approach the last two offseason and with the lockout in effect, I bought OOTP baseball for $4.99 in order to build the Twins my way using trades, free agent signings and keeping the up and coming pitching.
I set the trade slider a little more to the hard side the the easy side.
It seemed to carry over to free agent negotiations but I’m not sure. Prime example: I offered Byron Buxton basically the same deal the Twins signed him for and he came back and said, "I’m only entertaining serious offers"! It seemed he ignored the $8M per year for an MVP award and AB bonuses. He was so tough that to get him signed, I had to average over 20M yr. plus he wanted a 9 year deal. I got away with 8 but I had to have him.
When trying for free agents or making trades, I eschewed any player that I knew had been signed in real life or traded to a new team. I got messages along the way from Jim Pohlad and at one point, he said that I was having such a good offseason that he was raising my allowance from $203M budget (all expenses, not just payroll). At a budget of $203, the player payroll was $160M but he raised the budget to $210M and a player payroll of $170M. He must have seen quickly that I was going to be very aggressive striving to build a 2022 contender.
Some of the trades and signings saw me moving Max Kepler for Taijuan Walker.
Signing Jose Iglesias, attempting to sign Michael Pineda and Danny Duffy over extended negotiations (especially with Pineda) only to be spurned by both.
Trading Bailey Ober and Luis Arraez for Chris Bassit.
Releasing Dylan Bundy.
Signing Billy Hamilton to a very reasonable deal to be insurance for Byron Buxton.
Signing Carlos Rodon, which went surprisingly smoothly. Yes, I did offer him a fair contract.
Signing Ken Giles was exciting, knowing how it would solidify the bullpen.
The toughest one was attempting to sign Kris Bryant. I think he had me up to $173M and strung me along, then said the Cubs had a better offer. I ended up cutting it off but after a decent period of time passed, he came back and I was able to sign him at a bargain $15M yr for 5 yrs.
After spring training had ended, Johnny Cueto, having cut off negotiations, came back to me on the eve of the season opener and said he’d like to try again. I offered him more than he asked for 1 yr plus an option year and he signed in time for the season opener. After all the moves, I decided to promote Cole Sands to work out of the bullpen, a job he earned in OOTP baseball’s spring training.
Here are some graphics on your new, shiny, division contending 2022 Minnesota Twins!