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Twins Are Now Players In Historically Great Free Agent Shortstop Class

Minnesota signed Andrelton Simmons to be a bridge to Royce Lewis, but his injury changes the plan. Now, the Twins will have the opportunity to be players in next winter’s historically great free agent shortstop class.Injuries to top prospects can be frustrating to a fan base, especially for a player as highly touted as Royce Lewis. He was supposed to be the team’s shortstop of the future with the chance to take over that role at some point in 2022. His injury might end up being a blessing in disguise, because the Twins can take advantage of a rare plethora of free agent shortstops.


In some offseasons the free agent shortstop class can be almost non-existent. This past winter saw multiple above average shortstops hit the market including Marcus Siemen, Didi Gregorius, and Simmons. Only Gregorius signed a multi-year deal, so Siemen and Simmons will have to compete with other star players for free agent deals (Age for 2022 season in parentheses).


Francisco Lindor (28): Lindor was dealt out of the AL Central this winter and will spend the 2021 campaign with the Mets. It seems most likely for the Mets and their new ownership to work out a contract extension to lock-up Lindor. He’s one of baseball’s most marketable superstars and he already seems like a natural fit in the Big Apple. It’s going to cost north of $300 million to sign him and that is more money than the Twins are going to be willing to spend.


Javier Baez (29): Last season, Baez struggled to the tune of a .598 OPS in over 235 plate appearances. However, in the previous four seasons he averaged 25 home runs and 30 doubles per year with a .822 OPS. On top of that, he’s one of baseball’s best defensive shortstops. There’s also a connection between Jose Berrios and Baez as they are brother in-laws and both hale from Puerto Rico. Maybe bringing Baez into the fold will encourage Berrios to sign an extension with Minnesota.


Carlos Correa (27): Correa is the youngest player on this list, but he’s also missed time throughout his big-league career. In fact, the 2016 campaign was his lone season with more than 110 games played. There’s no denying his on-field production when he is on the field. He’s averaged a 5.2 WAR in every season where he has played 99 games or more. Also, he’s a well-rounded infielder as he finished second in SABR’s SDI among AL shortstops last season. The injury history might scare some teams away, but it can also bring down his free agent price.


Trevor Story (29): Story debuted in 2016 and he’s done nothing but mash since that point. Among shortstops, he has the most home runs during that time-period even though he has fewer at-bats than the next three players behind him in the standings. Story isn’t as strong defensively as some of the others on this list, but he can more than hold his own. He ranks as the seventh best shortstop according to Defensive Runs Above Average since making his debut. Story might be a sneaky good player for the Twins to target next winter.



Corey Seager (28): Seager’s star power has dwindled during his time in LA, especially with MVP winners Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger anchoring the line-up. Unfortunately, he missed nearly all the 2018 season due to Tommy John surgery, but he came back strongly and led the NL in doubles the next season. Last year, he posted career highs in batting average and slugging percentage as the Dodgers claimed the World Series title. Will LA be willing to let one of their best players leave in free agency because of the team’s other stars?


Which player do you think would be the best fit in Minnesota? Will the team spend big on a shortstop even with Lewis returning from injury? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.



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I personally think anyone of them would be a "fit" from a performance and teammate perspective.                However, I think they are all going to be asking for longer term deals than the Twins would want to offer them.


That being said, if the conditions were right we may see Simmons signed for another one year deal.

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That is an interesting class.  All will be looking for mega deals and think a couple will need to settle for less.  Not enough teams will be throwing huge amounts of cash out there for them.  If money is number one thing, some should look for signing now if they can.  If 5 top end talents are on market at same time, only a few teams will be looking to sign huge deals.  


I think with CBA coming up though few teams will spend huge not knowing what next CBA looks like.   

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Curious as to why you didn't include Simmons with the above? Assuming he hits about what he has the last several years, I see the Twins signing him to a two year extension before this year is over.


Fantastic defense along with a solid bat for a reasonable cost may be the best choice for the local 9. That also gives Lewis time to heal and get back into the game before pushing for his position on the team.

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No chance the Twins will be willing to pony up what it would take for any of these guys.


If Baez struggles at the plate he might be discounted a little. If the Twins were ever to break the bank, Story would the player to pay.


Planning on getting anything close to this list from Royce Lewis anytime soon (or ever) would be a huge mistake. He’s sporting a career OPS in the minor leagues under .750 and isn’t anywhere near defensively what some of these guys are. Even if he didn’t blow out his knee, if you have a chance to get one of these guys, you find another position for Lewis. He’s earned nothing.

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I hope the Twins avoid the free agent shortstop stampede and sign Simmons for another year or two (dependent on how well Lewis comes back from his injury). I can see the free agent frenzy turning into a situation similar to when my wife and I were at an antique auction. When a particular piece we were eyeing came up for auction (let's call it a Lindor), we happened to be on opposite sides of the auction and ended up bidding against each other and driving up the price. We ended up with the piece but didn't have enough money left for anything else. I hope the Twins avoid this bidding war and use their money on front-line pitching instead.

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