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6 Questions that Will Determine the Twins' Offseason Course


At a macro level, there is one overarching question that will dictate the front office's strategy this offseason: Are they actually pushing to contend in 2022? The answer will heavily influence the eventual payroll, their aggressiveness in free agency, and their tolerance for risk.

But within this dichotomy, there are many micro-decisions that are interesting to unpack. The answers aren't yet clear, but will become so as the offseason progresses and the moves play out. 

In the Offseason Handbook (reaching your inbox in ONE WEEK if you preorder now!), we cover a wide array of options to address various needs via free agency and trade. However, before perusing these options, it's necessary to take a step back and figure out what the objectives are.

Here are six questions the team must ask itself. The answers will bring focus to a presently hazy offseason agenda.

#1: Are we grooming Royce Lewis to take over at shortstop, or do we need a long-term solution?

With Andrelton Simmons' one-year deal expiring, the Twins are back to square one at shortstop. They seem disinclined to move Jorge Polanco back there, and Nick Gordon isn't a legit full-time option, so they'll be shopping this winter. The question is: to what degree?

If they still believe in Lewis and his viability at the position, they'll likely aim at the lower end of free agency, seeking a short-term stopgap. In the Handbook, we divide the Free Agent SS class into two tiers, with the second featuring players who'd fit this purpose. But be warned: with the exception of Dodgers utilityman Chris Taylor, the second-tier names are not very appealing targets. 

If the Twins don't feel Lewis is the ultimate solution at short – either because his defense there isn't up to par or because his long layoff produces too much overall uncertainty – then they could try to get in on the high-end free agent action, with five different All-Star caliber shortstops hitting the market. It's rare that you see ever see this kind of talent up for grabs, which is why the Twins are under some pressure to make a call on Lewis. If he's not the guy, they might not get another chance like this to procure their next fixture on the open market.

#2: Are we attempting to build a credible contending rotation, or are we intent on developing the pitching pipeline?

There are plenty of intriguing names in the free agent starter class (we profile more than 50 in the Handbook), and the Twins will surely sign at least a couple. But again, the external approach here will be contingent on an internal decision, which directly links back to the overarching question cited at the outset.

If the Twins are serious about investing and contending, they could be in play for someone like Justin Verlander or Noah Syndergaard, who offer proven ace potential and relative affordability coming off lost seasons. But they also carry a ton of risk. Only if guided by an adamant intention to contend would the Twins make a splash like that.

Should they commit to a transitional year, it's very possible someone like Michael Pineda could be Minnesota's biggest rotation signing – more of a steady innings eater than a high-upside replacement for José Berríos and Kenta Maeda. In this scenario, the strategy would be more oriented toward building from within around Joe Ryan and Bailey Ober. The Twins do happen to have a ton of near-ready prospects to sort out, although health is a question mark with nearly all of them.

Speaking of health question marks:

#3: Do we trust Taylor Rogers to bounce back from his finger injury?

In the Arbitration Decisions section of the Handbook, we break down a dozen different cases for arbitration-eligible players this year. No decision is tougher than Rogers, who's coming off an All-Star season that ended with a scary middle finger injury. 

He's projected to make around $7 million in his final year before free agency – a rather exorbitant price for a reliever, even without the looming uncertainty. If they're going to tender him, the Twins better have every confidence he can return to form next year, because that expense would deplete a sizable chunk of their resources.

For a similar salary, you could likely land a more reliable closer from the free agent pool, such as Raisel Iglesias or Mark Melancon. And if Rogers is moving on, you almost need to go get a guy like that, because without him, the back end of this bullpen becomes a glaring weakness.

#4: How much confidence do we have in controllable relievers who performed well last year?

Lowering our gaze from the closer role, decisions around what's keepable from the 2021 mix will dictate the broader bullpen strategy. If the Twins have faith in a series of second-half performances that helped propel the Twins relief corps to a surprising 2.0 fWAR (11th in MLB) and 5.82 WPA (3rd in MLB) after the break, turnover in this unit could be fairly light.

Alex Colomé is a critical crux point in this scenario. He posted a 3.51 ERA and 3.86 FIP after his nightmarish April, including 3.51/3.71 after the All-Star break. Not exactly a no-brainer to bring back on his $5.5 million option for 2022, even if you disregard the first month, but it's really a $4.25 million decision when you account for his buyout.

If the Twins decide to move on from Rogers, they could theoretically just activate Colomé's option and plug him into the closer spot, although that's surely not a move that would generate much enthusiasm with fans.

Then you've got Tyler Duffey, Caleb Thielbar and Jorge Alcalá. All three seem likely to return (Duffey and Thielbar are arbitration-eligible, Alcalá is still pre-arb so he'll cost around the minimum). But how will they be slotted into the hierarchy? 

Duffey was rather unreliable for much of the season but turned a corner after the trade deadline, posting a 2.05 ERA, 2.17 FIP and 28-to-6 K/BB ratio in 22 innings between August and September. The same pattern played out to a greater extreme with Alcalá, who entered August with a 5.27 ERA before putting up a 0.96 ERA, 1.78 FIP and 24-to-3 K/BB ratio in 18 ⅔ IP the rest of the way.  

Finally, there's Juan Minaya and Danny Coulombe. Both were minor-league signings who took opportunities and ran with them this year. Minaya posted a 2.48 ERA and 9.7 K/9 in 40 innings. Coulombe turned in a 3.67 ERA and 4.7 K/BB ratio in 34 ⅓. Each has a history of big-league success, so they're not total flashes in the pan. Each will also arbitration-eligible for the first time; it'll cost about $2 total million to bring both back.

Theoretically, if the Twins decide to bring back all of the above players (Rogers, Colomé, Duffey, Thielbar, Minaya, Coulombe) they'd have six of eight bullpen spots filled, greatly reducing the work to be done this offseason. However, it's pretty easy to envision only three or four being retained, which would lead to a heightened reliance on the utter crapshoot known as relief free agency.

#5: How will the designated hitter position be utilized going forward?

For most of the past three years, the Twins have had a full-time DH in Nelson Cruz. He'll be available this winter (likely at a reduced cost following his post-trade drop-off in Tampa), as will a few other primary DH types like Kyle Schwarber. Internally, someone like Miguel Sanó or Brent Rooker might make sense.

Of course, the Twins can also steer away from a regular designated hitter and leverage the position rotationally. This would open up a world of different possibilities, such as using Mitch Garver or Josh Donaldson as part-time DH, thus reducing their likelihood of getting injured while opening up more playing time for young players behind them (i.e., Jose Miranda and Ryan Jeffers). Using Luis Arraez there semi-regularly would be another option, protecting his balky knees and limiting his defensive exposure.

#6: What to do with Byron Buxton?

This is the biggest question of the coming offseason, no doubt. The Twins have three paths forward with regards to Buxton: trade him, extend him, or retain him with one year of service remaining. The last of those three seems least likely and the first seems most likely, based on the indicators we've received. But it's all on the table.

Within the trade scenario, there is another decision that correlates directly with the "retool or rebuild" ultimatum: Are we looking to get back MLB-ready talent (maybe even a replacement center fielder) or seeking to increase the upside with younger, rawer prospects?

Cody Christie has a feature story in the Handbook that breaks down the Buxton decision in depth. Suffice to say that it's a pivotal moment for the franchise and its future.

Let's hear from y'all. Which way do you lean on these six questions, and which important ones did I miss? Share your thoughts in the comments. 

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Pohlad's have always stepped up for a face of the franchise player.  I hope they just pay Buxton.  IF you trade him you might as well tear it down and rebuild. You have a lot of pitching coming in the next few years, so hopefully that will work like Cleveland and put the young player pieces in around this.

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0% chance Buxton signs and extension. If an extension were to have happened it would have only made sense from his side 1-2 years ago.

0% chance of filling all of the holes in the starting rotation AND the bullpen.

Poor chance of being meaningfully competitive next year..

SO.....

Trade Buxton for great prospects. Call up Celelstino and let him learn on the job. Go with the kids in the starting rotation and see what we have in 2022 before signing FA in 2023. Ditto for our internal bullpen arms.

Trade Donaldson for the best salary relief/prospect package available and let Miranda join Celestino. Let Sano try to be relevant one more time (nobody will trade anything for him anyway). Trade Garver (on borrowed time as 30 y/o catcher) and let Jeffers/Ro combo learn. Trade Kepler if there is a good offer (which there won't be so he stays). Sign one of the top 5 shortstops (good defense behind young pitchers while transitioning team into contenders....Also, Lewis is waaaaay far away and may never make it)

2022 for internal scouting and development.....2023 add what you learn that you need through FA/trades after 2022 information gathering.

Regular season competitive with 1st round defeat in 2023 developing into playoff competitive in 2024 with potential for deep playoff run...

That is the most realistic scenario to me.

 

 

 

 

 

5

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I have a really hard time answering your question. How much Faith do we have in relief pictures? Colome has lost me completely and if he comes back you're right I won't be happy. But when I look at relief pictures they are so erratic I don't know how to project any of them. Starting pictures I would get one free agent, one really good free agent, and then build with a minor league stars that we call prospects. DH is not something that I like to see filled with Rooker  he has disappointed me with his combined efforts the last two years.  I am okay with Sano. The trouble is we let our team slide when we were at the top and now it's hard to know how to stop the momentum and go back up to the top. 

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1 hour ago, D.C Twins said:

0% chance Buxton signs and extension. If an extension were to have happened it would have only made sense from his side 1-2 years ago.

0% chance of filling all of the holes in the starting rotation AND the bullpen.

Poor chance of being meaningfully competitive next year..

SO.....

Trade Buxton for great prospects. Call up Celelstino and let him learn on the job. Go with the kids in the starting rotation and see what we have in 2022 before signing FA in 2023. Ditto for our internal bullpen arms.

Trade Donaldson for the best salary relief/prospect package available and let Miranda join Celestino. Let Sano try to be relevant one more time (nobody will trade anything for him anyway). Trade Garver (on borrowed time as 30 y/o catcher) and let Jeffers/Ro combo learn. Trade Kepler if there is a good offer (which there won't be so he stays). Sign one of the top 5 shortstops (good defense behind young pitchers while transitioning team into contenders....Also, Lewis is waaaaay far away and may never make it)

2022 for internal scouting and development.....2023 add what you learn that you need through FA/trades after 2022 information gathering.

Regular season competitive with 1st round defeat in 2023 developing into playoff competitive in 2024 with potential for deep playoff run...

That is the most realistic scenario to me.

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Nice Nash. 

The key is exactly as stated - What are the true intentions of management? We don't need sound bites, quotes, or explanations at any point from Falvey or Pohlad. We need decisions and direct action. Looking at a number of other teams' sites, the Twins and their players are seemingly dismissed. I wonder if other teams see the Twins as competitive?

1.) Right on with the conundrum at shortstop. Lewis in 2023? When? It almost seems like Semien is the only real option amongst the top free agents. The other choice is an extremely unlikely trade for Mondesi and sign Adrianza to fill in. Shortstop is a difficult topic for the team.

2. ) If the Twins are going to avoid 90-100 losses the option to just use prospects and maybe Pineda won't work. There are trade possibilities and the Twins may have to overpay to get their guys. Miami and Oakland look like fair partners.

3.) If the medicals look good, the Twins have to bring back Rogers.

4.) Thielbar, Alcala, and Minaya looked good. Two additions should suffice in the bullpen.

5.) Everybody loves Cruz, but the Twins can fill DH with any number of players. 

6.) The Twins need pitching but they must absolutely try to sign Buxton. If traded ..... hopefully not, but I wonder how many teams are looking for a CF with his power, speed, and upside? I have no idea of value but I'm thinking Atlanta (Anderson & Waters), San Diego (Abrams & Gore), NYY (Loaisiga, Dominguez, & Peraza), and others should be willing to talk. I have no idea but Buxton has mad skills.

This offseason could be anywhere from tragic to spectacular and certainly risky.

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#1 I think Lewis could be a guy to come fast based on him being a little older and judged to have big talent. If he could play SS, that would be great!

Thinking about it, I think he’d play better than Simmons did, considering offense and defense both. He’d be a nice backup for Buxton in CF and he could be used in LF also. Possibly even some RF. I’m really down on Kepler and don’t think they can depend on him.

My answer to #2 is that I think they can contend and should sign Pineda and two more upper tier starting pitchers. With injuries and the two open spots, there will plenty of room for the pipeline to keep moving. I see room for Ober, Ryan, Sands, maybe Duran as a callup, health permitting. Possibly even Varland. I don’t think Balazovich is ready.

#3 I would count on Rogers as the closer but make sure we have a setup man that could step up as closer. I’m not so sure that would be Colome. That’s a tough call.

#4 I have the most faith in Rogers, Thielbar, Duffy, Alcala, Minaya. Coulombe, I think is a borderline guy to be a steady lefty. So they’ll need to sign a couple of relievers.

#5 I have a vision for the DH slot and it revolves around the fact that I want to get Miranda 500-550 AB next year. So Donaldson plays maybe 70-85  games at 3B. Arraez plays some 3B, a little 2B and maybe some OF depending on injuries, then he DHs some.

Miranda should be pegged for at least 70 games at 3B, maybe 20-25 at 1B when Sano is slumping or needs rest and then the balance at DH. Sano could DH a little with Kirilloff sliding from a corner OF spot to 1B for those games.

I’d like Kirilloff to play the bulk of his games in RF as, in my mind, Kepler's slumps and poor plate approach in pulling the ball stubbornly into the shift time after time is not sufficient for a contender. 

The Twins also need to sign a free agent outfielder although I think Jimmy Kerrigan or one of Contreras or Cabbage might be able to handle it. I think Larnach needs a good half season in AAA. Schwarber would probably be the top target for LF but may be the target of a richer team.

#6 Buxton has to be signed. And I think he will be. Like you said, Nick, you simply can’t let a generational player get away.

Jim Pohlad has made it clear that they won’t be rebuilding. It’s probably because I followed the Twins when Calvin Griffith was one of the most penurious owners ever and then Carl Pohlad was so cheap and Terry Ryan part II was cheap even when it seemed he had the green light from Jim Pohlad.

From that background dating back to 1975-6, I don’t like to hear that the Twins can’t afford a good team and keep it. In my opinion, based on his public comments, I think Jim Pohlad would carry a payroll of 150-160 million. That’s where the Twins should be and he’ll get a nice return in attendance with a good team. 

If they need to trade Donaldson to afford a good LF and starters in the Ray, Duffy, Syndergaard category and sign Buxton then it sure looks like Miranda could handle 3B.

 

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1 hour ago, Monkeypaws said:

Nice read Nick - Gordon is summarily dismissed as a stop gap at short until Lewis is ready. Why?

He is athletic and has plenty of experience there.

Thanks

Thanks! The Twins don't view him as an everyday SS. I don't think any team would, really. He's not a strong defender there, and it's one of the most important positions on the field. At best it's somewhere he can play in a pinch. Also, he wasn't good this year. Do you really think his performance justified giving the starting SS job? 

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I don't see it as all that easy to make a 2022 winner with the current situation, so I'd make it all about 2023. So that means you get a stopgap at SS and hope that Lewis is ready for a callup around June or July. And get stopgap starters who are just there until the SP prospects get up and see who's ready for the 2023 rotation. Rogers is a tender and use as the closer and see if he's worth extending or trading or neither. I don't really care too much about the bullpen, whether we use last year's OK guys or a new group of OK guys. Buxton is an extend or trade, playing out the year is the worst since it's a longshot year anyways, so extend or trade. He's shown enough that some teams may trade a big package for him and ignore the injuries hoping for a jackpot, which is what an extension is. I'd prefer extension, but if there's an offer comparable to our Berrios return the I'd be down to take it. As for DH, I love Cruz and would sign him, but I'd also completely understand if he'd rather go to a more promising team next year. Having an open DH spot would be useful with so many similar level guys we need to audition at different spots. It's the most complex offseason I can remember going in.

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7 hours ago, dxpavelka said:

Chances of Buxton signing depend only on one thing.  Money

 

I disagree.  If Buxton doesn't like the team's chances, he can refuse to sign and force the Twins to trade him to a contending team.  

I would make the same point regarding item #2 on this list.  The Twins can offer money, but if FA starters think they have a better shot somewhere else, then a couple million isn't going to change their minds.

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#1 really won't be the first thing addressed and because the Twins won't address it immediately that might take them out of an All Star SS caliber player.  The fallback options like Chris Taylor, Jose Iglesias, Freddy Galvis could work (Taylor, may cost more than the twins are willing to give).  Paul DeJong could be a trade option (Sosa has beaten him out).  Gavin Lux might be available if the Dodgers bring Seager back for SS and Trea Turner plays 2B.  Not sure if the Dodgers would use Lux as a "super utility" guy (it's a similar situation as Lewis, is a former #1 prospect supposed to end up a utility player ??).

#2  In my opinion, Verlander and Thor pose too great a risk.  I'd rather focus on Robby Ray, Danny Duffy, Marcus Stroman, Eduardo Rodriguez..  The Twins should certainly look to bring Pineda back at a reasonable salary.  But with Berrios gone, they should invest the money they should have with Berrios into a new #1.  You can never have too much pitching.  Some of our prospect pipeline guys will work out.  Some, surely won't. I want to see the Twins sign a #1 and then trade for young pitching with the Marlins and/or A's.  With all the YOUNG pitchers the Twins have, they will all be on innings limits.  The Twins need to fill the #1, #2 and #3 holes in the rotation at a minimum.  If the moves they make work out, and some of the young pitching not named Ryan or Ober make it up to the big league roster next year, the Twins have an opportunity to trade some of that young pitching as it would become an area of strength and depth.  Pitching ALWAYS gives you leverage when trading. 

# & #4  I trust Taylor Rogers to come back.  But I'd listen on trade possibilities.  If I was considering trading Rogers, I'd look long and hard at what it might take to acquire Josh Hader from the Brewers.  The Brew Crew needs offense.  Hader is still ELITE, but the Brewers have internal options.  The Twins NEED a true closer.  But they have the makings of a pretty solid bullpen. 

#5.  I loved Nellie Cruz.  His time here was productive and he's a great influence.  Unfortunately, roster construction by our current FO has not been good.  With Sano, Garver, Donaldson and a few others, they have adequate bats to fill the spot.  It just seems to make more sense to rotate guys through than to invest in a guy like Nellie (even at a reduced cost).  The money the Twins FO has to play with this off season needs to be invested in Starting Pitching, a SS and a Closer.  

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1 hour ago, Boom Boom said:

I disagree.  If Buxton doesn't like the team's chances, he can refuse to sign and force the Twins to trade him to a contending team.  

I would make the same point regarding item #2 on this list.  The Twins can offer money, but if FA starters think they have a better shot somewhere else, then a couple million isn't going to change their minds.

If they offer ENOUGH money he'll stay.  If he doesn't stay, it will because they didn't offer ENOUGH money.  Same as with Berrios. 

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I think there is one question that will determine how the Twins approach the off-season… How good does the FO view their odds of contending next year and what would it take to make those odds realistic.  Also, does contend mean be in it with the Whitesox or does it mean they are equal grounds with Houston / Boston / NY / Tampa.  They would need to acquire two top of the rotation SPs, one of the top SSs, and a back of the bullpen arm.  That would cost around $90M in free agency.  

Of course, they could trade prospects for one of those top arms and get it down to $60M.  It would mean trading away the prospects they would hope to get them to contention in 2023-24.  Anything less would not get them the type of SP they need.  So, the question is really will they trade away the future for a shot at 2022-23.  

They are not spending $90M and I sure hope they would not trade away the future for a shot at 2022 that would still have relatively low odds. They still would not have a line-up that compares to Houston / Boston / NY / Chicago.  Houston has $32M from Grienke coming off this year so look for them to add a top SP.  There are a lot of available impact free agents this year.  Boston and NY are going to spend and they have resources we can’t compete with.

2022 will not be a 100 loss season if they don’t fill every hole like some here like to suggest.  They played 500 ball the last couple months.  One good SP and a good SS along with getting Kirilloff back and this is a pretty good team.  I would like to see them get Chris Taylor to play SS and he can take another position if Lewis proves himself.  That’s a good team without mortgaging the future.  This path eventually has Larnach,  Miranda and probably Martin joining the team for a good part of 2022.  Of course, we have several pitchers that could (should) be ready at some point during the year.   I Would bet they take the path that gives them a good product in 2022 given that path probably gets better (contention) in 2023/24. 
 

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The 40 is still rather full, managing a crisp fielding team was a challenge in 2021, there's a bunch of players on the cusp needing rule 5 protection, and the Twins need to add like 3 starting pitchers. There will be several (5 or 6 maybe?) more players coming off the 40 man to protect Rule 5 prospects and make room for free agents of which 3-4 should be pitchers.

On the DH question, would a 40 man move that included trading away/removing one of the glut of bat first players like Sano and/or Rooker be a leading indicator? What might that tell us about plans going forward? 

 

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1- Not liking Lewis, I'd go for Correa (5-7 years) or Baez (3-5 years) or Iglesias for a 1 year stopgap.

2- We have some good arms but need 2 starters and 2 relievers

3- Gotta try Rogers in Spring training and bring back Colome' if we don't sign another closer.

4- Duffy has been reliable for most of the last 4 seasons. Thielbar has done ok but the rest are a big question. Get a couple of flame throwers who have command.

5- The DH doesn't/shouldn't have to be 1 man but it would be nice to bring back Cruz. Sano and/or Donaldson can be used if we get a 1b or 3b

6- Sign Buxton no matter what it takes but not for more than 12 mil a year (8 years at 96 mil) since we can't afford much more in our market.

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Extend Buck for whatever it takes. Build the offense with him in mind. And hope he stays healthy. Compete next year. Anything else is unacceptable. I like the idea of a revolving DH until/unless somebody steps up and makes the position his own. As for Cruz, he might finally have hit a wall and no doubt he's too proud to play part-time and coach Sano and others. Keep Polanco at second. Give Arraez a shot. Build the offense with what the team has and find a hitting coach who can actually make a difference when needed. Use FA and trades for some pitching but give the young arms who are ready their shot. No more dilly-dallying: 2022 is the year.

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8 minutes ago, joefish said:

How about Polanco as our switch hitting dh? Arraez can play 2b. 

Well, that is one sure fire way to drop Polanco from an All Star player to a scrub level player, haha. Polanco's value doesn't come from his bat, which is good, but not great. It comes from his bat relative to other infielders. 
Assuming he was a competent defender at the positions and his batting profile:

  • SS/C/CF = 5+ WAR
  • 2B/3B = 4 WAR
  • RF/LF = 3 WAR
  • 1B = 2 WAR
  • DH = 1 WAR

Arraez has the talent to be a starting 2B, but his injury history makes it a little sketchy to rely on him there, and I don't believe his bat is as good as Polanco's at this point. Arraez really tailed off last season. I think I'd look at Arraez as a solid 2-3 WAR starting second baseman. Too good not to play every day, but not good enough to push Polanco off 2B.

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1 hour ago, twinfan said:

6- Sign Buxton no matter what it takes but not for more than 12 mil a year (8 years at 96 mil) since we can't afford much more in our market.

It is highly likely that it is going to take A LOT more than this.  I'd be stunned if the Buxton camp didn't think he was worth $20M+ per season...

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3 minutes ago, puckstopper1 said:

It is highly likely that it is going to take A LOT more than this.  I'd be stunned if the Buxton camp didn't think he was worth $20M+ per season...

That's the Joe Mauer deal.  That's why I'm a little surprised that the contract news from earlier this year that Buxton seemed happy with in terms of guaranteed money was a little surprising. Maybe the incentives didn't add up to Mauer money, but I'd argue that:

* Even a 1/2 time Buxton would be worth that supposed $8-9 million in guaranteed money.

* A healthy Buxton is just as (if not more) valuable to the team that Joe Mauer was when he signed the big money deal.  

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15 hours ago, D.C Twins said:

0% chance Buxton signs and extension. If an extension were to have happened it would have only made sense from his side 1-2 years ago.

0% chance of filling all of the holes in the starting rotation AND the bullpen.

Poor chance of being meaningfully competitive next year..

SO.....

Trade Buxton for great prospects. Call up Celelstino and let him learn on the job. Go with the kids in the starting rotation and see what we have in 2022 before signing FA in 2023. Ditto for our internal bullpen arms.

Trade Donaldson for the best salary relief/prospect package available and let Miranda join Celestino. Let Sano try to be relevant one more time (nobody will trade anything for him anyway). Trade Garver (on borrowed time as 30 y/o catcher) and let Jeffers/Ro combo learn. Trade Kepler if there is a good offer (which there won't be so he stays). Sign one of the top 5 shortstops (good defense behind young pitchers while transitioning team into contenders....Also, Lewis is waaaaay far away and may never make it)

2022 for internal scouting and development.....2023 add what you learn that you need through FA/trades after 2022 information gathering.

Regular season competitive with 1st round defeat in 2023 developing into playoff competitive in 2024 with potential for deep playoff run...

That is the most realistic scenario to me.

This is an aggressive plan, but I could get behind it.   It will surely get the fanbase upset, so maybe we will be offered $99 season tickets.

The only two parts I'd change are sink or swim Celestino and the short-stop signing.  Celestino needs to get at least a couple more months at AAA.  I'd go stop-gap (Hamilton?) in CF to start the season, and let Celestino and Martin battle it out for a call-up to eventually take over in June or July.

It's not that I wouldn't want the Twins to sign one of those top shortstops, but unless the overpay is HUGE, I don't see one of them signing here while watching the team be sold off otherwise.

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29 minutes ago, Thebigalguy said:

Compete next year. Anything else is unacceptable

100% in agreement.  I've never really understood the "don't plan to compete" especially when the core of the current team (especially in the lineup) is certainly capable of being a competitive team in the AL Central. Even in the expanded playoffs this year, the Red Sox are a team no one had pegged into one of these 'competitive windows', but being in the right place and getting hot at the right time can go a long way.

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