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November 30 is the non-tender deadline for baseball which means several players will surprisingly become free agents. Just as in years passed, there are several such players this time around that could fill some of the Twins' needs.

For a pitching needy team like the Twins, the non tender deadline is like Christmas. Position players do get cut loose, but they’re oftentimes much less interesting than the arms that find themselves looking for teams for a multitude of reasons. There are three arms in particular that could go a long way in helping fill a needy pitching staff.

LH SP Matthew Boyd
Boyd was once a highly-coveted arm that would have brought in a king's ransom. On Tuesday, the Tigers officially decided to ship him out. One can only assume they’d like a do-over as they’ve now let him go for free. Boyd’s home run issues have simply become too much to overcome these last few years, and he’s now recovering from surgery on his forearm. The projected $7.3m turned out to be enough for the Tigers to finally cut bait.

2021 was a resurgent year for Boyd when he was on the field. He posted a 3.89 ERA in 78 innings. His breaking ball and changeup combo was impressive and more than enough to overcome a flawed fastball that has been crushed in his career. He may not be an arm the Twins can lean on too heavily coming off injury, but with so many rotation openings there would be nothing wrong with taking a flier on a cheap arm with significant upside who just turned 30 years old.

RH RP Richard Rodriguez
This may have been the most surprising non-tender of the day as Rodriguez was only projected to make $3.1m. He would have cost a heavy prospect package as recently as last offseason, but the Pirates held onto him, eventually dealing him to Atlanta for significantly less down the line. His 2.94 ERA was not indicative of his performance under the hood, as his strikeouts completely dried up, dropping from 36.6% in 2020 to an absurd 16.7% in 2021. It’s hard to fathom such a drop off in a pitcher with such incredible raw stuff. 

The Twins should be heavy on Rodriguez who gutted his way through a successful 2021 in terms of final outcomes and has a history of closing out games. Any return to form on the strikeout rate would give them a tremendous force on the back end of games in a bullpen that let so many opportunities slip away in the last year.

RH SP Chad Kuhl
The moment we’ve all been waiting for. I actually proposed a package deal last winter for both Richard Rodriguez and Kuhl, and here they are for free! (Well, not free, only dollars rather than prospects and dollars.) I may not be GM material, but I do know that the reason I liked Kuhl last winter is still very much relevant. He did not have a good season, still mostly starting games and posting an ERA north of 4.80. He still had a 33.5% whiff rate on his slider and a 44% whiff rate on a changeup that he should probably be throwing more often.

The ship has sailed on Chad Kuhl, the starting pitcher in my mind. Maybe Wes Johnson has other ideas. That being said, he has a five-pitch mix that could easily be trimmed down to two or three with a move to the bullpen. His 94 mph fastball should play up in shorter stints, and he has at least one devastating pitch in the slider, as well as a changeup to mix in. At the very least, Kuhl could be a multi-inning reliever with his pitch mix and still shows signs of being able to figure out how to develop into much more. It's a low risk gamble to take on a pitcher that does a few things extremely well and was cut loose over a projected $2.2m.

While these three stand out as obvious options, there is no shortage of players looking for new teams following tonight's deadline. See the full list of non-tendered players who are now free agents below:

Diamondbacks: Taylor Clark-RHRP

Braves: Johan Camargo-UTIL, Richard Rodriguez, RHRP

Red Sox: Tim Locastro-CF

Tigers: Matt Boyd-LHSP

Angels: Phil Gosselin-2B

Brewers: Dan Vogelbach-1B

Twins: Danny Coulombe-LHRP, Juan Minaya-RHRP, Trevor Megill-RHRP

Marlins: Lewis Brinson-CF (DFAed)

Mets: Robert Gsellman-RHRP

Pirates: Chad Kuhl-RHP

Padres: Jose Castillo-LHRP, Matt Strahm-LHRP, Trey Wingenter-RHRP

Nationals: Ryne Harper-RHRP, Wander Suero-LHRP

 

Are there any other non-tendered players you’d like to see the Twins take a flier on? Let us know below!

 

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I really enjoyed this article because it gave me so much information that I really didn't have. Boyd is a surprise to me because he was at one time their Ace. They had great expectations and I know that in the past we even talked about trading for him. Otherwise I don't really know much about the other players but I think I would take a chance on him.

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And Ryan and Over at BEST are number 4 starters.  They have only 25 games of major league experience behind them.  They are going to take some time to develop.  Great article.  Well researched.  It's just always so sad for Twins fans that we have to shop the very bargain basement for pitching help.

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First after thinking about it, I wouldn't mind being referred to as MLB baseball team trash. Bring on the multi million dollar contract.

Second, we put a lot on Johnson and his staff to turn failed or failing MLB pitchers into pitching staff regulars. They may fail more than they succeed, but they are getting good results overall. I can't ever remember a Twins pitching coaches being thought of as being so readily able to resurrect pitchers. Although they could probably make 1 or 2 of these pitchers hers work, it would be nice if they had some better material to work with.

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I think all of the three named will get invites to spring training from someone.  The Boyd situation shows how not selling a player at their peak can come back to haunt you.  Boyd a few years ago could have been dealt for huge return.  Now, he is sent packing for nothing.  The Rays are masters at selling guys at peak value to reload their system.  They have been doing it for years.  They get the cheap high production years from a guy, trade them a year or two before they will be a FA and most of the time the guy never does as well when gone.  A few guys have helped team that was traded to, but Rays seem to get the best out of the trades. 

Cleveland has made similar trades of pitchers lately as well.  This is one reason why I was not upset with trading of Berrios.  Maybe Berrios continues on and has good career, never been great, but it is also possible he regresses or starts to have injury issues.  I believe you should trade a guy a year too early, than hang onto them and trade them a year too late.  Remember Willingham?  His first year he did will and a lot of teams had interest.  Sure the deals may not have been great, but we held onto him and that was huge mistake. 

Of course if you are looking to compete you face hard decision.  KC years ago had several guys ready to hit FA and they had to decide one more shot at the ship or start trading off guys to restock.  They held onto them and let them walk, leading to several years of bad ball.  Rays never do it that way, they always trade guys away, knowing they need to keep cupboard stocked. 

Two different ways to do it, I personally like the keeping things stocked. Having a deep system helps in the long run. 

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Again thanks Cody for your work here. Mainly RPs which we could use. I feel Boyd as another Happ but maybe worse. I like both Rodrigues and Kuhl. I'd like Rodrigues to continue his early 2021 success but I suspect that his success maybe came from his high spin rate that could've been due to illegal substances. I hope I'm wrong because he'd be a great addition. I agree with you about Kuhl, I'd put him in long relief until he get most of his stuff really working. The others I'm not really familiar with. Always nice to find that diamond in the rough from that lump of coal. All is needed is that eye that can see it.

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