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The Minnesota Twins are now just a week from Opening Day, and while payroll flexibility remains, the reality is the runway is basically shut down. The bodies in camp are the ones to choose from going north. So, how did Derek Falvey and Thad Levine do?

Coming into the offseason and lockout notwithstanding, the focus for the Twins had to be on adding pitching. The rotation was without its top two starters from last season, and middle-man Michael Pineda was also gone. The lineup needed a shortstop with Andrelton Simmons hitting the open market, and the lineup was likely to have a few new faces.

Before giving out a grade, let’s look at what took place.
 
Who Minnesota Lost this Offseason: Michael Pineda, Andrelton Simmons, Mitch Garver, Josh Donaldson, Ben Rortvedt, Chase Petty
 
Who Minnesota Gained this Offseason: Carlos Correa, Dylan Bundy, Joe Smith, Chris Archer, Gary Sanchez, Gio Urshela

It’s an odd offseason when extending your best player to a seven-year, $100 million deal isn’t the top move, but that’s where we are. Minnesota paid the man and locked Byron Buxton up into the foreseeable future. He represents one of the best talents in baseball when healthy, and keeping him was always going to be a priority.

Buxton is betting on himself with an incentive-laden deal that rewards performance. He can win multiple MVP awards if he can stay on the field, and the questions about whether he’ll break out no longer are present. Buxton was on a torrid pace last season before being hit by a pitch, and there’s been nothing this spring to suggest he won’t pick up where he left off.

Trumping that move was the acquisition of what could be considered baseball’s best free agent. Carlos Correa wound up with the Twins following a hectic few hours. Despite the assumption that Trevor Story would be a target, the sides never came close to a deal, and a pivot to a premier option was made. Correa’s deal could effectively wind up being a one-year pact, albeit the richest infield contract in Major League history, but he’s certainly saying the right things about making a home here.

In needing a shortstop, the front office didn’t just wind up with a defensive-only option as they opted for last season. Correa has won a Gold Glove and brings one of the best power bats at the position. He’s won a World Series and brings a winning mentality to a club looking for a resurgence.
 
Needing pitching, Minnesota found a partner on the trade market. Sonny Gray could be had for an uncertain, high-velocity prospect with the Cincinnati Reds piecing out their roster. Gray looks the part of former staff ace Jose Berrios, which provides a strong presence at the top of the group. He’s a tested veteran that should be reliable and potentially take a step forward, leaving the hitters haven that is Great American Ballpark.

With depth, a focus following the debacle on the mound last season, Dylan Bundy and Chris Archer represent back-end options tasked with holding serve. Bundy is probably more of a number four than anything, and while Archer has upside if he’s healthy, there are no guarantees as that’s been something alluding him for years.
 
The bullpen was always going to be rounded out with internal options, and bringing back a healthy Taylor Rogers was necessary. Adding a solid veteran in Joe Smith helps raise the water level as a whole. A couple of hard throwers at the top level of the minors could bolster this group as well.

Swapping out Mitch Garver and Josh Donaldson for Gary Sanchez and Gio Urshela is probably a net negative. Sanchez is not a good defensive catcher, though his bat may find a resurgence of sorts getting out of New York. Urshela had a poor showing in 2021 but was both sick and hurt. Being a good-to-great player at the hot corner in 2019 and 2020 is what the Twins are hoping to see.
 
Judging the offseason requires the view of substantial give and take. The Opening Day payroll is likely to check in below where it was a season ago, but that’s not for lack of trying. Unfortunately, the Twins sat back again and picked their spots while also focusing on trades. That didn’t work as well with a lockout and left them at the mercy of any partner’s willingness. Spending handsomely on Correa was nice, but allocating the final dollars on the necessary top pitching option never came.

There was the infamous “Have a freaking offseason” tweet last year, and I think there’s probably little denying that this crop is both more exciting and provided plenty of entertainment along the way. Minnesota didn’t need a massive overhaul, as much of the rebound should be expected to come from a lineup capable of being among the game’s best. The pitching is where the focus had to be, and while Gray is a substantial get, he’s not enough on his own. The rotation will primarily be dependent upon the health and effectiveness of the back-end guys.

I still think there’s too much certainty being placed upon Joe Ryan and Bailey Ober; they have a combined 25 Major League starts. Minnesota has a ton of pitching talent at the top levels of the minors, but thrusting them in too early could result in a revolving door.
 
As currently constructed, this is a team that should be in the hunt for a postseason appearance. The White Sox won’t run away with the division, and further additions by the front office could continue closing the gap. It was a good offseason, but the missing pitching move keeps it from being great.
 
Grade: B+
 
What are you giving the Twins for their offseason grade?


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Ted, great post. You know way more than I, but B or B+ seems about right.

I liked the Gray trade quite a lot. That is a solid A- given the desire to compete this year and the risk associated with the high school arm.

Correa was a fantastic addition obviously, but there is a high probability that it is a one year deal or less (it’s very possible still that we move him by the deadline if we are not contending). Thus, if Lewis is not ready to be a SS in the bigs next year, then we are back to square one. On the other hand, just maybe things work out and Correa is here for awhile. There is a lot of upside - we contend this year, move him for good longer term players, or he stays - vs. the downside of he leaves after one year (which we should only let happen if we are contending and can’t sign him to a new contract) or doesn’t perform. I think the upside cases are way more likely. Grade A.

However, the Correa signing felt a lot like a huge kick save after the Yankees trade. Just hated that trade. We decimated our catching depth (remember, Garver’s move ended up being part of this deal) and brought in two expensive reclamation projects. I’m higher on Urshela, but he still is blocking our most ready prospect. Sanchez was being touted in the NY press as being a likely DFA candidate. It took way more than expected to get rid of JD’s deal, but we still took on $17MM or so in the two Yankees. If Jeffers doesn’t perform, we are extraordinarily thin at C. I hope Urshela and Sanchez do well, but it’s highly likely Sanchez is one and done as a Twin and Urshela is an expensive utility player in ‘23, if not sooner. Grade C-

The other three signings are just “meh” and if one produces, then the three all together will be a success. Very possible but that should be the expectation. Grade B.

Overall, if we had just spent a bit more to keep JD (until we could move him) and our two catchers, signed Correa and done the pitching moves as well, we’d be better off. That team would be more of a contender this year and better positioned going forward. I so hope I’m wrong, but I’m just not feeling the value of Urshela and Sanchez.

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Wow, good summary but how do you get to a B+.  If this was a college course I would expect an incomplete. That being the case a place holder grade is a C or a C+ (The plus recognizing the effort). In the end we spun off good talent for a little less talent and some flexibility.  This leaves us with some large gaps on our roster, the kind that can bury you quickly.  I pray that we get a favorable outcome but am fearful that we watch a bullpen hand over leads late in games. 

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As a teacher, you mark down the grade that the student earned in your grade book, based how much they were able to show they learned about the subject/standard you were teaching.  That's what makes this so tough to grade.  We will not see the final results that the signings/trades "earned" until the season is over.  The best we can do at this moment is speculate.  I think Ted's B+ speculation is on the optomistic side (great summary by the way), but not far off from what the final grade "earned" will be.  I'm going with a slightly more conservative grade of B.  Go Twins!

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I agree with the gentleman's rating of a c+.  Perfect reasoning.  Going into the season our pitching needed upgrading.  The addition of Grey was good, the rest meh.  Nothing moves the needle for me there.  I love the Correa signing but Twins could have signed 2 or 3 free agent pitchers before the lockout began.  To me, not being able to spend money for a good pitcher or two was poor planning.  If you had monies to spend 35.million on one player they could have filled in at short for a year ( again) and got pitching.  This pitching staff, as currently constructed does not make twins a contender.  Reclamation projects (again) and inexperienced players.  I was very excited after Correa signing that it signalled the twins making more moves to improve the starting staff. Signing Archer is rolling the dice (again).  He's only pitched 19 innings last year and none in 2020.  He has a history of arm and other troubles.  I truly hope it all works out but FO only gets a c+ from me.  I'm afraid that all of us that were excited to sign Correas ( including me) will be complaining when we realize he just used us for a year to get a better contract for himself.

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I will go with a C-/D+ with the grade saved by the Correa signing (perhaps only for one year) and the Sonny Gray trade.   We did not sign one of the many top SP arms in Free Agency or pick up a top tier reliever.    We still have and even added to the glut of position players who are best served as DH's - Sano, Sanchez, Arraez, Larnach, Rooker.  We greatly weakened the Catcher position and did not address an OF platoon option that would allow Kepler to sit against LHP.    

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I think they've salvaged a decent offseason, but they still lack the pitching to really matter in the grand scheme of things.  I think there's too much reliance on young arms to be truly and consistently competitive in the regular season let alone the playoffs.  And the logjam of corner hit first types only got worse by adding Sanchez.  B-/C+

I think they've set themselves up fairly well going forward, but not really for this season.

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I almost busted a gut reading this.... "Swapping out Mitch Garver and Josh Donaldson for Gary Sanchez and Gio Urshela is probably a net negative." Probably? I don't think there is any "Probably" to consider. It is safe to say it IS a negative.

I would give the FO a "D" for their efforts. Resigning Buxton and getting Correa were the only 2 moves that had any significance towards improving the team over last year and one can argue resigning Buxton isn't improving the team since he was already here. Meanwhile they lost Garver, Donaldson, Rortvedt, Berrios, and Pineda. Maeda will be lucky to be back before the end of the season. Gray won't be better than Berrios, Bundy won't be better than Pineda. Will Ober or Ryan replace Maeda? I doubt Archer will. The bullpen didn't add any quality arms unless you count washed up guys like Jharel Cotton and Joe Smith. Maybe Duran, Moran, Winder, Romero will make an impact, but the FO didn't really make those moves this off-season so they don't count. They still have holes in the linup with Sano and Kepler. Now throw in Sanchez on occasion, Urshela isn't Donaldson. They are really relying on Jeffers to start hitting. I think a "D" is more than generous.

One question, where did they improve the team other than Shortstop? And at what cost?

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I know many have issues with lack of bringing recent established starting pitching, other than Gray.  However, we have plenty of MLB, or near MLB ready prospects and brought in some flier options.  With the contracts that the recent established starters got this year, I ma fine with not dipping into the FA market.  We also do not know what the A's were asking for their starter right now.  

I give at least a b+ if not an A-.  We locked up Buck to a contract that will not cost a ton if he keeps being hurt.  We filled our SS hole, although for maybe only 1 year, but it came clear we were not going to fill it any other way and made a nice pivot.  

Too many people worry about the signings we did not make or trades we did not make, but never look at what we may have in the system, or how some long term contracts could affect us in the future beyond this year.  Many long term FA contracts for pitchers have very low value after the first year or two.  We also do not know if or what we offered any of them contracts and the specifics of them.  

Sure, if none of our young pitchers perform and the two fliers flop, then we can say we made a mistake, but if we signed all the top FA pitchers and they all got hurt or flopped we would say the same thing. 

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I would give a grade of C. The only thing that keeps it above a D or F was the Correa signing. They get an F on their trades to begin, but when coupled with the payroll savings to allow the Correa deal I can adjust that to a D. They get a C+ on FA signings which would have been an F w/o Correa deal. The Bundy deal still has me with an incomplete. I think it will be a D at best, but I hope I will be surprised. The gray deal is a C+. The deal with Texas was a D. The deal with NY would have been a D-.

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I agree with others, great summary, but as a former professor, I think you are guilty of grade inflation.  Gray was a good move.  Donaldson may have been a clubhouse cancer, but when they traded him, they were left with no shortstop, and one less professional hitter.  The Correa deal simply fell into their lap as Boras was looking for a place to park Correa for a year.  I only credit them for saying yes to a no brainer deal.  Story was never coming here from all reports.  But, the biggest criticism I have is that they were caught flat footed last fall and didn't sign a single free agent pitcher from the best and deepest class in history.  That might cost them a real chance to make a run this year.  So, prior to Correa, I would have given them a D.  After Correa, a C+ based on what the didn't do to strengthen the biggest weakness on the team--pitching.

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To me this all comes down to Correa....if he is only here 1 yr...then that deal is a A.....if 2 yr's then a B and if by some chance he is here for all three, then we did not get value.....so a D.......

Dumping Donaldson was an A......getting back relatively minor contracts but losing catching depth.......still ok with....

This team will not compete for playoffs....so hopefully a couple of these guys will have some value at the trade deadline.....play the young guys and look forward to 23 and 24......

Archer was a good dart throw, for the price worth taking the chance on the guy.  

Roll out the balls and lets get the season going.  Let's shoot for .500 baseball......

 

 

 

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I give them a solid C for a grade but doubt that they planned this whole thing out.

I thought the Texas trade was OK as they needed a defensive shortstop and retained Rortvet as a backup,

I thought that the Yankee trade was a disaster based on the returns but graded that higher after they spent the money saved.

I loved the Correa signing and was high on the trade for Gray.

I am OK with Bundy and Archer signings as they need bodies and still leave room for the kids to get some innings.

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3 hours ago, Nashvilletwin said:

...Sanchez was being touted in the NY press as being a likely DFA candidate....

I've seen a few people post this idea, and openly admit I've put 0 effort whatsoever into trying to track down these rumors, but I don't get why the Yankees would have tendered Sanchez if the plan was to DFA him in the spring. I know 8M is basically nothing for them, but wouldn't they just have non-tendered him if they didn't have any plans to have him on the team? It's possible they'd already spoken with the Twins and/or other teams about dumping him in a deal to bring back a "bad" contract or salary dump from another team I guess. I just think they planned to have him on their team for 2022 or they wouldn't have tendered him an 8M arb deal. I'm guessing they planned to use him as their 2nd C behind Higashioka, but I just don't see the DFA angle.

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I would raise the grade to an A- because the Twins unloaded the older, injury-probable Donaldson together with his influence on the younger players and his $50 million salary and were then able to afford to sign Correa, together with his influence on the whole team, which appears to be extremely positive. We are always hearing about younger players learning how to "go about their business" from the older, successful teammates (like Nelson Cruz).  With Correa and Buck being the presumed team leaders, the younger Twin players seem to be in very good hands. 

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C+.... And only because of Correa and Buxton. None of the other moves are ones I love. Had they signed one good starting pitcher, I'd move it to an A-..... But they are betting way too much on the guys in the minors, imo. 

I like the Gray move...btw. maybe love it? 

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The Twins really needed to get 2 solid starting pitchers and having a Bundy or Archer as the last starter was fine as we have options earning their way up.  We could end up being just fine with our pitching acquisitions, but the Twins really dropped the ball by not ending up with 2 solid starters.  At least they could acquire one later in the season, though I am sure it will cost more in terms of prospects.  

Joe Smith should help the pen.  and that is a positive.  

Correa is a plus, plus, plus move so was the Buxton extension.  

Didn't get the trade Donaldson for Ursula and Sanchez.  Donaldson was only on the books for this season and next plus an 8 million buyout. We do have some costs savings there, I guess.  Also, it makes room for Miranda, who I hope comes in and succeeds.  I do believe Sanchez will be better than others here.  I bet he will grade out this year as slightly below average defensively at C and he will have around a .780 OPS his batting average will be low is his problem.  

Ted forgot to mention we acquired 2 prospects in trades that includes our 14th ranked prospect at mlb.com I am not sure where the other prospect ranks.  

We do have the ability still to acquire another starting pitcher and Oakland still has pitchers to trade.  So, the grade can still go up. I am giving them a A- based on the Buxton Extension/ Correa signing adding to the grade over the subtraction of missing out on a solid starting pitcher over 2 reclamation projects.  We can still acquire Montas or Manea should Oakland decide to make the plunge.  that would move the grade up to a solid A to A+  I mean you can't expect any more out of the Twins than that.  

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Before reading the article but just viewing the headline, I was going to say B+ also, or maybe just B. 

Had they not signed Correa (and all the machinations that led to that), it would be C- territory or worse due to inaction with the pitching staff, and with the creative Correa signing it remains the uncertain pitching that keeps the grade below A.  In a few months, that grade could be re-evaluated upward or downward (which is true of any off-season, but I think more so this year than most), because several of the moves have good upside if everything works out but significant downside if one bad outcome leads to another and another and a 2021-style avalanche occurs.

The FO is gambling heavily on rookies, particularly among the pitchers, producing right out of the chute.  Hope they're right.  If so, then the gambles on old retread arms won't matter too greatly, and if those work out too, it could be a fun season. That's an adjective I wasn't prepared to use a month ago.

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I'm trying really hard to be optimistic about this team, and I can see where they did make improvements. I like the Sonny Gray deal a lot, but it feels incomplete with him as the only rotation piece that isn't a rookie or a retread. This becomes especially true if he is starting Game 1 of a playoff series, and the next day is one of the rookies...where have we seen this before? We've seen what they do at the trade deadline when they are playoff bound, and it is not to add impact pitching. Why should we expect them to add someone like Montas at the deadline this year?

 

I think the Correa deal is great, but I also think that it was a gift from Scott Boras that bailed them out of a potentially very tight spot. If they had not landed Correa, it would have come down to whether or not Story signed with them. From what I understand the Twins were offering less money and years than other teams, but he would have been able to play shortstop, which he preferred. If there is no Correa parachuted in, and they don't sign Story, then what? We've seen them make one trade and there's no reason for me to think that they would have gone after an impact shortstop other than Story. No Correa means they're rushing Lewis or signing a glove first shortstop that hits at the bottom of the order.

 

The bullpen in my mind is fine, the addition of Duran I think provides what they needed, and bullpens are difficult to predict and mercurial by nature. It would have been great to see a little bit more brought in from outside than a guy who throws 87 mph with a funky delivery, but otherwise it didn't need quite that much attention.

 

The rotation is worse this year than it was last year on paper. Gray basically cancels out the loss of Berrios, and after that we have four serious question marks. At least last year we had a front three of known commodities before getting to the fliers. This year we are not only asking rookies to step up at the beginning of the season, we are rounding out the rotation with a veteran who hasn't been healthy in two years, and another who has never been particularly good. None of these four have any kind of contingency in place if they are injured/unplayable either, so we're looking at the very real possibility of a four man rotation and a bullpen day, depending on how Winder does right away.

 

Speaking of Winder, that's where I try to find optimism. I think that the future is bright for the pitching staff, and I understand not wanting to sign anyone to deals that may block the path for some of the young prospects. What gives me pause, though, is the fact that the pitching pipeline is a couple of years out, but they have a very good lineup on offense right now. This looks an awful lot like a team that will regress on offense as the pitching begins to take shape, meaning a perpetuation of this good-enough-to-make-the-regular-season-interesting business. 

 

My grade is a C, because it feels like everything happened in spite of the FO not having a plan and just kinda winging it. I said I'm trying really hard to be optimistic, and I will watch (and by that I mean listen because Bally sucks) and hope for the best. I can see how this could go well, and I can see how it could go badly. I'm hoping for the former.

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I agree with the B+ grade as it stands right now.  I'd still like to see them pull off a trade for a front of the rotation starter but if that doesn't happen, how bout maybe go back after Cueto for a little more depth.  My grade would still be a B+, but it would be a higher B+.

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Compared to last year's Opening Day roster, the Twins have upgraded at shortstop, downgraded at third base, downgraded at catcher, and downgraded at starting pitching. If Sanchez gets a good chunk of DH at-bats, that's a downgrade at DH, but I'll give that one a wash. Overall I don't think the Correa signing offsets the downgrades at the other positions. If Buxton can stay healthy, and I don't know why that should be expected, I see 75-77 wins out of the team. If Buxton is as injured as he was last year, I don't see much movement from the 73 wins from last year. And that's factoring in the benefit of playing in the worst division in baseball. So I'll give them a C, as these moves collectively don't move the needle much. 

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1 hour ago, Yawn Gardenhose said:

Compared to last year's Opening Day roster, the Twins have upgraded at shortstop, downgraded at third base, downgraded at catcher, and downgraded at starting pitching. If Sanchez gets a good chunk of DH at-bats, that's a downgrade at DH, but I'll give that one a wash. Overall I don't think the Correa signing offsets the downgrades at the other positions. If Buxton can stay healthy, and I don't know why that should be expected, I see 75-77 wins out of the team. If Buxton is as injured as he was last year, I don't see much movement from the 73 wins from last year. And that's factoring in the benefit of playing in the worst division in baseball. So I'll give them a C, as these moves collectively don't move the needle much. 

They are better at pitching. Gray is about Berrios. Ryan is Pineda, and no one will be as bad as Shoemaker was last year. 

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Well nobody really knows, but for the sake of the question, B-? The part of many reactions that cracks me up (darkly) is the general faith of 'we've got a great lineup'. The reality is we haven't had a great lineup since 2019; they underperformed the next year (and pitching carried us to the playoffs), and the hitting was terrible last year with equally weak pitching.

I think the FO has upgraded things to the point of a season around .500, and a chance for the edge of the expanded playoff field, which is a big step up from last year. Our expensive FA is vastly superior to last year's model, and Correa is a massive upgrade as SS as well. Urshela gets ripped a lot around here, but he is a straight upgrade over JD (less but not insignificant bat, and far better defensively since no matter how good you used to be, you can't defend third very well if you have problems walking across the clubhouse). I'm also glad they didn't toss massive money at a starting pitcher; that doesn't often work out well, and frankly the foundation isn't good enough for the 'one that will put us over the top' approach. Sometimes the moves you don't make are the best.

On the downside, the catching is FAR worse, and they got a bit handcuffed by the lockout lasting so long. And if Bundy/Archer start to resemble Happ/Matty the Shoe, or they release Canterino to add Cave to the 40 man Twins fans will be right there to drench them with Hatorade.

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The Dodgers signed Andrew Heaney for $8.5 million. They roll every rock for any player that might win a game. Yes, they have resources that the Twins cannot match but from trades to free agents to minor league signings their net is decisive. Meanwhile their farm system is amazing at developing players. To me the Twins are reactive as opposed to proactive in nearly all of their dealings, from the draft to the big roster.

The Texas trade made some sense if the Twins were going to highlight defense. Then they traded with the Yankees. I miss plenty but have never read nor spoken to anyone who spoke poorly of Josh Donaldson regarding his work habits, professionalism, or willingness to work with younger players. I don't know him, but have heard from some who do which is an indirect link. I do not understand the negativity cast toward him since the trade. Does anyone know him personally or have specific quotes or links to indicate otherwise? Losing JD, IK-F, & BR meant the Twins were weakened at DH, catcher, 1B, 3B, and SS. Fortunately for the Twins, Scott Boras picked up the phone and dictated a deal. Hope.

At this point the Twins are leaning very heavily on their younger players to be very good if the season is to be competitive. Hopefully this can occur. The team is also leaning heavily on Shoemaker/Happ types to resurrect their careers and it could happen. Bundy, Archer, Smith, and Sanchez have had good years. 

The problem, in my opinion, is that the Twins are not proactive in their plan (whatever it is). The entire season will rest with guys like Jeffers, Kirilloff, Ryan, Ober, Winder, Alcala, Duran, and a host of other young players. We already know that Polanco, Correa, Buxton, and Rogers will be good. National writers are mostly placing the Twins below the midpoint of all MLB teams. I guess we can hope for a pile of luck and monster seasons from the unknown guys like Sanchez, Sano, Urshela, Arraez, Kepler, Gray, Archer, Bundy, and Smith.

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13 hours ago, Nashvilletwin said:

Ted, great post. You know way more than I, but B or B+ seems about right.

I liked the Gray trade quite a lot. That is a solid A- given the desire to compete this year and the risk associated with the high school arm.

Correa was a fantastic addition obviously, but there is a high probability that it is a one year deal or less (it’s very possible still that we move him by the deadline if we are not contending). Thus, if Lewis is not ready to be a SS in the bigs next year, then we are back to square one. On the other hand, just maybe things work out and Correa is here for awhile. There is a lot of upside - we contend this year, move him for good longer term players, or he stays - vs. the downside of he leaves after one year (which we should only let happen if we are contending and can’t sign him to a new contract) or doesn’t perform. I think the upside cases are way more likely. Grade A.

However, the Correa signing felt a lot like a huge kick save after the Yankees trade. Just hated that trade. We decimated our catching depth (remember, Garver’s move ended up being part of this deal) and brought in two expensive reclamation projects. I’m higher on Urshela, but he still is blocking our most ready prospect. Sanchez was being touted in the NY press as being a likely DFA candidate. It took way more than expected to get rid of JD’s deal, but we still took on $17MM or so in the two Yankees. If Jeffers doesn’t perform, we are extraordinarily thin at C. I hope Urshela and Sanchez do well, but it’s highly likely Sanchez is one and done as a Twin and Urshela is an expensive utility player in ‘23, if not sooner. Grade C-

The other three signings are just “meh” and if one produces, then the three all together will be a success. Very possible but that should be the expectation. Grade B.

Overall, if we had just spent a bit more to keep JD (until we could move him) and our two catchers, signed Correa and done the pitching moves as well, we’d be better off. That team would be more of a contender this year and better positioned going forward. I so hope I’m wrong, but I’m just not feeling the value of Urshela and Sanchez.

You are missing the MIranda factor in this.  Miranda could come up ad start mashing.  If he can do that then the Donaldson trade becomes a huge win.   Here's to hoping.

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