Here are three reasons why the Twins should avoid starting a rebuild in 2022.
1. Rebuilds Don’t Guarantee Future Success
Many fan bases love the idea of a rebuild because of the hope it can offer for the future. In recent memory, there have been successful rebuilds in Houston and Chicago as both franchises won a World Series. These success stories are hardly the norm for rebuilds, as many teams struggle to stay relevant in a competitive MLB landscape.
For every successful rebuild, plenty of teams never quite make it back over the hump. Philadelphia lost 81 games or more for eight straight seasons from 2012 through 2019. As the team started coming out of the rebuild, they spent big on free agents like Bryce Harper and Zack Wheeler. It’s been a decade since they made the playoffs, and they only have one season with a winning season during that stretch. San Diego had high expectations over the last two years after losing 90+ games for four straight seasons. Their rebuild results include one playoff appearance, and no playoff wins since 2006.
2. Twins Trailing Other Teams Already Rebuilding
Minnesota can undoubtedly try to rebuild, but it will be tough to field a roster worse than some of the other teams already rebuilding. Last season, seven teams lost 90 games or more, including four that recorded over 100 losses. Franchises like Baltimore, Arizona, and Pittsburgh are stuck in what seems like a yearly rebuilding cycle. Since 1998, Baltimore has had three playoff appearances. Pittsburgh has one playoff appearance that wasn’t in a Wild Card Game since 1993. Over the last decade, Arizona has made two NLDS appearances but never made it out of that round.
All of these teams are already ahead in the rebuilding process, and their rosters look worse on paper than the Twins. One of the goals of a rebuild is to build draft capital throughout multiple seasons, but there are few guarantees when it comes to the MLB Draft. Even Houston made drafting mistakes as part of their rebuild. In the last decade, Minnesota drafted highly for multiple years, and there were plenty of players that didn’t pan out, including top-10 picks like Kohl Stewart, Tyler Jay, and Nick Gordon. First-round draft picks are valuable, but teams need to develop players in the organization to rebuild successfully.
3. Minnesota Is Currently In A Winning Window
It may be hard to forget, but the Twins just got out of a rebuild and are in the middle of their current winning window. From 2011-2017, Minnesota’s average finish in the AL Central was 23.6 games out of first place. The Twins saw the results of these losing seasons by winning back-to-back AL Central titles in 2019-20, but that can’t be the peak of this current core. With a veteran core, the Twins should be trying to reload the roster and get back to the playoffs. Plus, the AL Central isn’t getting any easier with other teams like the Tigers and the Royals coming out of their own rebuilds.
Also, Minnesota signed Byron Buxton to a seven-year contract extension, so it is essential to field competitive rosters when he is in the prime of his career. Age is certainly a risk to consider with a player of Buxton’s skillset, so the team needs to be in win-now mode. A Twins rebuild would take multiple seasons, and then Buxton would be at the back-end of his contract or no longer part of the team. While the winning window is open, Minnesota needs to stay competitive.
Do you think the Twins should start a rebuild or try to avoid it? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
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