Jump to content
Twins Daily
  • Create Account
  • Top 50 MLB Free Agents for 2022: Who May the Twins Target This Winter?


    Tom Froemming

    This year’s MLB free agent class is deep, especially in the areas the Minnesota Twins have the greatest needs. Here’s how I’d rank the top 50 free agents this offseason plus notes on some players I could see being particularly good fits on the Twins.

    Image courtesy of Matt Blewett, USA TODAY Sports

    Twins Video

    Here’s my list, be sure to join in the discussion on who your favorite Twins targets would be down in the comments.

    1. Carlos Correa, SS, Houston Astros
    2. Corey Seager, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers
    3. Freddie Freeman, 1B, Atlanta Braves

    4. Marcus Semien, 2B/SS, Toronto Blue Jays
    It’s difficult for me to envision the Twins shopping at the top of the market, but they did show interest in Semien last winter. There are five great shortstop options available on this year’s free agent market and at 31-years-old, Semein is the oldest. Could this be a situation where there's more supply than demand?

    5. Trevor Story, SS, Colorado Rockies
    6. Nick Castellanos, OF/DH, Cincinnati Reds
    7. Kevin Gausman, SP, San Francisco Giants
    8. Max Scherzer, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
    9. Kris Bryant, OF/3B, San Francisco Giants

    10. Marcus Stroman, SP, New York Mets
    Short-term fixes are not solving the Twins pitching problems. It would surprise me to see the Twins trade away José Berríos and immediately sign a pitcher to a long-term deal, but I think Stroman is the safest bet among starting pitchers on this year’s market. Some hurlers have higher upsides, but I love Stroman’s high floor.

    11. Robbie Ray, SP, Toronto Blue Jays
    12. Javier Baez, SS/2B, New York Mets
    13. Clayton Kershaw, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers

    14. Noah Syndergaard, SP, New York Mets
    Cody Christie recently wrote about Syndergaard and Carlos Rodón as possible pitchers to take a gamble on, check it out.

    15. Chris Taylor, OF/IF, Los Angeles Dodgers
    Do the Twins need a high-end utility man like Taylor? That a question Cody Pirkl pondered in a recent article.

    16. Starling Marte, CF, Oakland Athletics
    17. Carlos Rodón, SP, Chicago White Sox

    18. Eduardo Rodriguez, SP, Boston Red Sox
    If his 4.74 ERA and 1.39 WHIP scare teams away, Rodriguez could be a great rotation target. His FIP was nearly a run and a half lower than his ERA and he had the highest BABIP among starting pitchers with at least 150 innings … by 37 points! E-Rod had a .363 BABIP despite being in the top 87th percentile in hard-hit rate. Rodriguez has been a common target around these parts, mentioned in recent articles from Nick Nelson, Cody Christie and Andrew Mahlke

    19. Raisel Iglesias, RP, Los Angeles Angels
    20. Kyle Schwarber, OF/1B, Boston Red Sox
    21. Kenley Jansen, RP, Los Angeles Dodgers

    22. Jon Gray, SP, Colorado Rockies
    I like Gray as a fit for the Twins but question whether Colorado will let him out of their grasp. It’ll be interesting to see if he’s extended a qualifying offer tomorrow. The Rockies have discussed extensions with him recently and I expect them to be proactive about trying to bring him back. It’s just so difficult for them to land free agent pitchers. Gray has had positive things to say about the org, so I’m anticipating a reunion, unfortunately for the Twins.

    23. J.D. Martinez, DH/OF, Boston Red Sox
    24. Michael Conforto, OF, New York Mets
    25. Brandon Belt, 1B, San Francisco Giants
    26. Anthony Rizzo, 1B, New York Yankees

    27. Justin Verlander, SP, Houston Astros
    Verlander is said to be seeking a multi-year deal, and after making just one start over the past two seasons, I have a hard time believing the top destination teams are going to be jumping at that. This Twins front office hasn’t been averse to adding aging players in the past (Nelson Cruz, Rich Hill, J.A. Happ), so I could see them kicking the tires on the future Hall of Famer.

    28. Jorge Soler, OF/DH, Atlanta Braves

    29. Avisail Garcia, OF, Milwaukee Brewers
    Pitching is clearly the Twins biggest need, followed by shortstop, but they could also use a right-handed bat. Garcia has obliterated lefties over his career, posting a .294/.363./.464 line (.827 OPS). Lucas Sheehafer recently wrote about the need for improvement out of left field, check it out.

    30. Alex Wood, SP, San Francisco Giants
    31. Anthony DeSclafani, SP, San Francisco Giants
    32. Eduardo Escobar, 3B/2B, Milwaukee Brewers
    33. Nelson Cruz, DH, Tampa Bay Rays
    34. Eddie Rosario, OF, Atlanta Braves

    35. Alex Cobb, SP, Los Angeles Angels
    You may know Cobb from such roles as the mystery player in my most recent article.

    36. Mark Canha, OF, Oakland Athletics
    37. Zack Greinke, SP, Houston Astros
    38. Steven Matz, SP, Toronto Blue Jays

    39. Michael Pineda, SP, Minnesota Twins
    Pineda has been a Twin for the past four years (though he spent the first rehabbing), could he be back for 2022? Not many free agents will view Minnesota as an attractive destination, but Big Mike loves it here. A reunion for his age-33 season would make a lot of sense for both sides.

    40. Danny Duffy, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
    41. Corey Kluber, SP, New York Yankees

    42. Corey Knebel, RP, Los Angeles Dodgers
    There are a number of relievers in this 40-50 range and several more who just missed my list. Knebel is the guy who intrigues me most. He missed the entire 2019 season recovering from Tommy John, then was terrible in a short sample in 2020. He missed three months of this season due to a back injury, but looked great from there and capped things off with an impressive postseason.

    43. Kendall Graveman, RP, Houston Astros
    44. Andrew McCutchen, OF, Philadelphia Phillies
    45. Kyle Seager, 3B, Seattle Mariners
    46. Collin McHugh, RP, Tampa Bay Rays
    47. Yusei Kikuchi, SP, Seattle Mariners
    48. Jonathan Villar, IF, New York Mets
    49. Joc Pederson, OF, Atlanta Braves
    50. Mark Melancon, RP, San Diego Padres

    See some surprises? Me too, actually. It’s funny, if you had me re-rank these guys a couple of weeks from now I’m sure I’d have a few things slightly different. This is a good, deep free agent class and there’s not a lot that separates some of these players. In the video below I called out some of the guys I felt were most likely I had too low.

    Who are your favorite potential Twins targets on this year’s free agent market?

     Share


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments



    Featured Comments

    Sounds like the Mets tagged Syndergaard with a qualifying offer. I think that should pretty much eliminate him from consideration. To me, it wouldn’t be wise to give up a draft pick for a guy on a bounce back deal. 
     

    I think they should focus their free agency energies on one of the shortstops and work the trade market for pitching. 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    A dream and not reality since I know the Twins way.....

    Any one of the 3 S's at shortstop, Seager, Story, or Semien.

    For the rotation all 3, Ray, Gausman and bring back Pineda.

    In LF one of these 3, Marte, Castellanos or Bryant.

    Ok, I woke up now and the dream is over.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Twins FO will be out of excuses if they don't sign a couple of these guys.

    Lots of directions to go.  Remember two years ago, or three maybe, when out of all their FA escapades they latched on to Donaldson to play 3B.

    Not many players think of coming to Minnesota as an upgrade, whether late in their career or not. 

    We will get what we get and hope they can sign Buxton.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    So many teams have money to spend this offseason.  I read that Miami, Mariners, Giants, Detroit, and even Cleveland has little money committed to next year and beyond.  Knowing this I think the Twins will sign Pineda, and another starter like Matz, Duffy, Smyly.  I would like to put Gray in this list but agree he is trending toward staying in Colorado.  But someone in the 10-14 million per season range.  

    The third starter will come via trade.  I do not expect us to like any third pitcher we sign so i will go with trade for the last starter.  but if we do sign a third starter it will be someone like Fiers, Rich Hill again, Lester, Quintana, I wonder if Odorizzi is available in trade?  

    on SS it would be nice to see us sign a good SS.  I was hoping we could get someone like Chris Taylor but he is now a known quantity and his price went up with his post season.  so I have us either resigning Simmons or signing VIllar 

    The bullpen is a crap shoot of who they will sign.  so I wont bother for now.  I do think they have a good pen going into next year as is so its not like they have to do anything but if they can sign an upgrade at a value price they will do it.  I doubt they will pay market price for anyone in the pen since they have been good at finding value relievers.  

    And if all goes well we extend Buxton.  

    I think this would be a good offseason for us too.  

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    The Twins rarely sign "sure thing" free agents, if there is such a thing. So pretty much anyone in Top 10-15 or so is more pipe dream. 

    These signings along with a healthy Buxton and Garver, progress from Kirilloff into a + MLB hitter, Polanco stays productive and add:

     #18 Rodriguez,  #35 Cobb, #42 Knebel, SP via trade and a new answer at SS

    Could well be a dream of the Twins back in contention...

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Our main holes should be plugged via trade. #1 and maybe #2 SP, LF/ Buxton and SS via trade. If Marte, Rodriguez, Kneble or lower tier SS could be had for a bargain pursue it. The best bet from your list is Pineda. Nobody wanted him at deadline and there is a good relationship between the 2 so an agreement makes sense.  Tepera  also makes sense but he's not on your list. 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I find it hard to rate like you've done that takes a lot of work so thanks. Of course I don't agree with all the rankings and that's easy to do when you don't have to start from scratch. The biggest takeaway I have is that the twins based on history get two of the players in your 50 and they're probably going to be in the range of 25 to 35. Who they are I don't know but I think that they will spend money but not going to spend outrageous money and I don't blame them. I see the top shortstops aging and moving to second base. The best thing we can do is get a young shortstop from our own prospects and also avoid old arms like Verlander and Scherzer. We need to build for more than one year.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Correa (#1) or Seager (#2) would be nice but shocking and I have no expectations there will even be any conversations with their agents.

    Semein (#4), Ray (#10), and Stroman (#11) will be contacted and one of these would be sweet. Stroman might be possible. Similarly, Baez (#12), Marte (#16), and Iglesias (#19) are fits for the Twins and would be excellent signings. 

    The players that seem more likely to be courted are: Rodriguez (#18), Canha (#36), Pineda (#39), and the relief pitchers ( Knebel (#42), Graveman (#43), McHugh (#46)).

    The free agents I hope to see in a Twins uniform (within reasonable budget) are Marte, Galvis, Adrianza, Rodriguez, Pineda, Iglesias, and Yates. Stroman would be a sleek pickup at the cost of others.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    My Twins Plan

    Offer Ray 5 year 125mil or Gausman 5 year 115mil

    Offer Jon Gray 3 year 45mil or Syndergaard 4 year 68mil

    Offer Pineda 2 year 10mil

    Offer Iglesias/Tepera 2 year 16mil

    Offer Jansen 1 year 8mil

    Offer Seager 2 year 30mil

    If miss out on Ray/Gausman offer Stroman 5 year 100mil or trade Kepler for Manaea/Sonnie Gray

    Trade Donaldson and eat 15mil of remaining 51mil over 2 years 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Remember that free agency is kind of like the anti-draft, especially for top tier free agents. Obviously teams can make offers, but the player chooses the team instead of the other way around. Top tier players will almost always choose teams that are likely to contend during the upcoming season and/or teams that are willing to overpay. The Twins are neither, and factoring in the Twins' history of rarely pursuing such players it is very unlikely that we will land a high-impact player via free agency this off-season. I expect that the front office's strategy regarding free agents will be to rely on our scouts to find and sign someone who is undervalued and on our coaches to help him perform above expectations.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    2 hours ago, Nine of twelve said:

    Remember that free agency is kind of like the anti-draft, especially for top tier free agents. Obviously teams can make offers, but the player chooses the team instead of the other way around. Top tier players will almost always choose teams that are likely to contend during the upcoming season and/or teams that are willing to overpay. The Twins are neither, and factoring in the Twins' history of rarely pursuing such players it is very unlikely that we will land a high-impact player via free agency this off-season. I expect that the front office's strategy regarding free agents will be to rely on our scouts to find and sign someone who is undervalued and on our coaches to help him perform above expectations.

    I hate reality when it comes to the Twins adding players. 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    3 hours ago, Nine of twelve said:

    Remember that free agency is kind of like the anti-draft, especially for top tier free agents. Obviously teams can make offers, but the player chooses the team instead of the other way around. Top tier players will almost always choose teams that are likely to contend during the upcoming season and/or teams that are willing to overpay. The Twins are neither, and factoring in the Twins' history of rarely pursuing such players it is very unlikely that we will land a high-impact player via free agency this off-season. I expect that the front office's strategy regarding free agents will be to rely on our scouts to find and sign someone who is undervalued and on our coaches to help him perform above expectations.

    I guess what you are saying is that everyone should focus on trades and look to sign some players that are in the #30-?? range. Is this fair? Do you have any ideas for trades or viable free agents?

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I would recommend looking at the bottom 50 and below because that for sure is where the Twins look.  They sign players no one else wants on the cheap and hope they produce.  That's been the Twins way for decades.  Why should this year be any different?  Great article though.  Well done.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    It's likely that Ray, Syndegaard, and Rodriguez are off the table as the received the QO. I think they all re-sign or accept.

    That leaves Stroman with quite a bit of separation at the top.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    1 hour ago, Minny505 said:

    It's likely that Ray, Syndegaard, and Rodriguez are off the table as the received the QO. I think they all re-sign or accept.

    That leaves Stroman with quite a bit of separation at the top.

    Yep and just think about the competition for him.  The Astros and Dodgers each have almost $90M expiring and that does not count the players the Dodgers got after the deadline.  The Mets have $75M expiring.  The Mariners are siting at something like $60M in salary including their arbitration players and they looked like a team about to enter a window of contention.  Plus, their FO has already said they are looking to spend.  Then, we have the Yankees who have not been nearly as relevant in the post season the last decade.  They could go nuts too.  Cleveland could spend $75M too if they were so inclined.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    For what its worth:

    mike sixel: Odds the Twins sign one of the better FA pitchers?
    They need three…..also, I can’t believe Verlander got a QO. That’s a ton of money for a guy with his recent history and age.
    3:08
    Ben Clemens: I think that the Twins will sign at least one pitcher in my top 25 list

     

    I have no idea if he meant top 25 overall (I think he did) or top 25 pitchers......but given my question, I think he meant overall. There are nine starting pitchers in the Fangraphs top 25....

    https://blogs.fangraphs.com/2022-top-50-free-agents/

     

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    22 minutes ago, Mike Sixel said:

    For what its worth:

    mike sixel: Odds the Twins sign one of the better FA pitchers?
    They need three…..also, I can’t believe Verlander got a QO. That’s a ton of money for a guy with his recent history and age.
    3:08
    Ben Clemens: I think that the Twins will sign at least one pitcher in my top 25 list

     

    I have no idea if he meant top 25 overall (I think he did) or top 25 pitchers......but given my question, I think he meant overall. There are nine starting pitchers in the Fangraphs top 25....

    https://blogs.fangraphs.com/2022-top-50-free-agents/

     

    Makes me wonder who he thinks we’ll sign in the top 25 overall. I suppose Eduardo Rodriguez is a good guess? I just don’t see the Twins going above and beyond to get Ray or Stroman. 

    Also, Jon Gray’s projected contract from Ben and the crowd source looks quite appealing…

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    40 minutes ago, Major League Ready said:

    Yep and just think about the competition for him.  The Astros and Dodgers each have almost $90M expiring and that does not count the players the Dodgers got after the deadline.  The Mets have $75M expiring.  The Mariners are siting at something like $60M in salary including their arbitration players and they looked like a team about to enter a window of contention.  Plus, their FO has already said they are looking to spend.  Then, we have the Yankees who have not been nearly as relevant in the post season the last decade.  They could go nuts too.  Cleveland could spend $75M too if they were so inclined.

    It’s no secret I’m a proponent of going big signing a SS. But now that I see projected crowd sourced salaries on FanGraphs, I think we will be outbid on AAV and years. Trevor Story (projected 6/$150 on FG) and Javy Baez (4/$80) might be in the realm of possibilities. As far as Seager is concerned, who is my dream scenario, I think he ends up in Yankee pinstripes. We knew they were looking for SS at the trade deadline… That sweet LH swing with that short RF porch is a match made in heaven. 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    8 hours ago, Whitey333 said:

    I would recommend looking at the bottom 50 and below because that for sure is where the Twins look.  They sign players no one else wants on the cheap and hope they produce.  That's been the Twins way for decades.  Why should this year be any different?  Great article though.  Well done.

    Agree. Twins Way means they start searching in the hospital wards, then the Old Folks Home, and eventually rattle all the dumpsters looking for anybody who still owns a baseball glove. I'd prefer they focus on giving our own minor league players a shot at the Bigs.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    17 hours ago, Vanimal46 said:

    Javy Baez (4/$80) might be in the realm of possibilities.

    That's a bargain price for Baez. Yes, please.

    I think they're wrong - he'll get $100M

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    21 hours ago, Vanimal46 said:

    It’s no secret I’m a proponent of going big signing a SS. But now that I see projected crowd sourced salaries on FanGraphs, I think we will be outbid on AAV and years. Trevor Story (projected 6/$150 on FG) and Javy Baez (4/$80) might be in the realm of possibilities. As far as Seager is concerned, who is my dream scenario, I think he ends up in Yankee pinstripes. We knew they were looking for SS at the trade deadline… That sweet LH swing with that short RF porch is a match made in heaven. 

    I am with you in terms of prioritizing a SS but reality set in when I started looking who had money to spend and how much.  The national radio shows on satellite radio are buzzing about Seager going to the Yankees so I think you nailed that one.  There are some SS prospects that are blocked.  Maybe we can trade for one.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    22 hours ago, Major League Ready said:

    I am with you in terms of prioritizing a SS but reality set in when I started looking who had money to spend and how much.  The national radio shows on satellite radio are buzzing about Seager going to the Yankees so I think you nailed that one.  There are some SS prospects that are blocked.  Maybe we can trade for one.

    The Yankees have two very good SS prospects.....and need a CF........IF the Twins make the mistake of dealing Buxton, I'd be aiming for one of them and a pitcher from the yankees

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    1 hour ago, Mike Sixel said:

    The Yankees have two very good SS prospects.....and need a CF........IF the Twins make the mistake of dealing Buxton, I'd be aiming for one of them and a pitcher from the yankees

    I noticed that too.  Peraza is already at AAA but Volpe looks good.  They are definitely trade bait of they sign Seager.  They have not been a big factor lately.  Will they be impatient and look to build through free agency or are they learning that approach is not all that effective even with their budget.  In other words, do you think they sign one of the big FA SSs?

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites




    Join the conversation

    You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Guest
    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

    Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...