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  • Checking In on the Players the Twins Moved on From

    Cody Christie

    For better or worse, the Twins moved on from multiple players this past off-season. How have those players done for their new organizations? Let's check in.


    Image courtesy of David Berding, USA Today Sports

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    Minnesota made multiple roster-altering trades over the last year, and those moves are a little easier to analyze because the team received something in return. For the players below, it was easy to see how any of them might fit into the team's plans moving forward. However, each moved on to a different organization, and their production levels have varied considerably.  

    Michael Pineda, SP
    Michael Pineda made five starts for the Detroit Tigers so far in 2022. In 22 1/3 innings, he posted a 3.22 ERA with a 1.08 WHIP and a 12-to-4 strikeout to walk ratio. Currently, Pineda has been on the injured list since mid-May after getting hit by a comebacker to the mound. He suffered a broken finger but was able to avoid surgery. He threw a bullpen session last week, which points to him being closer to returning. Much like his time in Minnesota, Pineda has been relatively effective when healthy. Detroit sits 11 games under .500 to start the season, so Pineda can provide a boost to the rotation when he can return. 

    Andrelton Simmons, SS
    There is no question that Andrelton Simmons struggled during his Twins tenure, but his career-track record pointed to him being able to bounce back. His 58 OPS+ was nearly 30 points lower than his career mark, even if his defense continued to be strong. Simmons signed with Chicago this winter, and right shoulder inflammation has limited him to 19 games. Since returning from the IL, Simmons has been gone 8-for-49 (.163 BA) with no extra-base hits. He has a -2 OPS+ and nearly as many strikeouts (7) as hits (8). Now in his age-32 season, one must wonder if Simmons will be able to get back to the player he was earlier in his career. 

    Willian Astudillo, UTL
    Fans fell in love with Willians Astudillo during his Twins tenure, but his value to the team declined as he couldn't play consistently behind the plate. Astudillo settled for a minor league deal with the Marlins, but the team has already needed to call him up during the 2022 campaign. In 12 games, he has gone 8-for-26 (.308 BA) with a home run. Like the Twins, the Marlins have used him at multiple infield positions and even as a reliever in one game. Astudillo will be a fan favorite wherever he plays, and Miami offered a better chance for him to get regular playing time in 2022. 

    Rob Refsnyder, OF
    Rob Refsnyder burst onto the scene with the Twins last year as he hit .321/.371/.500 (.871) in his first 18 games with the club. Over his last 33 games, his OPS dropped to .524, and he posted a -1.34 Win Probability Added. His hot start may have convinced some fans that he could fill a fourth outfielder role, but his full-season numbers were closer to his career totals. He signed a minor-league deal with the Boston Red Sox, and they recently called him up. In his first five games, he has gone 3-for-11 (.273 BA), with two of his three hits being doubles. Refsnyder also made a highlight-reel catch that might have Boston fans feeling similar to what Twins fans felt at the beginning of last season. 

    At this point, it seems like the Twins were correct in their assessment of moving on from all of these players. Do you think the team should have kept any of the abovementioned players? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. 

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    Just now, ashbury said:

    But according to b-r.com, Pineda cost the Tigers $5.75M while we got Bundy for $4M plus a $1M buyout.  So now who's the real winner?

    Team wise the Twins. They actually have the same FIP which would suggest bad times for Pineda, better luck Bundy.  Pineda vs Bundy, they are both winners for the salary they got

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    8 minutes ago, ashbury said:

    But according to b-r.com, Pineda cost the Tigers $5.75M while we got Bundy for $4M plus a $1M buyout.  So now who's the real winner?

    I have to admit, I looked up the salaries, too. Not to go all Twins-cheap or anything ...

    Assuming we have $750K to throw around like confetti, I like Pineda, better, too. 

    But the real answer is still making a deal for a front-of-the-rotation horse before the trade deadline.  (We're so close to being one of the elite MLB teams ... )

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    Other than Pineda, who is guaranteed to be on the IL every year, the others are all waiver wire depth pieces.

    This article actually makes me feel better about the team.

    (And I wish all the former Twins the best of luck. While some moves are obvious business moves, one never knows fully what motivates a free agent to sign somewhere, be it money, family, city, change of scenery, coaching etc.)

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    My wife adopted Astudillo as her favorite Twin last year and I got one of his cards for her from eBay. But it was pretty cool that he'd be playing here in Jacksonville this season. There was no sign of him at the first game we went to back in May. But Lewin Diaz plays first here, and Refsnyder was playing for the Woosox that night. Second game we went to got rained out (Slegers was slated to pitch for the visitors) and then Willans got the call up. Maybe we'll catch him later in the year...

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    Even though he's still in theTwins organization I am feeling really good that the Twins have moved on from using Jake Cave at the major league level. Regardless of how well Cave is or isn't hitting in the minors, the organization is much better off having Larnach, Celestino, Gordon and hopefully soon, Kirilloff to use in the outfield if needed.

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    What about Berrios?  He got off to a slow start but a much better pitcher than anyone we have.  Throw out all the stats but he consistently pitches 7+ innings, is never on the IL, the team is 9-3 when he starts.  The Twins had the money to spend even with Correa and Buxton.  At least he is with a team that has a chance for the WS or at least a good play-off run.  He is with a team that will spend the money and don't whine about it when he has a bad day.  He is on a team where he is appreciated by the FO, manager and fans.  So I am very happy for him and disgusted with the Twins letting the type of pitcher we are always longing for.

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