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cjm0926

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  1. Houston just played better baseball than us for these 3 games, no other way to put it. Houston worked counts and didn't waste any AB's, they were aggressive on the basepaths, and their pitchers went right at hitters. This is a great series to learn from, how we need to be more aggressive if we want to have a real chance against some good teams. Not saying it is going to happen overnight, but Houston looked miles ahead of us in almost every aspect of the game.
  2. I don't think it would be a bad idea to create some in-season competition at a few positions. I am not going to overreact because we have only played 8 games but I feel some players almost take their spot in the lineup everyday for granted. Kepler refuses to do anything but pull the ball, so maybe sit him for a young gun for a few games and see how he reacts when he doesn't get to play everyday. Im sure he wont take it for granted and will try to make adjustments. Same could be said for Sano, bring up Miranda and let him play a bit. That might light a fire in Sano's belly going into a contract year that might get him going a bit faster. You know for a fact these young guys will give it their all every play to try and make a good impression, even though they may struggle. Make it a bit more like a High School/ College team where the people who play well day in and day out play, and those who struggle sit for a bit while they regather themselves. I dont want to overreact this early in the season but soon we may find ourself in a hole too deep to dig out of like last year.
  3. I totally agree with this. Some people act like injuries will never happen, and then are screwed when they do. Polanco had ankle surgery in 2 straight off-season's, although moving to second base this year likely helped him out in that regard. Donaldson has an injury history, although it did not bite him too bad this year. Those are two positions that Arraez can play well. There is a very real chance Miranda struggles right away in the big leagues, and that is another chance for Arraez to play. Just because he doesn't have a clear spot to play right now, doesn't mean there won't be one come May or June. I would much rather hang onto him unless the trade is too good to decline. Worst case scenario Arraez can play DH and give a starter the day off and play 5 games a week.
  4. Like many other baseball fans, I am very bored during this lockout. There are no free agent rumblings or really much of anything in the baseball world currently. I was doing some research on Kirilloff, and something got me thinking. Alex Kirilloff is a young, left-handed hitting first baseman, who projects to be the first baseman of the future for the Twins. The Twins seem to have a history with left-handed hitting first basemen. Some of those first basemen were named Kent Hrbek, Justin Morneau, and Joe Mauer. I am sure you can see where I am going with this, so I will just get into the article. Kent Hrbek held down first base for 13 years for the Minnesota Twins. Kent got a glimpse of the big leagues in 1981. In 24 games, he hit .239 with a homer. He also posted an 85 OPS+ (100 is league average) which would be his last time being a below average hitter until his last season in 1994 when he posted a 99 OPS+. He became a full time starter in 1982 and retired at the end of the 1994 season. He was a great hitter with even better defense. Throughout his career he built up a 38.6 WAR (Wins Above Replacement). Over his 14 year career he hit .282 with 293 home runs and 1086 RBI’s in 6192 at bats. He had a 128 OPS+ over his career, making him a well above average hitter. In comparison, Freddie Freeman, one of the best first baseman throughout the 2010’s, holds a career 138 OPS+. Kent was very consistent throughout his career, until the last 2 or 3 years where he dealt with injuries. The odd thing about Kent’s career is that he was an All-Star only one time, which was in his first full year in 1982. He didn’t even make an All-Star team when he was 2nd place for MVP in 1984. Part of that is because he played in the steroid era, when some of the best hitters of all time played, steroids or not. Many of the AL All-Star first baseman awards throughout Hrbek’s career went to Eddie Murray, Mark McGwire, and Frank Thomas. Although Kent Hrbek doesn’t have all of the accolades such as gold gloves and all stars to show off, he had a very good career and is one of the best players in Twins history. When Hrbek retired in 1994 until Justin Morneau took over 1B full time in 2004, multiple names split time there. The most notable was Doug Mientkewicz. Also some dude named David Ortiz played there for a few years, I wonder how he turned out? Anyways, Morneau took over 1B in 2004 when Mientkewicz was traded to the Boston Red Sox. Morneau instantly became a fan favorite, hitting .271 with 19 home runs in his first year. He was a well above league average hitter, posting a 122 OPS+. He underwent a bit of a sophomore slump in 2005 before breaking out in a huge way the next year. In 2006 Morneau won the AL MVP by hitting .321 with 34 home runs and 130 RBI. He continued to mash over the next couple years, and signed a 6 year, $80 million extension before the 2008 season. Morneau played in 163 regular season games in 2008, and the contract seemed to be paying off. In 2010, Justin Morneau’s career changed in a huge way. On July 7, 2010 in a game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Justin Morneau slid into second base trying to break up a double play when he was struck in the head by Blue Jays infielder John McDonald. It was a play that had happened hundreds of times without anything bad happening, but this time it did. Morneau had a concussion and was out for the rest of the 2010 season. He was never the same player after that day. At the 2013 trade deadline the Twins traded Morneau to the Pirates for Alex Presley and Duke Welker. Morneau won the 2014 NL batting title with the Rockies, and played his last year with the White Sox 2016. He officially retired in January of 2018 after not playing in 2017 marking the end of a good career. Morneau posted 22.9 out of a 27 total career WAR in a Twins uniform. He had 1318 of his total 1603 hits with the Twins, and 221 of his 247 home runs with the twins. He also had 860 RBI’s in his career with the Twins, and was nearing 1000 for his whole career with 985 total RBI’s. Throughout his Twins 11 year tenure he posted a 121 OPS+. There is no doubt he had a good career but there will always be the thought of what could’ve been. Joe Mauer was made the full time 1B of the Twins in 2014 after Justin Morneau had served that role for nearly a decade. Mauer had been bitten by the injury bug many times in his career, which ultimately was the reason the Twins had him move over to 1B in 2014. Joe Mauer was drafted 1st overall in 2001 by the Minnesota Twins. He was drafted as a catcher and had played that position for over a decade before making his move to first base. He was on track to become one of the best catchers of all time, winning 3 batting titles, an MVP in 2006, 5 Silver Sluggers and 3 Gold Gloves. The Twins liked what they saw enough to give Mauer an 8 year, $184 million extension, which is still by far the biggest deal in franchise history. During the 2013 season, Mauer suffered a concussion after being hit in the facemask by a foul tip. It was determined early in the following offseason that the Twins would move their franchise cornerstone to first base to preserve his health. Like his good friend Morneau, he was never the same player, which could be partly due to increasing age as well. Mauer played 5 seasons at first base before calling it a career. In his final game, he suited back up into his old catcher's gear to catch a pitch and was given an emotional standing ovation. When somebody mentions the Minnesota Twins, Mauer is often a name that comes to mind. He had that kind of impact on the Twins as a former 1st overall pick and hometown hero. He is at the top tier with franchise greats such as Harmon Killebrew, Rod Carew and Kirby Puckett. Mauer will likely join the National Baseball Hall of Fame in the coming years, and rightfully so. He ended his career with 2123 hits (.306 average),143 home runs, 923 RBI’s, a 124 OPS+, and a 55.2 career WAR. He also ended with accomplishments such as 5 Silver Sluggers, 3 Gold Gloves, 3 batting titles, 6 All-Star Game appearances, and last but certainly not least, a 2006 AL MVP Award. It will be exciting to see how his Hall of Fame case goes about in the coming years. All of that brings me to the point of this article, Alex Kirilloff. As you may have noticed, I went over 3 of the best first baseman in franchise history, which happens to be the position Kirilloff plays. Like the other 3, Kirilloff also bats left-handed (although that doesn’t matter much, just a coincidence). Kirilloff broke out in the minors in 2018, placing him high on many lists. He made his much awaited debut in 2020, although surprisingly in the postseason. He didn’t make the team out of spring training, but was up with the Twins not too long after. After his 59 game showing in the majors before his wrist injury, it looked like he would be the first baseman of the future. In the majors in 2021, he hit .251 with 8 home runs and 34 RBI’s with a 98 OPS+, which are not numbers that will wow you. However, he made plenty of hard contact, and looked like he belonged, but just had some back luck. I don't want to put massive expectations on him, but it certainly looks like he is poised to be our first baseman for the next decade. It should be fun to watch him for the next many years alongside the other top prospects we have in the system, but only time will tell. Thank you for reading, and Go Twins!!!
  5. I dont get where you are getting negative numbers for Arraez at 3B, in over 400 innings at 3B he had 5 Defensive Runs Saved, and over 300 at 2B he had 2 DRS. I remember reading in another article that he ranked 4th out of all 3B on SABR's defensive rankings in 2021 at 3B, but I am not super familiar with SABR. For the comment on Jeffers, I would certainly be fine with moving him, but for a good return. I don't want to merely dump him, if he can help us land a good arm, I'm all for it.
  6. Prospects are exciting, but they do come with some risks. The Twins currently seem to have as deep of a system as ever, but until the prospects reach the majors, it doesn’t matter. Today I will be revisiting the 2018 Twins Top 30 Prospects, according to MLB Pipeline, going through #1 to #15 on the list, and give some reason for hope, and some for fear for the current crop. #1 Royce Lewis Acquired: Drafted 2017, 1st Overall Current Team: Twins Organization Royce Lewis was a bit of a surprise being drafted #1 overall in 2017, many believed it would be high school flamethrower Hunter Greene going to the Twins instead. He is still currently the #1 prospect in the Twins system. Royce Lewis has shown plenty to be excited about, but also has shown some concerns, especially tearing his ACL right before spring training in 2021. He figures to be the most important piece to the Twins success in the coming years, will he be able to live up to the hype? #2 Fernando Romero Acquired: Signed out of Dominican Republic in 2011, $260,000 Signing Bonus Current Team: Yokohama DeNA BayStars (Japan) Likely the biggest letdown on this list, Romero was a late find for the Twins, who had some competition in signing Romero. Ultimately, it all worked out and the Twins got a deal done. Romero played well in his first couple years of minor league ball before tearing his UCL and requiring Tommy John surgery, knocking him out of the 2014 and 2015 seasons. He came back and worked his way up to his debut in 2018, pitching well for a few starts and ended the season with a 4.69 ERA. The Twins tried to turn him into a bullpen piece in 2019, but to no avail. It failed miserably and he was sent back to the minors. In 2020 he could not get into the United States for Spring Training due to visa issues, and was ultimately released late in 2020. #3 Stephen Gonsalves Acquired: Drafted 2013, 110th Overall Current Team: Cubs Organization Another massive letdown. Unlike Romero, Gonsalves never found any big league success, even for a few starts. He was expected to go higher, but an incident where he lied to the dean of his high school was made public and as a result, he fell lower in the draft. The Twins signed him away from his San Diego college commitment. He only pitched 24.2 innings in the majors for the Twins, all in 2019 ending with a 6.57 ERA. He has been in multiple other organizations throughout the past 2 years, only having big league time with the Red Sox in 2021. #4 Nick Gordon Acquired: Drafted 2013, 5th Overall Current Team: Twins Gordon has had a rather long journey to the big leagues. He was drafted very high in 2013 and posted solid stats in the minors, and was finally added to the 40-man after the 2018 season. Gordon’s season was limited in 2019 due to injuries, and he endured a rough battle with Covid-19 during the cancelled 2020 minor league season, knocking him out of any possible baseball activity. He finally made his long awaited debut with the Twins, playing his way into a possible future role as a super-utility man. I personally am a big fan of Gordon and think he will be a good player for the Twins in the coming years. Fun fact: Outside of baseball, Nick Gordon also raps with his stage name of G Cinco. #5 Wander Javier Acquired: Signed out of Dominican Republic in 2015, $4 Million Signing Bonus Current Team: Twins Organization When the Twins signed Wander Javier out of the DR, they gave him the highest signing bonus in franchise history, breaking Miguel Sano’s $3.15 Million in 2010. The first 2 years of his professional career looked good, and he could be a big contributor for the Twins in the future. Since then, not much has gone right. He has battled injuries and has been inconsistent to say the least. On the bright side, he is still only 22 years old, and plays a premium position, shortstop. If he can find what he seemed to once have he still has enough time to become a solid Major Leaguer. #6 Alex Kirilloff Acquired: Drafted 2016, 15th Overall Current Team: Twins Alex Kirilloff was drafted out of Pennsylvania as a good hitting corner outfielder. He didn’t disappoint in his first taste of pro ball in 2016, but in 2017 he needed Tommy John surgery, knocking him out for the year. He really broke out in 2018 and earned a top 20 rank in most prospect lists. Kirilloff had a good first showing in the MLB in 2021, but just had some bad luck on batted balls as well as a wrist injury ended his season early. Although he can play outfield, it appears he will be the Twins first baseman of the future. #7 Brusdar Graterol Acquired: Signed out of Venezuela in 2014, $150,00 Signing Bonus Current Team: Dodgers Saying Brusdar throws hard is an understatement, he throws extremely hard. He also has good offspeed. The Twins traded him along with Luke Raley to the Dodgers in exchange for Kenta Maeda. Graterol has only been used in the bullpen by the Dodgers, and rightfully so. He had posted mixed results. Personally, I am content with the trade. Sure, Brusdar could have been a good bullpen arm for the next 5+ years, but we got a near Cy Young season with Maeda. An elbow injury ended his season early and will likely eat up his whole 2022 season, but he has shown how good of a pitcher he can be, and in my opinion, you cannot be too upset with the trade. #8 Brent Rooker Acquired: Drafted 2017, 35th Overall Current Team: Twins What could have been, and what might still be. Rooker has shown off the light-tower power he was drafted for, but also hasn’t been very consistent. He has proven just about everything he has needed to in the minors, but can’t quite figure it out in the majors. Over his 2 partial year Major League career, he has had a 32.1% strikeout rate. He also plays below average defense in right and left field. If he can find his swing in the majors, he could be a great DH or good corner outfielder, but time is running out, especially since he is already 27. #9 Blayne Enlow Acquired: Drafted 2017, 76th Overall Current Team: Twins Organization The Twins paid Enlow over twice slot value at $2 million, to keep him from going to LSU. He had pitched very well in the minors, but has been injured a fair amount too. A few weeks into the 2021 season it was revealed that he would need Tommy John surgery, keeping him out until mid-2022. The Twins have shown they have faith in him though, adding him to the 40-man roster this offseason rather than risk losing him. He is still young enough though, he is currently 22 and will be 23 on opening day. I think he will become a good starter in the majors. #10 Lewin Diaz Acquired: Signed out of Dominican Republic in 2014, $1.4 Million Signing Bonus Current Team: Marlins Lewin Diaz was the guy we traded for Sergio Romo at the 2019 trade deadline. More importantly, along with Romo, we obtained Chris Vallimont, who has shown signs of brilliance, but also has had trouble. Lewin Diaz can hold his own at first base defensively, but he has had trouble hitting in the majors. He has hit well enough in the minors, but like Rooker, has never figured it out at the major league level. In his Major League career over 161 AB’s, he owns a .193 batting average. He is currently 25 years old. #11 Akil Baddoo Acquired: Drafted 2016, 74th Overall Current Team: Tigers The one that got away. The Tigers selected Akil Baddoo in the 2020 Rule 5 draft. Nobody could have expected he would play this well. He only had one really good season in the minors, that being in 2017. In 2019, early in the season it was revealed he would need Tommy John surgery, which seems to be a recurring theme in Twins outfield prospects on this list. Anyways, the Tigers selected him in the Rule 5 draft and he was a well above average hitter in the majors, posting a 113 OPS+.You cannot really blame the Twins for losing him, they appeared to have all of the outfield depth in the world, and Baddoo still looked multiple years away from the show. #12 Lewis Thorpe Acquired: Signed out of Australia in 2012, $500,000 Signing Bonus Current Team: Twins Organization There were reports that he was finally reaching his potential this past spring training. He had increased fastball velocity and was in the best shape of his life. None of that translated to games that mattered. He was signed as a crafty lefty out of Australia in 2012, with a fastball sitting around 90 MPH. He has had no big league success to this point, in all 3 years he has appeared in a major league game (2019 ,20, 21), he has been below average. The only way that seems possible for him to stick in the majors is if he becomes a bullpen arm, and like many other Twins fans, I am not buying it. #13 Lamonte Wade Jr. Acquired: Drafted 2015, 260th Overall Current Team: Giants Another one that got away. Lamonte Wade Jr. looked like he could have been a decent 4th outfielder for the Twins. The Twins chose Jake Cave over him, and sent Lamonte packing to San Francisco in exchange for project piece Shaun Anderson. Anderson ended up pitching less than 10 innings for the Twins before being released. Wade Jr. on the other hand, broke out in a huge way. He posted a 117 OPS+ for the Giants and looks to be a big piece of their future. He even received MVP votes in 2021. For the record, I always liked Lamonte Wade over Cave, but no one could have expected he would be this good. I am happy Wade broke out, and even happier it wasn’t for an AL team. #14 Travis Blankenhorn Acquired: Drafted 2015, 80th Overall Current Team: Mets Blankenhorn was pretty average throughout his minor league career for the Twins. His ceiling seemed to be a good utility player. He made his debut in 2020, going 1 for 3 with a double. He played one game for the Twins in 2021, as a defensive replacement. He made a costly error against the Athletics, which was paired with a Luis Arraez throwing error, which cost the game. That game seemed to send the season to the trash can and kind of lost hope for everyone. Days after the error, he was DFA’d and picked up by the Mets, which is where he currently plays. It never seemed meant to be with the Twins, and I hope for the best of luck in the future for Travis. #15 Zack Littell Acquired: From Yankees (Traded for Jaime Garcia at 2017 Deadline) Current Team: Giants Littell was originally drafted by the Mariners, then a few years later traded to the Yankees. Soon after, he was sent to Minnesota along with Dietrich Enns, in exchange for Jaime Garcia and cash considerations, in one of the most puzzling trades in team history. Littell had success out of the pen in 2019, and then looked lost in 2020. I was always a believer in him but it doesn't really matter what I think. He was eventually released and picked up by the San Francisco Giants. Littell rebounded in a huge way in 2021, posting a 2.92 ERA for the Giants in 61.2 innings. He looks to be a reliable bullpen arm for them in the coming years. Notable 16-30 #19 Mitch Garver Acquired: Drafted 2013, 260th Overall Current Team:Twins Garver broke out fairly late in his career, during his age 27 season. However, he broke out in a huge way, cementing himself as one of the best offensive catchers in the MLB. As a result of Garver breaking out late, he is already getting up there in age for a catcher. He will be 31 on opening day, which is decently old for a catcher. If he is still with the Twins after this offseason, he looks like he will catch for a few more years, and then it is likely he will transition over to a 1B/DH role. There is also a small chance he will play one of the most physically demanding positions in sports, catcher, for 5+ more years, due to how Baldelli rests his catchers. #23 Luis Arraez Acquired: Signed out of Venezuela in 2013, $40,000 Signing Bonus Current Team: Twins You always know what you will get with Arraez, high average, not a whole lot of power. That is what has made him one of my favorite Twins to watch. Some people believe Arraez will be dealt this offseason, but only time will tell. He currently holds down a utility role for the Twins. He broke out defensively this year, becoming a top 5 defensive 3rd baseman in 2021. He may have found his defensive home for the future, but he will have to beat out young buck Jose Miranda, who is mentioned soon in this list. Arraez also carries injury concerns, he has torn an ACL during his minor league career, and overall has “balky” knees. I think he could be a great leadoff hitter for the next 10 years if his body can hold up. #25 Ben Rortvedt Acquired: Drafted 2016, 56th Overall Current Team: Twins Like Arraez, you know what you are getting with Rortvedt. Rortvedt isn’t a force with the bat, but does have some power. He is highly regarded for his defense, profiling as the best in the system. With the Twins surplus of catching, he will likely serve as the 3rd catcher, playing most of his games in Saint Paul. It is nice to have him on hand though, as there could be some moves involving catchers after the lockout, and freak injuries happen with catchers. If he can bump his offense to average for a catcher, his defense will carry him to being an above average MLB catcher. #28 Jose Miranda Acquired: Drafted 2016, 73rd Overall Current Team: Twins Organization It wasn’t until this year that Miranda broke out, and he did it in a big way. Everybody knew Miranda had good tools, maybe they didn’t know they were this good though. He finally put them all together and hit over .340 on the season with 30 bombs between AA and AAA. He looks like he will be the 3rd baseman of the future for Minnesota, but stats don’t matter until the show, so we'll just have to wait and see. He is still fairly young, being 23 years old and he is one of, if not the best hitter in the whole system. This list should provide a good realization that prospects are just prospects. Some are more likely to contribute at the MLB, hence the rankings, but odd things can happen. Also, it should show that lower ranking prospects can provide a big impact in the big leagues, so don’t always write them off. This list likely brought up some names you have forgotten, and some you wish you could forget *cough cough Baddoo* The future of this team is resting on their current farm system, which should hopefully provide fun baseball for years to come. After all, even Mike Trout was a prospect once. Thank you for reading. Leave a comment. Go Twins!!!
  7. I personally believe Berrios is not quite as accomplished as Stroman, but has a higher ceiling for sure. I could see both sides of an argument for who is more accomplished though. As far as a Berrios extension with the Twins, it seemed like he just didn't like it here. A big reason why he said he signed that extension with Toronto was because of how much he liked it there, almost implying that Toronto was a much better fit for him than Minnesota. As far as Stroman for 5/$100. I think that is a very fair deal for both sides. The further we get into this offseason makes me think the Twins are waiting for their farm system to provide top end pitchers, rather than buy them as free agents.
  8. He WAS an ace. Nothing is saying he will not become one again but after missing nearly 2 years with major injuries it would be stupid to slot him in as an ace of a top tier ballclub. Gerrit Cole is the ace for the Yankees for many more years and Severino, if he can stay healthy, could turn into a great #2 for them.
  9. I did this same thing a week ago on here for a 2025 Roster everything here is the exact same that I put except I put Sabato at DH instead of Sano.
  10. Gausman and Ray signed for $22 and $23 million. They both have shown ace stuff the past few years. Many teams believe Stroman would be a good #2, not an ace. Also, with him being towards the end of the high end pitching free agents, many teams have found their guy, causing less competition. Also with Stroman talking a lot on social media recently that could drive some teams away. I think a deal of $20 million AAV is very close to what he gets, whether it is 3-5 years
  11. Yea I will agree, I did undershoot Knebel. When you said Bassit is 32, that made it seem like you dont want him due to that. Sonny Gray is also 32, maybe it was just a misunderstanding on my part, but I don't understand that. I wouldnt want to trade our higher end young talent, like Larnach, or likely future rotation pieces, like Winder and Sands, for a year or two of a pitcher. It all just depends on what the other team wants I guess. I would much rather trade for Manaea out of all you mentioned, due to certain factors, but that is just me.
  12. Sorry didn't even notice that. I forgot to change the Sano salary that is put in at 1B($9.25), to Kirilloffs salary ($0.6)
  13. I may have undershot the salary for Knebel for a bit but I do not think he will get $10 million. If he was a workhorse then certainly, but he only pitched 25.2 innings last year. I could be wrong, I just don't see it happening. Maybe 7-8 million though. Kepler is certainly capable of playing center field. In his career he has logged over 1100 innings there. He also has a perfect fielding percentage, and 3 DRS. He isn't Byron Buxton in center field but can certainly hold his own. He would certainly be their best option to this point.
  14. Some of you may have read my article I wrote about 3 weeks ago with my plans for the 2022 offseason. If you want to check it out, the link is here I had us signing Stroman, Story, trading for Luis Severino (Which I still think would be a great idea), and trading for Zac Gallen. Obviously that wasn't going to happen and surely won't happen now. I decided to come up with a bit more of a realistic offseason we could possibly have. With free agents now signing it affects who we can go after. As a matter of fact, Alex Cobb to the Giants came out as a was writing this article. The Twins future seems much more bright with the Buxton extension. It was looking like we would go into a full rebuild not more than 3 days ago. Without further ado, the blueprint. Edit: Kirilloff salary should be $0.6 Million, bringing team total to $125.45 Million There are a few new names in this blueprint, but there is a solid chunk of guys that will be returning. I made a few trades, and signed a few free agents. The free agents include one of the top starting pitchers, Marcus Stroman. I sign Marcus to a 4 year, $80 million contract. For the other free agents I sign a starting pitcher, 2 bullpen arms, and a shortstop. The other starting pitcher is one we are familiar with in Twins territory, Michael Pineda. He will eat quality innings for the team. He is not a top of the rotation starter, and has some injury issues, but it seems like you can always rely on Big Mike to keep you in the ballgame. It is not an exciting move, but one that could pay off. I sign him to a 2 year, $16 million deal. Next, I sign 2 bullpen arms. They are both low risk, moderate to high reward. The first one is Brad Hand, he is signed to a 1 year, $2.5 million deal. I then sign Corey Knebel to a 1 year, $5 million deal. They are 2 guys that are veterans and have had success, so it is pretty self explanatory. Lastly, at shortstop, I sign Jose Iglesias to a 1 year, $3 million deal. He is merely a stopgap for Royce Lewis, or whoever will take the reigns at shortstop in the near future. Now onto the trades. For the trades I make a trade with the Yankees, and the Athletics. The Athletics have publicly said they are looking to reduce payroll drastically this offseason. They have 3 good starting pitchers many teams will be interested in. I choose Sean Manaea. He costs the least in terms of trade value, since he is a free agent next offseason and is the most expensive of the 3. During Manaea's career, he has posted a 107 ERA+, making him a decently above league average pitcher during that time. For the trade, I would make it a bit more interesting , taking more salary off of Oaklands hands. I am including Stephen Piscotty in the trade. He is under contract through this year as well with a club option next year. He is set to make $7.25 million this year, which could help with the trade package for Manaea. For Piscotty and Manaea, I am sending Oakland Emmanuel Rodriguez, an 18 year old outfielder, and Drew Strotman. You may be thinking screw Piscotty, we only want Manaea, but I have a reason of getting him due to another trade I will make. If Manaea plays well during the season, we would extend him for 2-3 more years, to gain certainty in the rotation. For my second and last trade, I trade with the dark side. I give up Max Kepler and Mitch Garver for top SS prospect, Oswald Peraza. The Yankees are looking for catching help and don't have a centerfielder. Mitch Garver provides a big upgrade to Gary Sanchez for the Yankees. The reason I am trading Garver is because he is getting to that age where he will likely not catch for much longer. 1B/DH and catchers values differ immensely. I also trade Kepler to man CF in the Bronx. As much as I hate to say it, I think Kepler could blossom playing for Yankees, with the short porch in right. In return, we get Oswald Peraza. The Yankees currently have 2 good shortstop prospects, Peraza and Anthony Volpe. The Yankees and all of baseball value Volpe way more, and rightfully so. I think Volpe is virtually untouchable, so I go after Peraza. Peraza is 10 months older than Volpe, but has posted good results in AAA, although it was a small sample size. Volpe hasn't been above A-ball yet. The rest of the lineup is pretty straightforward. In the infield we have Jeffers at catcher, Kirilloff at 1B, Polanco at 2B, Iglesias at SS which I have explained above, and Donaldson at 3B. 3B could be shared by 3 different guys, the other two being Arraez and Miranda. There is a high chance that either Donaldson or Arraez spend time on the IL so that could be a chance for Miranda to claim his spot on the Twins for the long term. In the outfield I have Larnach in left. It may still be a bit premature but I think Larnach will figure something out and become a beast with his bat. I centerfield we have Byron Buxton. It is so nice to say that knowing we will also have him for the next 7 years, even if he is injury prone. In right we have the man we got from Oakland, Stephen Piscotty. That is not an exciting addition but if he can be at least average, I would be ok, especially since it is only 1 year. On the bench we have Celestino as the 4th OF. At the moment Jake Cave is slotted in as the 4th OF, which many fans don't like to see and I am sure they would agree with me putting Celestino there. For Utility we have Arraez, who as I mentioned could also be the 3B, and Nick Gordon. Gordon provides tons of defensive value, playing CF and SS, among other positions. He can be a 4th OF and also spend time at SS with Jose Iglesias. Since we traded Garver away, the backup catcher is defensive wizard, Ben Rortvedt. On the pitching side of things, we have Marcus Stroman as the ace, Manaea as the 2, Pineda the 3rd starter, and Joe Ryan and Bailey Ober manning the 4 and 5 slots. It obviously isn't a world beating rotation, but it is a lot better than it looks at this moment. Is has moderate upside and not a lot of risk. In the bullpen we have some solid options. For more of the low leverage innings, we have guys like Hand, Moran, Thielbar, and Minaya. For some of the more high leverage innings we have Knebel, Rogers, Duffey, and Alcala. Obviously things could change with performance and injuries. Bullpens are far from a given, as they have some of the most drastic changes from year to year. But overall, this pitching staff will not wow you, but could impress you during the season. Overall I believe this is a solid lineup that could win you 80 or so games depending on how you play your cards. Obviously the Twins are not World Series contenders in 2022, and are playing more for when some of our current top prospects graduate to re-enforce the team. This way makes us competitive, with a chance to possibly do something, without selling the farm. A lot of things could happen during the 2022 season with the Twins. In 2021, after Acuna got hurt for the Braves, their season looked like it was ending, but they ended up winning a world series. I am not saying to expect anything like that for the Twins in 2022, but don't completely rule them out.
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