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  1. What do you do with a blank canvas? Draw? Write? Scribble? A blank canvas provides endless potential, but nearly as much intimidation to those who don’t know what they’re doing – or what they want to do. Image courtesy of © David Berding-USA TODAY Sports This offseason, we’ll see what Falvine does with their blank canvas, because there has never been a Twins team that could pivot in so many directions in an offseason. It’s the result of sticking to short contracts, dumping Josh Donaldson, and developing minor leaguers to fill spots. But now they are faced with the challenge: what do they do with a blank canvas? You likely don’t need to be convinced that payroll is the Twins’ primary limitation every offseason. So, to get some idea of what to expect, every offseason we break down the Twins’ roster’s payroll for the upcoming season at a back-of-the-napkin level. The goal isn’t to precisely define each player’s upcoming salary; there are too many unknowns. The goal is to get close enough to be directional, call out what we know and don’t know, and the decisions the team likely needs to make. OK – it’s not a COMPLETELY blank canvas. The Twins have some obligations, and they have some no-brainers, at least as a starting point for this discussion. So let’s start filling in some blanks. We can always adjust them later. (And so can Falvey and Thad Levine. Which is what makes it a blank canvas.) The Lineup Let’s go position by position, starting with… Catcher – Ryan Jeffers is a no-brainer to return, provided you think he’ll return to full health from his broken thumb, and all indications are he will. He’s also a no-brainer because he still hasn’t reached arbitration, so he’s likely to be paid slightly in excess of $700K. Whether you trust him to be the starting catcher or the backup is up to you, but either way he’s on our list. Gary Sanchez and Sandy Leon, on the other hand, are both free agents. We’ll need to leave them off the napkin. First Base – Luis Arraez mostly filled this role, and will be in his second year of arbitration, though he has two more years of team control after that because he hit arbitration a year than most players. He’ll get a significant raise to $4-5M, Still that’s a bargain for him so he’s obviously added to the napkin. Jose Miranda also saw a lot of time at first base, and he’ll be coming back at close to MLB’s $700K minimum wage. It’s a no-brainer that he needs to be on this napkin somewhere. We’re just not sure where yet…. If you would like another thousand-plus words of details and charts on individual player's salaries, then you’re going to LOVE the Offseason Handbook, as that’s the tip of the iceberg. Plus, you get to support all Twins Daily’s great writers who work every day throughout the offseason to deep dive into the Twins. Sign up here. But in this story, we'll skip to the conclusion.... A Blank Canvas Adding all that up represents about $95M in salary, which leaves the Twins almost $45M in salary to spend. That’s a big number, but could get even bigger if they want to trade away some salaries like that of Max Kepler or Gio Urshela, which would free up $15M to $20M more. Even more striking is that there aren’t many true holes to fill. The team certainly needs to figure out what to do at shortstop, but even there, Royce Lewis is expected to return midseason. As exciting as he looked this season, nobody would blame the Twins if they only signed a fill-in shortstop so Lewis could step in as soon as he’s recovered from his knee surgery. This is what a blank canvas looks like. The Twins have lots of money, and very few true gaps. So which direction do they go? Add a dependable big bat? A high-end shortstop? A dependable #1 starter? Or another closer-caliber bullpen arm? All of those moves could be prioritized, but none of them are required. After six years of organization building, including two years of disappointing sub-.500 finishes, the team and its management are at a crossroads. The self-imposed limitations they’ve placed on long-term deals, along with a surge of prospects hitting the major league roster, have given them this offseason of opportunity. But it also means there are no excuses. The team has worked for, and achieved, a blank canvas. Now we’ll see what they do with it. View full article
  2. Aaron and John say goodbye to a disappointing Twins season and look ahead to a crucial offseason, plus Luis Arraez's batting title, Carlos Correa's opt-out, which young pitchers can be counted on, and why rebuilding simply isn't an option. You can listen by downloading us from iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio or find it at GleemanAndTheGeek.com. Or just click this link. View full article
  3. John is in London and Aaron is in Minneapolis to talk about the Twins limping to the finish line, Rocco Baldelli and Derek Falvey returning in 2023, Byron Buxton's surgery, Dave St. Peter's comments about payroll and attendance, and what, exactly, is sold at the Dior store. You can listen by downloading us from iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio or find it at GleemanAndTheGeek.com. Or just click this link. View full article
  4. Aaron and John take stock of the Twins and their playoff push just prior to their showdown versus the Guardians. You can listen by downloading us from iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio or find it at GleemanAndTheGeek.com. Or just click this link. View full article
  5. Aaron and John talk about the Twins' series in New York and upcoming showdowns vs. Cleveland, Louie Varland's debut, Tyler Mahle's odd injury, Carlos Correa's first signature Twins moment, and why counting on help from injured players is always wishful thinking. You can listen by downloading us from iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio or find it at GleemanAndTheGeek.com. Or just click this link. View full article
  6. Aaron and John talk about the Minnesota Twins' first extended losing streak of the season, why the lineup has vanished at the worst possible time, injury updates on Byron Buxton and Tyler Mahle, and how the new MLB schedule will probably hurt the AL Central. You can listen by downloading us from iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio or find it at GleemanAndTheGeek.com. Or just click this link. View full article
  7. Aaron and John talk about Tyler Mahle's shoulder problems, why the Wild Card standings are now very relevant for the Twins, Sonny Gray and other starters the third time through lineups, missing Kyle Garlick, and Caleb Thielbar saving everyone's butts. You can listen by downloading us from iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio or find it at GleemanAndTheGeek.com. Or just click this link. View full article
  8. Aaron and John talk about the Twins' deadline day trades for Tyler Mahle, Jorge Lopez, and Michael Fulmer, why giving Emilio Pagan and Tyler Duffey more chances to blow leads is a bad idea, the likely end of the Miguel Sano Era, and ever-ending outfield injuries. You can listen by downloading us from iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio or find it at GleemanAndTheGeek.com. Or just click this link. View full article
  9. Jon Heyman has reported the Minnesota Twins have acquired relief pitcher Michael Fulmer from the Detroit Tigers. Fulmer has served as primarily as the Tigers 8th inning set-up man, recording 39K in 39 IP, and posting a 3.20 ERA and 1.25 WHIP. In return, the Twins drafted Double-A RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long. The last two years, Michael Fulmer has owned a 3.06 ERA, and that coincides with him increasing the usage of his slider to the point where he is throwing it almost 65% of the time this year. That includes almost 72% of the time versus right-handers, who are posting just a 401 OPS(!) against him this year. Twins fans may remember the right-hander as less dominant, as he’s been knocked around by the Twins twice over the last month, including giving up two critical runs in last night’s Twins win. Overall, since July 1st, he’s been less effective, with a 6.55 ERA, though he’s also struck out 11 in 11 innings pitched, and not given up a home run. But he’s also walked seven over that span, and control has been an issue with 20 walks in 39 innings this year. But that’s not terribly uncommon for a slider-first pitcher. Overall, his performance has not matched his relatively encouraging numbers: his Win Probability Added (WPA) is -0.22, though it was in positive territory before last night's Twins comeback. Since the Twins play the Tigers again tonight, it's possible that Fulmer will simply switch dugouts and be available for tonight's game. Fulmer is purely a rental for this season. He is due to become a free agent at the end of this year for the first time in his career. The 29-year-old is far from a dominant reliever but he has proved to be a fairly reliable arm, and the slider-first philosophy meshes well with the organization and pitching staff. He should remain in fairly middle to low leverage situations since the Twins also acquired Orioles closer Jorge Lopez earlier today. As such, his job will be to provide manager Rocco Baldelli at least a little more depth to handle some of the middle-inning issues that have cost the team several games. To acquire Fulmer, the Twins traded right-handed pitching prospect Sawyer Gipson-Long. The 24-year-old was the Twins sixth-round pick in the 2019 draft out of Mercer. This season began in High-A Cedar Rapids where he went 5-2 with a 1.99 ERA. He had 52 strikeouts in 49 2/3 innings. He was recently promoted to Double-A Wichita and is 3-4 with a 7.17 ERA over 37 2/3 innings. He has 35 strikeouts. Overall this season, he has 19 walks and 87 strikeouts over 87 1/3 innings. He ranked #20 Twins Prospect by Twins Daily in July. With just minutes remaining before the trade deadline, will the Twins make any more moves? View full article
  10. The last two years, Michael Fulmer has owned a 3.06 ERA, and that coincides with him increasing the usage of his slider to the point where he is throwing it almost 65% of the time this year. That includes almost 72% of the time versus right-handers, who are posting just a 401 OPS(!) against him this year. Twins fans may remember the right-hander as less dominant, as he’s been knocked around by the Twins twice over the last month, including giving up two critical runs in last night’s Twins win. Overall, since July 1st, he’s been less effective, with a 6.55 ERA, though he’s also struck out 11 in 11 innings pitched, and not given up a home run. But he’s also walked seven over that span, and control has been an issue with 20 walks in 39 innings this year. But that’s not terribly uncommon for a slider-first pitcher. Overall, his performance has not matched his relatively encouraging numbers: his Win Probability Added (WPA) is -0.22, though it was in positive territory before last night's Twins comeback. Since the Twins play the Tigers again tonight, it's possible that Fulmer will simply switch dugouts and be available for tonight's game. Fulmer is purely a rental for this season. He is due to become a free agent at the end of this year for the first time in his career. The 29-year-old is far from a dominant reliever but he has proved to be a fairly reliable arm, and the slider-first philosophy meshes well with the organization and pitching staff. He should remain in fairly middle to low leverage situations since the Twins also acquired Orioles closer Jorge Lopez earlier today. As such, his job will be to provide manager Rocco Baldelli at least a little more depth to handle some of the middle-inning issues that have cost the team several games. To acquire Fulmer, the Twins traded right-handed pitching prospect Sawyer Gipson-Long. The 24-year-old was the Twins sixth-round pick in the 2019 draft out of Mercer. This season began in High-A Cedar Rapids where he went 5-2 with a 1.99 ERA. He had 52 strikeouts in 49 2/3 innings. He was recently promoted to Double-A Wichita and is 3-4 with a 7.17 ERA over 37 2/3 innings. He has 35 strikeouts. Overall this season, he has 19 walks and 87 strikeouts over 87 1/3 innings. He ranked #20 Twins Prospect by Twins Daily in July. With just minutes remaining before the trade deadline, will the Twins make any more moves?
  11. Looking at what SEA gave up for Castillo, my first thought was that it was a more than what the Twins got for Berrios last year. The primary guys about matched, but the other two were a bonus. At a high level, it was basically: two A- prospects (top 50/100), similar to Martin and Woods-Richardson two other prospects, but kind of throw-ins. My question is this: if the Twins would've tried to match this, what could they have done? I'm not even talking about the "throw-ins" - we can find them. I'm talking about the two headliners. Would Emmanual Rodriguez and Spencer Steer have been close to what the Reds got? I don't think so? So then are we talking about Lewis? Larnach? Kirilloff? Miranda? What would have been a comparable package for the top two players Seattle shipped off?
  12. Aaron and John talk about the Twins' obvious need for pitching help at the trade deadline, the difference between good value and good players, how many current pitchers can be trusted in the playoffs, never-ending injuries knocking out Josh Winder, Bailey Ober and Jorge Alcala, and why no one actually wants to live in a $60,000 house. You can listen by downloading us from iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio or find it at GleemanAndTheGeek.com. Or just click this link. View full article
  13. Aaron and John frame the upcoming trade deadline season by going through both obscure and obvious trade targets for the Twins, such as Luis Castillo, Frankie Montas and David Robertson, and what it will cost the team. You can listen by downloading us from iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio or find it at GleemanAndTheGeek.com. Or just click this link. View full article
  14. The Cubs didn't even feign an attempt at contention this year, so they're right where they expected to be. In the cellar, and acting as sellers. So who's available? The Cubs need pitching, and specifically, they need to add young pitchers with upside. The Twins have a few of those. Top Target David Robertson, RH Reliever In 2019, it looked like injuries were going to curtail an illustrious career as closer and setup man. For a decade, Robertson had been one of the best in the biz. He underwent Tommy John surgery and it looked like the end of the road. But he wasn't done. One year ago, the 37-year-old was the closer for Team USA in the Olympics in Tokyo, helping the team to a silver medal. He was a free agent and pitched a couple of games for Frank Viola’s High Point pitching staff in the independent Atlantic League. After the Olympics, he signed with the Rays and joined the team on September 1st. He turned that opportunity into one-year contract with the Cubs. As of the All-Star break, he had a dazzling 1.93 ERA and 11.6 K/9 rate as the team’s closer, appearing to be very much back to form. He'll be one of the most sought-after targets on the deadline market. Other Targets of Interest Willson Contreras, Catcher Contreras is the other big piece for the Cubs to deal at the deadline. The 30-year-old is a free agent at season’s end and one of the top backstops in the game. Good hitter, tons of power, and solid defense. But should the Twins spend any resources on a catcher (or any non-pitcher) at this point? The Ryan Jeffers injury might change their view on this. You're reading an excerpt of the 2022's Twins Daily Trade Deadline Primer about potential trade targets that we are providing free to Twins Daily's Caretakers. If you sign up now to be a Caretaker, you can download all six Divisional Dossiers as they're released, including the full version of this one, which we sent out to Caretakers earlier today. Plus, you'll get a free Offseason Handbook this fall and other perks. More importantly, you're helping support the writers and workers that make Twins Daily possible and keeping it viable for future generations of Twins fans. Thanks! Mychal Givens, RH Reliever Veteran reliever with a ton of late-innings experience. Fastball velocity down to 94 MPH average, but also has a slider and a changeup. Sleeper Target Marcus Stroman, RH Starter The Twins were not in on Marcus Stroman before he signed his three-year, $71 million with the Cubs – to the lament of many fans. He recently came off the IL with a shoulder issue, and he has struggled this year. He’s also got about $50 million left over the remainder of his contract. If healthy (a big if), Stroman can provide good innings, and maybe even be a postseason difference-maker. Huge risk, but maybe the Cubs would take on some of the contract for a better prospect. View full article
  15. The Cubs need pitching, and specifically, they need to add young pitchers with upside. The Twins have a few of those. Top Target David Robertson, RH Reliever In 2019, it looked like injuries were going to curtail an illustrious career as closer and setup man. For a decade, Robertson had been one of the best in the biz. He underwent Tommy John surgery and it looked like the end of the road. But he wasn't done. One year ago, the 37-year-old was the closer for Team USA in the Olympics in Tokyo, helping the team to a silver medal. He was a free agent and pitched a couple of games for Frank Viola’s High Point pitching staff in the independent Atlantic League. After the Olympics, he signed with the Rays and joined the team on September 1st. He turned that opportunity into one-year contract with the Cubs. As of the All-Star break, he had a dazzling 1.93 ERA and 11.6 K/9 rate as the team’s closer, appearing to be very much back to form. He'll be one of the most sought-after targets on the deadline market. Other Targets of Interest Willson Contreras, Catcher Contreras is the other big piece for the Cubs to deal at the deadline. The 30-year-old is a free agent at season’s end and one of the top backstops in the game. Good hitter, tons of power, and solid defense. But should the Twins spend any resources on a catcher (or any non-pitcher) at this point? The Ryan Jeffers injury might change their view on this. You're reading an excerpt of the 2022's Twins Daily Trade Deadline Primer about potential trade targets that we are providing free to Twins Daily's Caretakers. If you sign up now to be a Caretaker, you can download all six Divisional Dossiers as they're released, including the full version of this one, which we sent out to Caretakers earlier today. Plus, you'll get a free Offseason Handbook this fall and other perks. More importantly, you're helping support the writers and workers that make Twins Daily possible and keeping it viable for future generations of Twins fans. Thanks! Mychal Givens, RH Reliever Veteran reliever with a ton of late-innings experience. Fastball velocity down to 94 MPH average, but also has a slider and a changeup. Sleeper Target Marcus Stroman, RH Starter The Twins were not in on Marcus Stroman before he signed his three-year, $71 million with the Cubs – to the lament of many fans. He recently came off the IL with a shoulder issue, and he has struggled this year. He’s also got about $50 million left over the remainder of his contract. If healthy (a big if), Stroman can provide good innings, and maybe even be a postseason difference-maker. Huge risk, but maybe the Cubs would take on some of the contract for a better prospect.
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