Jump to content
Twins Daily
  • Create Account

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'josh donaldson' in articles.

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Categories

  • Twins
  • Minors
  • Saints
  • Just For Fun
  • Twins Daily

Categories

  • Unregistered Help Files
  • All Users Help Files

Categories

  • Twins & Minors
  • Vintage
  • Retrospective
  • Twins Daily

Forums

  • Baseball Forums
    • Minnesota Twins Talk
    • Twins Minor League Talk
    • Head 2 Head Debate Forum
    • Twins Daily Front Page News
    • Other Baseball
    • Archived Game Threads
  • Other Sports Forums
    • The Sports Bar
    • Minnesota Vikings Talk
    • Minnesota Wild Talk
    • Minnesota Timberwolves Talk
  • Twins Daily's Questions About The Site

Blogs

  • Blog awstafki
  • The Lurker's Annual
  • Mike Sixel's Blog
  • Twins fan in Texas
  • highlander's Blog
  • Patrick Wozniak's Blog
  • Blog dennyhocking4HOF
  • From the Plaza
  • The Special Season
  • Twins Daily's Blog
  • Blog Twins best friend
  • Kyle Eliason's Blog
  • Extra Innings
  • SkinCell Pro: How Does Remove Mole & Skin Tag Work?
  • Blog Badsmerf
  • mikelink45's Blog
  • MT Feelings
  • Keto Burn Max Benefits
  • Blog crapforks
  • Off The Baggy
  • VikingTwinTwolf's Blog
  • A Blog to Be Named Later
  • Cormac's Corner
  • Blog MaureenHill
  • Halsey Hall Chapter of SABR
  • Road Tripping with the Twins
  • Greg Allen
  • Classic Minnesota Twins
  • The Line of Mendoza
  • BombazoMLB
  • Blog Twins Daily Admin
  • joshykid1's Blog
  • What if the Twins had drafted Prior or Teixeira instead of Mauer?
  • the_brute_squad's Blog
  • Better Baseball Is Ahead
  • Nick's Twins Blog
  • Blog jianfu
  • joshykid1's Blog
  • The PTBNL
  • Levi Hansen
  • SethSpeaks.net
  • Blog leshaadawson
  • Underwriting the Twins
  • Small Sample Size
  • parkerb's Blog
  • Tim
  • TwinsGeek.com
  • Blog Roaddog
  • Mauerpower's Blog
  • SotaPop's Blog
  • Face facts!!!
  • Over the Baggy
  • curt1965's Blog
  • Heezy1323's Blog
  • LA Vikes Fan
  • North Dakota Twins Fan
  • Blog Reginald Maudling's Shin
  • curt1965's Blog
  • Miller1234's Blog
  • Twins Curmudgeon
  • Blog Kirsten Brown
  • if we aint spendin 140 million
  • Boone's Blog
  • Rounding Third
  • Kirilloff & Co.
  • Shallow Thoughts - bean5302
  • The Hanging SL
  • Red Wing Squawk
  • Distraction via Baseball
  • Nine of twelve's Blog
  • Notes From The Neds
  • Blog Lindsay Guentzel
  • Blog Karl
  • Vance_Christianson's Blog
  • Curveball Blog
  • waltomeal's Blog
  • bronald3030
  • Knuckleballs - JC
  • Blog jrzf713
  • The Minor League Lifestyle
  • Jason Kubel is America
  • weneedjackmorris' Blog
  • Mahlk
  • Off The Mark
  • Blog freightmaster
  • Playin' Catch
  • Sethmoko's Blog
  • Dome Dogg's Blog
  • Lev's Musings
  • Blog Scott Povolny
  • Blog COtwin
  • Hrbowski's Blog
  • Minnesota Twins Whine Line
  • Bomba Blog
  • cjm0926's Blogs
  • Blog Chad Jacobsen
  • Blog ScottyBroco
  • tobi0040's Blog
  • Back Office Twins Baseball Blog
  • DannySD's Blog
  • nobitadora's Blog
  • blogs_blog_1812
  • Greg Fransen
  • Blog Adam Krueger
  • Hammered (adj.) Heavily inebriated, though to a lesser extent than ****faced.
  • Thegrin's Blog
  • 3rd Inning Stretch's Blog
  • Mark Ferretti
  • Jeremy Nygaard
  • The W.A.R. room
  • Christopher Fee's Blog
  • Postma Posts
  • Rolondo's Blog
  • blogs_blog_1814
  • Fantasy GM
  • Blog Fanatic Jack
  • Dominican Adventure
  • Cory Engelhardt's Blog
  • markthomas' Blog
  • blogs_blog_1815
  • Un/Necessary Sports Drivel
  • Blog AJPettersen
  • Blog AllhopeisgoneMNTWINS
  • BW on the Beat
  • jfeyereisn17's Blog
  • 2020 Offseason Blueprint
  • The Hot Corner
  • Blog TimShibuya
  • Fumi Saito's Blog
  • This Twins Fans Thoughts
  • Long Live La Tortuga
  • Baseball Therapy
  • Blog TonyDavis
  • Blog Danchat
  • sdtwins37's Blog
  • Thinking Outside the Box
  • dbminn
  • Proclamations from the Mad King
  • Blog travistwinstalk
  • jokin's Blog
  • Thoughts from The Catch
  • BlakeAsk's Blog
  • Bad Loser Blog
  • Tom Schreier's Blog
  • less cowBlog
  • Hansen101's Blog
  • Musings of a Madman
  • The Gopher Hole
  • 2020 Twins BluePrint - HotDish Surprise
  • Travis Kriens
  • Blog bkucko
  • The Circleback Blog
  • All Things Twins
  • Blog iTwins
  • Drinking at the 573
  • The Thirsty Crow and the google boy from peepeganj
  • Catching Some Zs
  • Blog TCAnelle
  • Singles off the Wall
  • tarheeltwinsfan's Blog
  • A View From The Roof
  • The Blog Days of Summer
  • Jordan1212's Blog
  • You Shouldn't Have Lost
  • TwinsTakes.com Blog on TwinsDaily.com - Our Takes, Your Takes, TwinsTakes.com!
  • Blog SgtSchmidt11
  • Dantes929's Blog
  • Critical Thinking
  • Blog Matt VS
  • Blog RickPrescott
  • The Dollar Dome Dog
  • Travis M's Blog
  • Diamond Dollars
  • Blog jorgenswest
  • Twinsfan4life
  • Travis M's Interviews
  • whatyouknowtwinsfan's Blog
  • Blog righty8383
  • Blog TwinsWolvesLynxBlog
  • Supfin99's Blog
  • tarheeltwinsfan's Blog
  • Blog glunn
  • Blog yumen0808
  • Unkind Bounces
  • Doctor Gast's Blog
  • One Man's View From Section 231
  • Don't Feed the Greed? What does that mean...
  • Diesel's Blog
  • Blog denarded
  • Blog zymy0813
  • Twins Peak
  • Minnesota Twins Health and Performance: A Blog by Lucas Seehafer PT
  • Blog kirbyelway
  • Blog JP3700
  • twinssouth's Blog
  • Ports on Sports Blog
  • Blog Twins Fan From Afar
  • Blog E. Andrew
  • The 10th Inning Stretch
  • Hans Birkleberry's Blog
  • Blog twinsarmchairgm
  • Pitz Hits
  • samthetwinsfan's Blog
  • Blog JB (the Original)
  • soofootinsfan37's Blog
  • You Can Read This For Free
  • One Post Blog
  • Blog Dez Tobin
  • South Dakota Tom's Blog
  • hrenlazar2019's Blog
  • MNSotaSportsGal Twins Takes
  • Blog kemics
  • Blog AM.
  • DerektheDOM's Blog
  • Twins Tunes
  • Blog jtrinaldi
  • Blog Bill
  • Not Another Baseball Blog
  • Down on the Farm
  • Most likely pitchers making their MLB debut in 2021 for Twins.
  • Blog Wookiee of the Year
  • mike8791's Blog
  • Pensacola Blue Wahoos: Photo-A-Day
  • Puckets Pond
  • Blog Jim H
  • A trade for the off season
  • curt1965's Blog
  • Kasota Gold
  • The POSTseason
  • Blog guski
  • Blog rickyriolo
  • SgtSchmidt11's Blog
  • Twinternationals
  • Blog birdwatcher
  • Blog acrozelle
  • Axel Kohagen's Catastrophic Overreactions
  • Bashwood12's Blog
  • Spicer's Baseball Movie Reviews
  • Beyond the Metrodome
  • Blog yangxq0827
  • The Pat-Man Saga
  • TheTeufelShuffle's Blog
  • ebergdib's blog
  • Blog Thegrin
  • Zachary's Blog
  • scottyc35
  • Danchat's Aggregated Prospect Rankings
  • Thrylos' Blog - select Tenth Inning Stretch posts
  • Blog taune
  • scottyc35's Blog
  • World's Greatest Online Magazine
  • Blog tweety2012
  • DRizzo's Blog
  • mrtwinsfan's Blog
  • Blog asmus_ndsu
  • Otto Gets Blotto
  • Betsy Twins Report
  • Blog shawntheroad
  • Blog David-14
  • Blog Buddy14
  • Blog keithanderson
  • Blog Topperanton
  • Blog lightfoot789
  • Blog Axel Kohagen
  • Blog Lesser Dali
  • Blog Neinstein
  • Blog Bob Sacamento
  • Blog J-Dog Dungan
  • Thoughts of a Bullpen Catcher
  • Blog Dilligaf69
  • blogs_blog_1599
  • Twin Minds
  • My Opening Day Poem
  • Blog Teflon
  • Blog yanking it out...
  • Blog Anare
  • Blog Charlie Beattie
  • Blog Coach J
  • What to do with Morneau?
  • Peanuts from Heaven
  • Blog Physics Guy
  • Twins Adjacent
  • Field of Twins
  • Martin Schlegel's Blog
  • The Long View
  • Blog grumpyrob
  • Off The Mark
  • Blog Jeff A
  • Blog jwestbrock
  • by Matt Sisk
  • Blog Sarah
  • Blog RodneyKline
  • Blog JeffB
  • Anorthagen's Twins Daily Blogs
  • Low Profile MI Trade
  • Blog CC7
  • Blog dwintheiser
  • Blog Docsilly
  • Blog cmathewson
  • Blog mnfireman
  • Blog twinsfanstl
  • Blog dave_dw
  • Blog MN_Twins_Live
  • Standing Room Only
  • Blog gkasper
  • Blog puck34
  • Blog Old Twins Cap
  • Blog diehardtwinsfan
  • Blog Twinfan & Dad
  • Blog LimestoneBaggy
  • Blog Brian Mozey
  • vqt94648's Blog
  • Blog Loosey
  • Blog fairweather
  • World Series Champions 2088
  • Blog Drtwins
  • Blog peterb18
  • Blog LindaU
  • Kevin Slowey was Framed!
  • Blog Christopher Fee
  • Very Well Then
  • Pitch2Contact.com
  • A View from the Slot
  • Blog severson09
  • Blog husker brian
  • Blog Ray Tapajna
  • Sell high?
  • Blog bogeypepsi
  • Blog tshide
  • Blog Gene Larkin Fan Club
  • Blog jimbo92107
  • Blog DefinitelyNotVodkaDave
  • Blog Cap'n Piranha
  • The Blog Formerly Known as Undomed
  • Frank Vantur's Blog
  • Blog Ricola
  • Blog AScheib50
  • SamGoody's Blog
  • Blog clutterheart
  • Blog Trent Condon
  • Blog bwille
  • blogs_blog_1635
  • Blog strumdatjag
  • Blog huhguy
  • blogs_blog_1636
  • Blog 3rd Inning Stretch
  • Blog 10PagesOfClearBlueSky
  • blogs_blog_1637
  • Blog Tyomoth
  • SD Buhr/Jim Crikket
  • blogs_blog_1638
  • Blog bear333
  • Blog sln477
  • Blog abbylucy
  • Blog Gernzy
  • Troy's Twins Thoughts
  • Blog OtherHoward219
  • blogs_blog_1642
  • Blog ScrapTheNickname
  • Blog TicketKing
  • Blog sotasports9
  • Twins Rubes
  • Blog goulik
  • Hosken's Blog
  • Blog one_eyed_jack
  • Blog joelindell
  • Blog rikker49
  • Blog nickschubert
  • Blog DreInWA
  • You're Not Reading This
  • Blog Hugh Morris
  • The Blog Formerly Known as Undomed
  • Kottke's Cuts
  • Blog Dakota Watts
  • Blog markroehl
  • Blog jjswol
  • Blog Tibs
  • blogs_blog_1654
  • Blog jlovren
  • Blog Boone
  • Puckmen's Blog
  • Minnesota native to attend Twins predraft workout
  • Blog obryaneu
  • Blog JohnFoley
  • Blog TwinsArmChairGM_Jon
  • Bloop Singles
  • Blog Ryan Atkins
  • Blog the blade
  • Blog Lonestar
  • Blog jdotmcmahon
  • Blog WayneJimenezubc
  • Blog Sconnie
  • Blog PogueBear
  • Blog pierre75275
  • cHawk Talks Baseball
  • Blog Paul Bebus
  • flyballs in orbit
  • Blog A33bates
  • Blog lunchboxhero_4
  • lidefom746's Blog
  • Blog coddlenomore
  • Blog Trevor0333
  • Blog lee_the_twins_fan
  • Blog StreetOfFire
  • Blog clark47dorsey
  • Texastwinsfan blog
  • Blog KCasey
  • Blog Joey Lindseth
  • Blog jakelovesgolf
  • Blog mchokozie
  • Thoughts from the Stands
  • cHawk’s Blog
  • Blog best game in the world
  • Heather's thoughts
  • Blog sammy0eaton
  • HitInAPinch's Blog
  • Blog Mauerpower
  • Blog Jdosen
  • Blog twinsfanohio
  • Beyond the Limestone
  • Blog dougkoebernick
  • Get to know 'em
  • 5 Tool Blog
  • Cole Trace
  • Blog Sunglasses
  • Blog CTB_NickC
  • Blog Colin.O'Donnell
  • "And we'll see ya' ... tomorrow night."
  • Blog richardkr34
  • Gopher Baseball with Luke Pettersen
  • Blog KelvinBoyerxrg
  • Blog twinsfan34
  • Blog CaryMuellerlib
  • Blog jtkoupal
  • FunnyPenguin's Blog
  • Blog Sierra Szeto
  • Blog ExiledInSeattle
  • A Realistic Fix to the 2014 Twins
  • Blog naksh
  • Blog bellajelcooper
  • rickymartin's Blog
  • Blog twinsajsf
  • Blog keeth
  • Blog Murphy Vasterling Cannon
  • Twins Winter Caravan
  • Blog tracygame
  • Blog rjohnso4
  • Half a Platoon
  • Blog jangofelixak
  • Blog SirClive
  • tooslowandoldnow's Blog
  • Blog Troy Larson
  • Blog thetank
  • nicksaviking blog
  • Blog iekfWjnrxb
  • Blog SouthDakotaFarmer
  • Bill Parker
  • Left Coast Bias
  • Blog tobi0040
  • Lee-The-Twins-Fan's Blog
  • Blog foe-of-nin
  • Blog cocosoup
  • Minnesota Groan
  • Blog wRenita5
  • rgvtwinstalk
  • Major Minnesotans
  • Blog Aaron 12
  • Blog janewong
  • The Twins Almanac
  • Blog boys
  • Blog bennep
  • Hambino the Great's Blog
  • Blog JadaKingg25
  • Jesse Lund's Blog
  • Blog Brabes1987
  • RealStoriesMN
  • Blog sanal101
  • Blog Spikecurveball
  • Blog Devereaux
  • D-mac's Blog
  • Blog tarheeltwinsfan
  • kakakhan's Blog
  • Blog Oliver
  • Blog travis_aune
  • Twins and Losses
  • In My Opinion
  • Blog ieveretgte4f
  • Blog Sam Morley
  • Pinto's Perspective
  • Blog curt1965
  • VeryWellThen's Blog
  • Extcs
  • The Foul Play-by-Play Twins Blog
  • Dave The Dastardly's Blog
  • Blog winunaarec
  • Negativity Police's Blog
  • Blog Robb Jeffries
  • Adam Houck's Blog
  • SaintsTrain
  • Loosey's Blog
  • Blog EE in Big D
  • Talkin' Twins with Jonathon
  • Steve Penz's Blog
  • Blog jtequilabermeah
  • The Tenth Inning Stretch
  • Apathy for the Game
  • Dave The Dastardly's Blog
  • Blog hmariloustarkk
  • Car detailing
  • Blog Brendan Kennealy
  • Twins Fan From Afar's Blog
  • Visit500
  • Blog totocc
  • SD Buhr's Blog
  • KirbyHawk75's Blog
  • Blog Bark's Lounge
  • huhguy's Blog
  • Blog TwinsFanLV
  • NumberThree's Blog
  • Blog pandorajewelry
  • The Go Gonzo Journal Twins Blog
  • Twinsnerd123's Blog
  • Blog cClevelandSmialekp
  • Talk to Contact
  • Boo-urns
  • Blog silverslugger
  • jtkoupal's Blog
  • Broker's Blog
  • Blog Twinsoholic
  • diehardtwinsfan's Blog
  • Brad's Blog
  • Javier Maschrano - the rising star of Argentina
  • Be Always in Fashion &in Trendy Look
  • Blog Salazar
  • curt1965's Blog
  • Be Always in Fashion &in Trendy Look
  • ThejacKmp's Blog
  • Blog vMaymeHansone
  • stringer bell's Blog
  • Blog brvama
  • AJPettersen's Blog
  • WiscoTwin
  • Rants (not Rantz)
  • iec23966's Blog
  • Blog loisebottorf83
  • CodyB's Blog
  • Staying Positive
  • Target Field of Dreams' Blog
  • Intentional Balk
  • Blog rodmccray11282
  • ReturnOfShaneMack's Blog
  • Blog SksippSvefdklyn
  • A blog about the Twins & more
  • Thome the Moneyball
  • tobi0040's Blog
  • Lefty74's Blog
  • USAFChief's Blog
  • tobi0040's Blog
  • Tony Nato's Blog
  • Clear's Blog
  • Blog LeeStevensonuuf
  • Waking up the Twins
  • Blog GrahamCharleshqr
  • First Base and the legacy of Kent Hrbek
  • carly148
  • Blog MWLFan
  • Minnie Paul and Mary
  • twinstarheelsfan's Blog
  • This game's fun, OK?
  • Blog TimeAgreell
  • Tsuyoshi's Island
  • NASCAR Steve's Blog
  • Kevin Horner's Blog
  • blogs_blog_1742
  • Blog CDog
  • Hold for the Batter
  • John the Analytics Guy
  • mrmpls' Blog
  • Zlog
  • samberry's Blog
  • nmtwinsfan's Blog
  • Under Teflon Skies
  • Views from the road
  • St. Paul Saints
  • Blog tkyokoperkinsn
  • Alskn's Northern Lights
  • Talkin' Turnstiles
  • Find Stats Elsewhere
  • Blog LaBombo
  • hugelycat's Blog
  • Deduno Abides' Blog
  • Milldaddy35's Blog Area
  • Blog Fire Dan Gladden
  • Baseball Intelligence
  • framedoctor's Blog
  • Blog Riverbrian
  • Blog Brandon
  • Organizational Depth Chart
  • Left Field Gap
  • gtkilla
  • Hicks' Left-Handed Helmets
  • MauerState7's Blog
  • 80MPH Changeup
  • Twins Pitch Breakdown
  • What you know about that blog
  • Blog DaTwins
  • positive1's Blog
  • rikker49's Blog
  • baxterpope15's Blog
  • Blog ThejacKmp
  • Random Thoughts About Baseball
  • Don't Feed the Greed Guy's Blog
  • Run Prevention
  • Blog ericchri
  • pierre75275's Blog
  • Don't Feed the Greed Guy's Blog
  • Cargo Cult Sabermetrics
  • Blog 81Exposruledbaseball
  • Deduno Abides' Blog
  • David Howell's Blog
  • Blog daanderson20
  • Twin Billing
  • sorney's Blog
  • TCAnelle's Blog
  • Blog shs_59
  • rikker49's Blog
  • Crackin' Wax's Cardboard Corner
  • Blog jm3319
  • jsteve96's Blog
  • The Always Fashionable; Uncle Charlie
  • Blog stringer bell
  • twinssouth's Blog
  • Baseball Good
  • Blog everettegalr
  • twinsfan34's Blog
  • menthmike's Blog
  • Blog Obie
  • B Richard's Blog
  • Brazilian Twins Territory
  • The Hidden Baseball
  • Blog SpinnesotaGirl
  • Marthaler
  • InfieldFlyRuled
  • Coopcarlson3's Blog
  • Blog SoDakTwinsFan5
  • Blog LastOnePicked
  • Bob Sacamento's Blog
  • MnTwinsTalk's Blog
  • Blog Top Gun
  • Twinfan & Dad's Blog
  • Nebtwinsfan's Blog
  • Blog TKGuy
  • GLO Blog
  • Ben Fadden's Blog
  • ajcondon's Blog
  • Blog TheMind07
  • Daily Twins Daily
  • TwinkiePower's Blog
  • Blog Michael Blomquist
  • VeryWellThen
  • MN_ExPat's Blog
  • Channing1964's Blog
  • Blog Darin Bratsch
  • Twin's Organizational News
  • Around The Horn
  • Blog beckmt
  • jjswol's Twins Trivia Blog
  • BeantownTwinsFan's Blog
  • Blog YourHouseIsMyHouse
  • jjswol's Twins Trivia Blog
  • Blog jay
  • SF Twins Fan's Blog
  • Morneau
  • TNTwinsFan's Blog
  • Musings from Twins Territory
  • Original Twin
  • Blog El Guapo
  • Doubles' Blog
  • Kirbek's Leaps and Pulls
  • Blog jokin
  • Brandon's Blog
  • A Look Back
  • Science of Baseball
  • Blog IdahoPilgrim
  • Sam Morley's Blog
  • oregontwin's Blog
  • Rounding Second
  • Blog Lyric53
  • The Curse of the Trees
  • gagu's Blog
  • Twins in CA
  • Blog Oldgoat_MN
  • Giant Baseball Cards
  • Blog twinfan49
  • docsillyseth's Blog
  • Kirby O'Connor's Blog
  • dfklgkoc
  • Blog ContinuumGuy
  • Wille's Way
  • Minnesota Sports Statistics Analysis
  • Ryan Stephan's Twinpinions
  • blogs_blog_2805
  • Blog tradingadvantage
  • brvama's Blog
  • Minnesota SSA's Blog
  • Danchat's Strat-O-Matic Blog
  • Blog Chance
  • NoCryingInBaseball's Blog
  • It Takes All Kinds
  • TFRazor's Blog
  • Blog twinslover
  • Sarah's Blog
  • theJemmer's Blog
  • Spikecurveball's Blog
  • Four Six Three
  • blogs_blog_2809
  • 2012 Draft.
  • travistwinstalk's Blog
  • Seth Stohs' Blog
  • Through a Child's Eyes
  • Colexalean Supplement Reviews
  • Blog jiamay
  • Dome Dogg's Blog
  • Fanspeak's Twins and AL Central Blog
  • In Pursuit of Pennants
  • minnesotasportsunlimited's Blog
  • Jacob Booth Blogs
  • Blog stewthornley
  • mickeymental's Blog
  • Baseball Bat's Offseason Blueprint
  • AJswarley's Blog
  • Twins Outsider's Blog
  • Blog h2oface
  • Iowa Twins Fan
  • Twinkie Talk
  • Battle Your Tail Off
  • JackWhite's Blog
  • bikram's Blog
  • Twins Nation Podcast

Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

Joined

  • Start

    End


Group


Website URL


Personal Blog Name


Personal Blog URL


Location:


Biography


Occupation


Interests


Twitter

  1. In 2019 and 2020 the former Guardians veteran became one of baseball’s best at the hot corner. Gio Urshela posted a .310/.359/.523 slash line and hit 27 homers across 175 games. The Yankees made him a fixture in their lineup and he was seen as a key contributor after taking the position from Miguel Andujar. Urshela went through it for the first time since his breakout last year. After posting a 134 OPS+ in 2019 and 2020, he contributed a below league-average 95 OPS+. Given his dealings with Covid multiple times, as well as suffering injury, it was explainable why the production had dipped. The hope for Minnesota was undoubtedly that a change of scenery and clean bill of health would result in rebounding to where he was at his peak. Now 30-years-old, Urshela is 27 games into his Twins career and the 83 OPS+ is a bottoming out of sorts. He hasn’t dropped to the irrelevance of his time in Cleveland, but at a time when offense is down across the board, he’s finding ways to contribute even less. Urshela is not a hulking slugger by any means, but across nearly 100 plate appearances he has just three extra-base hits and only one homer. If there’s a silver lining for Urshela, it’s that we may just be dealing with a small sample. His expected batting average is 30 points higher at .263 and his xwOBA sits near the 2019 mark at .338. He’s at his career average when it comes to hard-hit rate, and Urshela still has a good process at the plate posting just a 12/9 K/BB. Rocco Baldelli is certainly hoping his third basemen figures it out, otherwise, that could be an avenue for someone like Royce Lewis or Luis Arraez to steal playing time. Behind the dish was never going to be a calling card for Gary Sanchez, regardless of a new change in scenery. He’s a rough backstop, but his bat used to carry him. Coincidentally, Sanchez’s 83 OPS+ is the exact same mark as his trade partner, Urshela. There was a time the Dominican native was competing for Rookie of the Year awards and picking up All-Star game selections. 2019 and his .841 OPS seem like a distant memory at this point, however. The last two seasons in New York equated to a 90 OPS+ for Sanchez, and he’s now dipped well below. Across 80 plate appearances, Sanchez owns a .203/.263/.338 slash line. He is a power producer but has homered only once while tacking on seven doubles. Unlike Urshela, Sanchez’s expected batting average is actually worse than what he’s generated and although the xwOBA is better, it’s insignificant with just an eight-point swing. Sanchez is still hitting with a similar hard-hit rate to when he was at his best in 2019, but he’s bumped the fly all rate up to 53% and halved a very solid 20% line drive rate from that season. Getting too far under the baseball, and being bit by a ball that’s deadened, Sanchez has just a 3.6% HR/FB ratio after seeing a whopping 26.4% ratio in 2019. Although he’s making the most contact of his career, pitchers are also forcing him to chase at a career-worst rate. For Sanchez the bat has to play for there to be any value. He’s been worth -0.3 fWAR because it hasn’t and his time behind the dish will always be flawed. Minnesota doesn’t have other options at catcher and that makes the leash extremely long here. Still, getting him anything more than rotational at-bats becomes unnecessary if this is the production Baldelli can expect. It was a fine move to swap out Josh Donaldson. His place in the clubhouse may not have been ideal, and the move freed up the opportunity to sign Carlos Correa. That said, the Twins can’t afford to have a lineup with two players producing so little offensively. New York has bit Minnesota plenty over the years, and right now it’s happening from within. How long are you willing to wait and find out if these two find it?
  2. It was never going to make sense for Minnesota’s front office to push Josh Donaldson out solely to reduce payroll. Despite his flaws, he was still relatively healthy last season and posted good numbers. Heeding the advice of avoiding a salary dump, the Twins netted Urshela in exchange. Coming off a down 2021, it’s fair to temper expectations, but there’s plenty of reason to be excited. There was never any real belief that Urshela had somehow lost it last season. He dealt with Covid and injury despite still playing over 100 games. However, his .720 OPS was well off the .881 mark that saw him find a home in New York. Brought into a clubhouse where enjoyment seems high, Urshela creating a home with the Twins wouldn’t be surprising. Before Opening Day, Byron Buxton called the atmosphere in the clubhouse “night and day” different as opposed to last season. That may not be directly tied to Donaldson, but there’s no shortage of instances where he’s been seen as someone who could rub people the wrong way. Urshela taking over at the same position gives a reason to compare numbers, and his production may have been lost in the shuffle during the opening weekend. Ceding paying time to Luis Arraez against righties, Urshela drew two starts and had seven plate appearances. He walked twice while also picking up his first blast at Target Field. Even with a friendlier home field last season, Urshela didn’t go yard until his sixth game of the season in 2021. Obviously, there isn’t much to draw from such a small sample size, but it stands to reason that Urshela may see the same bounceback as the guy he was dealt with. Sanchez lifted the Twins in a big way providing a grand slam during their first win, and Urshela settling into a different market may be a significant narrative to come out of this season as well. Minnesota certainly has prospects that could push for Urshela’s job if he struggles, but seeing the former Cleveland third basemen contribute so quickly was exciting, to say the least. While Urshela is already 30-years-old, he was a late bloomer and really didn’t come on until his age-27 season. He’s not going to be a franchise cornerstone by any means, but you have to be excited about the opportunity to create consistency with him. Miguel Sano could never hold the hot corner down, and Minnesota fans never knew when Donaldson would wind up on the Injured List. Consistency is something Urshela has shown previously, and if the maladies can stay behind him, seeing him re-establish himself would be great news for Rocco Baldelli’s lineup. It’s too early to draw conclusions, but the opening impression has been a good one. Urshela will continue to mix spots with Arraez, but finding regular opportunity shouldn't be hard if the Twins unlock the hitter that destroyed every arm he faced just a couple of seasons ago.
  3. Spring training is fully underway but that doesn't mean Hot Stove SZN is over. The Twins made a huge addition over the weekend and seemingly have at least one more on tap. Pressure is building to check off the final boxes ahead of the season opener in just 18 days. What does the front office still need to accomplish and what are their options? Donaldson Trade Clears the Books I posted the last of these offseason status updates last Sunday night, figuring that at 9:22 PM I could safely assume the news cycle had settled, and the whirlwind weekend's moves were finished. But if there's been one lesson from the past week, it's that the news cycle never sleeps. Literally minutes after clicking publish on an article reviewing the Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Sonny Gray trades, I learned of another blockbuster going down: the Twins dealt Josh Donaldson, along with Kiner-Falefa and Ben Rortvedt, to the Yankees in exchange for Gary Sánchez, Gio Urshela, and a bunch of salary relief. With that, Minnesota's short-lived and unfulfilling engagement with Donaldson came to an end. It was a signing that ultimately illustrated the hazards of spending big on aging veteran talent. The Twins can consider themselves lucky to get out of the last two years, even though they had to actively worsen their roster to do it. In the wake of this shakeup, many unknowns were in play. But among the few things we DID know: "The Twins now have all kinds of flexibility to make at least one HUGE move." What would it be? Twins Shock the World with Correa Signing For five days, we all sat mired in uncertainty, wondering how the Twins planned to flex their newfound financial clout. As reports emerged of Trevor Story leaning toward other destinations, anxiety started to rise. Had the front office boxed itself into a corner? Nah. They went out and signed the No. 1 free agent on the entire market, landing Carlos Correa in an absolute game-changing stunner. The three-year, $105.3 million contract makes Correa the highest-paid infielder in the game, and addresses the club's need at shortstop decisively. (For now.) In all likelihood, it'll end up being a one-year deal, as Correa has the ability to opt out following either the 2022 or 2023 season. His aim is clearly to put together a good year, return to a less-crowded FA shortstop market next year, and score the $300+ million payday he desired. But that's okay. Getting an MVP-caliber player at age 27 on a one-year pact is a win, even if the framework of the deal creates a bit of team risk. On Sunday, Story signed with the Red Sox for six years and $140 million, prioritizing length of the deal over AAV. Meanwhile, the Yankees were basically left out in the cold. You hate to see it. Still in Need of a Starter Perhaps New York can still claim a victory in all of this late offseason action. They are reportedly among the teams in on Oakland's Frankie Montas and Sean Manaea. With so much steam around the two front-line starters and their availability, that situation feels like the last big domino yet to fall. The Twins have also been repeatedly connected to the Athletics in rumors, which only makes sense because they let every free agent starter come off the board while failing to adequately address their starting pitching needs. Even fallback mid-tier options like Michael Pineda and Tyler Anderson are now gone, and Minnesota has a glaring hole after (or ahead of?) Gray atop their rotation. Chi Chi Gonzalez might add some welcome veteran depth on a minors deal, but he's not moving the MLB needle in any way. The Twins almost HAVE to make a trade in order to put the finishing touches on a complete offseason. Are they willing to meet the extraordinary price that extracting Montas will surely require? Or will they opt instead for Manaea, who has only one year of team control left but will command a lesser return? Could they acquire ... both? Given how the Twins have operated this offseason – conditioning us to expect the unexpected – something tells me the most likely outcome is none of the above. They'll find a way to surprise us by zagging while everyone anticipates the zig. Stay tuned. Bullpen Gets a Veteran Boost With all the attention being paid to starting pitchers and shortstops, the team's bullpen needs have been more or less on the backburner. Outside of grabbing Jharel Cotton before the lockout, and bringing back the likes of Juan Minaya and Danny Coulombe on minors deals, the Twins hadn't taken much action to offset their various question marks in relief. On Saturday they did something about that, signing veteran right-hander Joe Smith to a one-year, $2.5 million deal. I would describe this as a low-wattage signing; the sidearmer, who turns 38 on Tuesday, hasn't put together a complete quality season since 2017. But he's been a pretty reliable righty specialist throughout his career and that was a need. We'll see if the front office has anything else in store for the bullpen. Remaining options are limited. I wouldn't be the least surprised to see them lean primarily on internal arms in rounding out this unit. Griffin Jax looked really good in his first spring appearance and is one to watch. Lewis Thorpe is out of options. Roster & Payroll Projection Accounting for all of this wheeling and dealing, here's an updated look at the Twins' projected roster and spending commitments for this season. The payroll currently stands at about $122.5M, which is $7.5M short of their baseline target. With the news that Randy Dobnak is still bothered by his finger and unlikely for Opening Day, I've moved him out of the bullpen picture and added his (meager) guaranteed salary to the "Dead Money" section." I still see opportunities to add a fourth outfielder and one or two bullpen arms, though each of those needs could reasonably be filled with existing options. The remaining hole in the rotation, however, needs an external fix. For what it's worth, Montas is expected to earn around $5.5M via arbitration this year, and Manaea $10.2M. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email — Become a Twins Daily caretaker
  4. Though Josh Donaldson’s time with the Twins was cut short and was polarizing to some, his time in Minnesota merits some further evaluation to gain the full picture. Monumental franchise signing The Twins made a big free-agent splash in January 2020 when they signed then-34-year-old Donaldson to a four-year deal worth $92 million guaranteed. Donaldson, the 2015 AL Most Valuable Player Award winner and a three-time All-Star at third base, represented a major commitment on behalf of the Twins organization to bolster its largely-intact and record-setting 2019 “Bomba Squad” lineup. The 2019 Twins set a Major League record with 307 home runs, but their offense sputtered in the postseason and they were swept by the Yankees in the playoffs. The Twins front office hoped the "Bringer of Rain" could bring them some hits and help get them over the hump. Though the Twins primarily signed Donaldson for his bat, the Donaldson signing also gave the Twins a needed defensive boost in the infield, as Donaldson was considered one of the best third basemen in the game at the time. During his 2019 season with the Braves, his glove was worth eight outs above average, per Statcast, ranking him third among all third basemen that year. Donaldson’s contract was historic both on a franchise and league-level. The contract remains the second-largest in MLB history for a player age 33 or older, behind only Kevin Brown's seven-year, $105 million deal with the Dodgers in 1998. The contract also represented a departure from the Twins’ previous hesitation to spend big money on free agents: it greatly surpassed the Twins’ previous record free-agent signing, which was 4 years and $55 million to pitcher Ervin Santana before the 2015 season. For a franchise that had up until that point earned a reputation of not pursuing big-ticket item free agents, the Donaldson signing was a major departure from business as usual at 1 Twins Way. Hampered by injuries but effective when in the lineup Josh Donaldson has struggled with recurring calf issues throughout his career and they continued during his tenure with the Twins. In a July 2020 Instagram post, Donaldson acknowledged that he’s torn “both of my calves a total of seven times in two years.” Calf issues held Donaldson to 28 games in his first season with the Twins in 2020 and forced him to sit out of the Twins playoff series against the Astros that year. During the full 2021 season, Donaldson got in 135 games but was bothered by hamstring issues. However, when Donaldson was in the lineup, he was impactful. During the 2021 season, he hit .247 with 72 RBIs and 26 home runs. He was near the top of the team in almost all hitting categories, including second on the Twins in plate appearances and runs, and third on the Twins for at-bats, RBI, hits, slugging percentage, and home runs. Traditionally a third baseman, in 2021 Donaldson found himself playing in the DH role more than ever before following the departure of DH Nelson Cruz to the Tampa Bay Rays and Donaldson’s continued dealings with injury. In 135 game appearances, Donaldson had 91 starts at third base and 34 at DH. How exactly he will be used for the Yankees appears to be up in the air, but because they are taking on the entire $50 million remaining on the now-36-year-old Donaldson's Twins contract, they clearly think he has more left in the tank. Locker room leader and league-wide presence After the Twins failed 2019 Bomba Squad campaign, the Twins front office was looking to change up the locker room dynamic and try something different. They decided they were “too nice,” according to Sports Illustrated, and wanted to seek out a leader who could help push the team in a different direction. In signing Donaldson, the Twins sought and ultimately found an outspoken leader and voice not only within the locker room, but on a league-wide level. Donaldson is known for having a brash, fiery personality, and is someone who Twins staff, including former Twins pitcher and current Special Assistant to Baseball Operations LaTroy Hawkins, credit as pushing teammates to be better. He is known to some in the league as being a player who teams love having on their team but hate to play against because of his tendency to get under their skin. Playing only 28 games in his first season with the Twins did not prevent Donaldson from having some memorable 2020 moments, including when he bought his teammates customized robes that were affectionately deemed “Bomba Robes,” or when he was ejected after he had a mid-at bat spat with an umpire, hit a home run on the next pitch, and then dragged and kicked dirt across home plate when he came in to score. During the 2021 season, Donaldson appeared in national headlines on multiple occasions when he was one of the more outspoken players in the league regarding the MLB’s sticky substance saga. Donaldson publicly criticized now-Yankee teammate pitcher Gerrit Cole, insinuating that Cole was among the pitchers benefiting from the use of illegal foreign substances to increase pitch spin rates. A few days later on June 10, all eyes were on the Cole– Donaldson matchup as the Twins traveled to the Bronx to take on the Yankees, where Cole ultimately struck out Donaldson twice. Later that month, Donaldson ruffled feathers again by taunting White Sox starting pitcher Lucas Giolito, another player who Donaldson accused of using sticky substances. On June 29, Donaldson rubbed his hands together while crossing home plate after hitting a home run off Giolito and said, “Hand’s not sticky anymore!" After the game, Giolito called Donaldson “classless,” among other colorful things, and Donaldson said he subsequently confronted Giolito in the parking lot. Donaldson also had some entertaining, and at times, controversial moments on the internet during his time with the Twins. During the 2021 postseason, Donaldson drew attention for his both insightful and humorous live tweeting of the MLB playoffs and the World Series in which he offered his thoughts and opinions on the games and exchanged both humorous jabs and insults with fans and other players. Ultimately, though Donaldson’s Twins tenure was polarizing to some, he was without a doubt one of the most fiery, passionate, and unique personalities the Twins have had in their clubhouse in years- maybe ever. His passion and antics, even when the Twins were in last place, arguably showed he cared. Usually, a team that keeps a lower profile, he interjected the Twins into the national eye with his outspoken nature and confidence. Donaldson will likely fit in in his new home in the Bronx just fine. So farewell to the Bringer of Rain from Twins Territory, and we will see what the forecast for New York City holds. What was your impression of Josh Donaldson’s tenure as a Twin? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  5. Jon Heyman was first to break the news that Gary Sanchez was heading to Minnesota. Jeff Passan quickly followed up with an elaboration: Josh Donaldson and Isiah Kiner-Falefa are headed to New York in the deal. We soon learned the Twins are also giving up catcher Ben Rortvedt and getting infielder Gio Urshela, who will presumably be the Twins' new third baseman or shortstop. There's a lot going on here, and we'll surely spend the next several days unpacking it, but let's try and wrap our arms around this thing. To summarize the move, Yankees get: 3B Josh Donaldson, SS Isiah Kiner-Falefa, C Ben Rortvedt Twins get: C/DH Gary Sánchez, 3B/SS Gio Urshela It was already a whirlwind weekend before this move. Now the roster has been completely uprooted and transformed over a span of two days. Donaldson's presence and salary both looked like odd fits with the Twins seemingly entering a transitional year. Shipping him to the Yankees makes sense in terms of their contention status and spending capabilities. Donaldson also feels like a proper personality fit in the Bronx. Kiner-Falefa's inclusion in the deal is stunning. The Twins acquired him from Texas on Saturday in exchange for Mitch Garver. Were they setting up this deal all along? Did the acquisition pique New York's interest? Either way, the brevity of his Minnesota career would make Jaime Garcia blush (he was also instantly flipped to the Yankees in 2017, incidentally). Between Garver and now Rortvedt, the Twins have completely wiped out their pre-existing catching depth around Ryan Jeffers. However, they added some back in the form of Sánchez, who's coming off two tough seasons but is a two-time All-Star with 138 career home runs at age 29. He's due for free agency after the 2022 season. Urshela, who is two years from free agency (like Kiner-Falefa was) started 28 games at shortstop for the Yankees last year, and 96 at third base. He had started only 13 total games at short in his previous five seasons. Do the Twins envision him playing there, with Jose Miranda taking over at third? Or are they clearing salary room for Trevor Story? This feels like a stepping stone to something else. For now, it feels confusing and pretty overwhelming. Share your thoughts in the comments section. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  6. 1. The Twins REALLY wanted to get out from under Josh Donaldson's contract. I'm not at all surprised that the Twins were looking to trade Donaldson. Personally I've been on board with that course of action for some time, and wrote as much last July. At the time, I hoped they might be able to leverage the trade deadline or cover some of his remaining salary to lessen the blow of unloading such an undesirable contract. Alas, they did not. The front office was able to eventually finder a taker for Donaldson, and New York even took on the full remainder of his deal – all $50 million in guaranteed money. To make it happen, the Twins needed to part with Mitch Garver (via Isiah Kiner-Felafa) and Ben Rortvedt in addition to Donaldson, decimating their catching depth while reopening a total vacancy at shortstop. Minnesota also brought on two buy-low reclamation projects in the swap. It's hard to imagine that either Gio Urshela or Gary Sanchez were players the Twins coveted, coming off bad years with dwindling team control. But that was part of the deal. It's a deal the Twins made purely out of eagerness to escape Donaldson's contract. And I get it. He didn't fit here anymore and his big salaries at 36 and 37 were likely to be a hindrance. Now the Twins are free of that commitment, albeit at the expense of clearly downgrading the current roster. To what end? 2. They Twins now have, like, no catching depth. Garver, gone. Rortvedt, gone. Even our sweet baby boy Willians Astudillo is gone. It was notable that the our recent top 20 prospects breakdown included zero catchers, and now the Twins have suddenly parted with two of their three big-leaguers in one fell swoop. What are we doing here? This system has no depth to be wiping out the top shelf like that. Yes, Sanchez is here, but we're talking about a guy who's widely regarded as one of the worst defensive catchers in baseball. He's a terrible pitch-framer and borderline DH. Did the Twins just abandon their whole philosophy around the value of defense and catching depth? Oh, and: 3. They also have no shortstop (again). We'd all spent about 24 hours talking ourselves into Kiner-Falefa. "Yeah, the Andrelton Simmons thing didn't work out, but that doesn't mean the concept of a glove-first shortstop was bad. IKF is young and hungry! He's gritty!" And then, poof. The solution at shortstop was gone nearly as fast as he arrived, and thus, the Twins are back to square one. Meanwhile, every free agent option has dried up – Simmons and Jose Iglesias both signed over the weekend. The middle tier is gone. I mean, there are still a couple of big names out there. And, the biggest takeaway from all this is... 4. The Twins now have all kinds of flexibility to make at least one HUGE move. The front office freed up $50 million in future payroll commitments, on the same day they traded their 2021 first-round draft pick for a veteran front-line starter. These signs clearly point toward the Twins setting up for one or more extremely significant moves. It's fascinating to think about what that might look like. By this point all high-end free agent pitchers are gone. Two big-name shortstops remain, and I'm confident Minnesota is not signing Carlos Correa. So, are they going to sign Trevor Story? They are reportedly in contact with his camp, so it's definitely a possibility. But it can hardly be considered a lock, right? If the Twins don't land Story, what's the backup plan? And even if they do, how will they address their multiple remaining needs in the rotation, bullpen, and outfield? How are the Twins going to spend all this newly freed up money, with spring training already underway and Opening Day bearing down fast? Like I said, a lot of unknowns. But it's gonna be fun to find out. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  7. Another deal in which the player totals aren’t even; the Twins sent the additional talent this time. Josh Donaldson, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, and Ben Rortvedt are going to New York. In exchange, Minnesota gets catcher Gary Sanchez and third basemen Gio Urshela. There’s no level of this deal that shouldn’t make your head spin, so let’s break it down into smaller pieces. Third Base This is straightforward. Josh Donaldson is moved off the position, and Minnesota is no longer on the hook for his contract's remaining $50 million. Set to make $21.75 million in 2022, a team with something like $35 million in payroll flexibility just pushed that number over $50 million. Donaldson wound up playing just 163 games across two seasons with Minnesota. The shortened pandemic season didn’t help the longevity, but his nagging calf issues were present the first season. There was never a reason why the Twins should’ve considered a cash dump regarding Donaldson and his salary. Still playing at a high level in 2022, any move needed to come with a certain level of return. Ultimately, that’s what ended up happening. Gio Urshela debuted with Cleveland back in 2015 but posted just a .587 OPS through his first 148 Major League games. After a short stint in Toronto, he wound up in New York, and boy did Gio arrive in a big way. During 2019 Urshela posted an .889 OPS with 21 homers. He all but replicated that in 2020 before lacking power production last season. His 96 OPS+ basically was league average, however, and he’s just 30-years-old. He’s not the defensive stalwart Donaldson is at the hot corner, but he’s hardly a butcher either. What Urshela does offer is an easier path to playing time for the likes of Jose Miranda. Should the newly acquired piece continue to decline or start slow, Minnesota won’t hesitate to promote the 2021 standout prospect. Urshela is owed just $6.55M this season, and Miranda will get his opportunity to push for playing time at the hot corner. This is also another area that Luis Arraez could contribute. Shortstop Minnesota had its Opening Day shortstop for something like 35 hours. After acquiring Kiner-Falefa, he was sent to New York, who has been tied to the biggest names at the position. Kiner-Falefa was basically a replica of Andrelton Simmons, minus the weirdness, and now Falvey will go back on the hunt there. Urshela has accumulated just over 200 innings at shortstop, but he shouldn’t be considered an option there. Jorge Polanco is not moving back across the diamond, which again turns us back to the market. With so much cash while both Carlos Correa and Trevor Story are still on the market, there’s reasonable speculation that Minnesota could have their sights set there. Both presumably want long-term contracts, and neither Royce Lewis nor Austin Martin are slam dunks to remain at short. Catcher A former All-Star and Silver Slugger, Gary Sanchez joins the Twins as a backup for Ryan Jeffers. He’s not good defensively, and his bat has been lost since 2019, but maybe Minnesota can turn it around for the 29-year-old. Sanchez has solid on-base skills and does show a good amount of discipline in the box. His power potential is immense, with two 30+ home run seasons to his credit, but the key will be finding consistency. If it wasn’t apparent when the Twins dealt Mitch Garver, it’s certainly clear now that they’ve leaned all the way into Jeffers as their regular. Ben Rortvedt also went to the Yankees, and he’d be considered the most well-rounded defender of that trio. Jeffers obviously has made enough strides to feel comfort in pairing him with Sanchez, and there shouldn’t be an emphasis on splitting time evenly. Removing Donaldson opened up a rotational designated hitter spot for Minnesota, but it should be immediately accounted for by Sanchez, who will see regular starts there as well. It’s clear that Minnesota has solidified their plan at catcher, however. This was a huge move, the second of the day for Minnesota. Now with so much payroll flexibility and an arrow pointed towards competing, there’s no guessing how crazy this front office will get next. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook, or email
  8. On the Twins 40-man roster, there are five position players who played college baseball. All five of these players had great success in college, leading them to get drafted in the top ten rounds of the MLB draft. Josh Donaldson, C/IF, Auburn After hitting .515 as a senior in high school, the future Twins third baseman decided to take his talents to Auburn University. In Donaldson's freshman year, he immediately made an impact on the Tigers. After seeing limited playing time for the first month of the season, he became their everyday third baseman in their series against Arkansas and never looked back. Donaldson finished his freshman campaign hitting .294/.347/.477 (.824) with seven doubles, seven home runs, and 26 RBI. Donaldson came into his sophomore year with increased responsibilities, as he was asked to catch. He made 56 starts (every game), with 36 being behind the dish and 20 being at third base. He once again was a very solid bat for the Tigers, hitting .276/.331/.487 (.818) with 16 doubles, ten home runs, and 42 RBI. This season earned him Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American status heading into his junior year. In Donaldson's junior year, he was stellar in all facets of the game. He hit .349/.444/.591 (1.035) with 19 doubles, 11 home runs, and 54 RBI. He also walked 38 times compared to only 27 strikeouts. One aspect of Donaldson’s game that really came into fruition was his baserunning. Donaldson stole 17 bases after only stealing one base between his first two years. It was clear from this standout season that Donaldson was ready for the big leagues, so he got drafted with the 48th overall pick by the Chicago Cubs after his junior season. Donaldson finished his career hitting .307/.378/.522 (.900) with 42 doubles, 28 home runs, and 122 RBI in 158 career games with the Tigers. Mitch Garver, C, University of New Mexico In 2013, the Twins used their ninth-round pick on a bat-first catcher out of the University of New Mexico by the name of Mitch Garver. A hometown kid, Garver grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and was lucky enough to be able to stay at his hometown university for college at UNM. As a freshman, Garver served as the backup catcher to former Brewers farmhand Rafael Neda. He made 11 starts and hit .277/.351/.385 (.736) with five doubles and 15 RBI. Neda got drafted after this year, and Garver took the reins his sophomore year in which he started all 61 games. He improved at the plate, hitting .300/.380/.400 (.780) with 13 doubles, two home runs, 28 walks (led team), and 27 RBI. Garver went from a solid hitter his first two years to an absolute powerhouse his junior year. In his junior year, Garver once again started all 61 games, hitting .377/.438/.612 (1.050) with 27 doubles (led team), ten home runs, and 57 RBI. He earned Co-Mountain West Player of the Year honors, was named a national finalist for the Johnny Bench Award, and was named a second-team All-American by Louisville Slugger. Defensively, he was great, throwing out 39.6 percent of base stealers In his senior year, Garver once again started every game. He set the record for most consecutive games started at UNM with 181. He also hit .390/.458/.589 with 21 doubles, five triples, and six home runs. He also drove in 68 runs and was once again named a Johnny Bench finalist, Co-MW Player of the Year, and an Academic All-American for the fourth straight year. He finished his Lobo career 5th all-time in doubles and had the most career hits as a catcher in Lobo history. Ryan Jeffers, C, UNC Wilmington When Ryan Jeffers decided to go to UNC Wilmington, he would only be heading about two hours south from his hometown of Raleigh, NC. The three-time all-conference player in high school would go on to have an unbelievable career at Wilmington where he was one of the best catchers in the country. His freshman year, he served as the backup catcher behind future Diamondback farmhand Gavin Stupienski. Jeffers appeared in 13 games as a freshman, going 8-for-23 (.348) at the plate with three doubles and a home run. Although he did not see a whole lot of action in his freshman year of 2016, Jeffers showed a lot of promise and it was clear that he would be one of their best guys going forward, with Stupienski getting drafted following the 2016 season. In Jeffers’ sophomore campaign, he started 52 games and proved his success in 2016 was no fluke. He hit .328/.422/.604 (1.026) with 19 doubles, ten home runs, and 32 RBI. He also received a variety of honors, including NCCSIA First-Team All-State, ABCA All-East First-Team, and First-Team All-CAA. His third and final year at UNC Wilmington, he started all 62 games, hitting .315/.460/.635 (1.095) with 22 doubles, 16 home runs, 59 RBI, and 51 walks. He led the Colonial Athletic Association in doubles, home runs, OBP, and slugging percentage. He was once again named First-Team All-CAA and to the NCAA Greenville All-Regional team. Jeffers was rewarded for his great season by being drafted in the second round with the 59th pick by the Twins in the 2018 draft. Trevor Larnach, OF, Oregon State Despite being drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 40th round of the MLB Draft out of high school, Trevor Larnach opted not to sign and headed up to Corvallis, Oregon to start his college baseball career. Larnach’s freshman season at Oregon State was quite unremarkable. In 28 games (12 starts), Larnach hit a measly .157/.271/.176 (.447) with one double and three RBI. In increased playing time sophomore year (58 starts), Larnach hit .303/.421/.429 (.850) with 16 doubles, three home runs, 39 walks (led team), and 48 RBI (led team). He was named All-Pac-12 Conference Honorable Mention and was also named to the Corvallis Regional All-Tournament Team. The Oregon State Beavers made it to the semifinals of the College World Series before falling to LSU. In 2018, Larnach’s junior year, he was one of the best players in the country. Larnach hit .344/.458/.648 (1.106) with 18 doubles, 19 home runs, and 76 RBI. He was named to the All-American team, PAC-12 All-Conference Team, and received many other prestigious awards. On top of all of that, Larnach’s Beavers won the College World Series, much to his help. In the College World Series, Larnach hit .417/.447/.694 (1.142) with five doubles, one home run, and nine RBI. He also had the biggest hit of the World Series, a tie-breaking two home run in Oregon State’s elimination game with two outs in the top of the ninth. Larnach was drafted by the Twins in the first round (20th overall) in 2018. Larnach is a legend in Corvallis, and hopefully he can bring some of that playoff magic to the Minnesota Twins in the near future. Brent Rooker, OF, Mississippi State Rooker, unlike Larnach, was relatively unknown going into his freshman year at Mississippi State. Rooker did not see any action in his first year as a Bulldog, taking a redshirt year. His sophomore year, he played in 34 of the team’s 54 games, making 20 starts. He hit .257/.325/.378 (.703) with three doubles, two home runs, and 12 RBI. He primarily served as the team’s designated hitter and played a couple of games in left field. In Rooker's junior year, he took a major step forward. He hit .324/.376/.578 (.954) and had a team-best 11 home runs and 54 RBI. For this effort, Rooker was named to the All-SEC second team and was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 38th round. However, Rooker opted not to sign and came back to Mississippi State for his senior season. Rooker just did that, having a historic 2017 for the Bulldogs. Rooker absolutely mashed, hitting .387/.495/.810 (1.305!!!). Rooker set the single-season Mississippi State record for doubles in a season with 30. He led the SEC in doubles, home runs (23), batting average, OBP, slugging percentage, OPS, and RBI (82). He even stole 18 bases. He was named All-SEC first team, All-American, SEC player of the year, and National Player of the Year. Rooker’s 2017 season is one of the best seasons by any college player in recent history, and he was drafted in the first round by the Twins with the 35th overall pick. Had Rooker signed in 2016, he would have received a $1,000 signing bonus. In 2017, he received a $1.935 million dollar signing bonus. Rooker bet on himself and it paid off. Who had the best college career out of these five? Which current Twins prospects that attended college are you most excited for? Leave a comment below and start a discussion Thank you for reading, and Go Twins! MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook, or email.
  9. Every season, some players can avoid injury and stay productive. MLB Trade Rumors identified 15 hitters who could quiet some of their injury concerns in 2021. Two of those players were critical components of Minnesota’s lineup last season. Josh Donaldson, 3B Recent Injury Woes: Missed 149 games between 2018-2020 2021 Season: 135 G, .247/.352/.475 (.827), 127 OPS+, 26 HR, 26 2B Donaldson signed with the Twins leading into the 2020 season, and expectations were high for his first campaign. This was especially true since he was coming off a season where he posted a 126 OPS+ while hitting 37 home runs and 33 doubles. Unfortunately, the pandemic shortened the season, and injuries limited him to 28 games. Many fans were frustrated that he wasn’t on the field, and some of those frustrations trickled over into his second season in Minnesota. Last season, Donaldson managed any injury concerns and played over 130 games for only the second time since 2016. Over the previous five years, he has been rotating between seasons marked by injury and healthy seasons. If this pattern holds, his 2022 campaign might be lining up for him to miss more time, especially since he will be in his age-36 season. Perhaps that is one reason the Twins would be willing to trade Donaldson this winter. At this point in his Twins tenure, it’s clear the Twins have failed Josh Donaldson. Minnesota is in the middle of their winning window, and he was signed as a veteran player to help push the club to playoff success. He has provided tremendous value when he has been on the field. Maybe the 2021 season points to him figuring out a long-term solution to some of his injury woes. Miguel Sanó, 1B Recent Injury Woes: Missed 155 games between 2018-2020 2021 Season: 135 G, .223/.312/.466 (.788), 112 OPS+, 30 HR, 24 2B In two of the last three seasons, Sanó has collected 30 or more home runs, so fans may have forgotten how much time he has missed due to injury. Last season, he played a career-high 135 games, which was 29 more than he had played in any other season. From 2018 to 2019, he averaged 88 games per season, which included some minor league demotions to find his swing. When Sanó makes contact, he ranks among baseball’s best at barreling up the ball. Last season, he ranked in the 97th percentile or higher in average exit velocity, max exit velocity, hard-hit %, and barrel %. He also showed a dramatic improvement in his ability to draw walks as he finished the year in the 78th percentile compared to 2020, when he was in the 46th percentile. At this point, Sanó is a streaky big-league hitter that can still provide value to a team throughout a season. With Alex Kirilloff’s emergence, there is a good chance Sanó starts seeing more time as the team’s primary DH. Sanó is also in an important year for his future with the organization. Minnesota has a $14 million team option for 2023 with a $2.75 million buyout. It seems unlikely that the Twins will pick up that option, so Sanó is playing for his next contract this season. If he wants to stay in Minnesota, he will have to continue to prove he can stay healthy and provide value. Do you think both players can stay healthy in 2022? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  10. It’s understood that owners want the DH to protect their pitchers, but they do not want to pay for what that would mean. If they want to pay pitchers more and protect them, having another player to pay is the only option. The effect is twofold. First, it's 15 more jobs for which MLB owners wouldn't have to pay premium prices. The National League would then have to pay a decent salary for a decent hitter. Or a position player would have to move into the DH role. So, which is more important to the owners? Are they protecting the pitcher or saving money? The Twins are not strangers to the designated hitter. The American League began playing with a DH nearly 50 years ago. It would not make a difference to the AL teams if Major League Baseball implemented the universal designated hitter. The managers know who they have, what they need, where their strengths and weaknesses are in the lineup. With that stated, bringing on a designated hitter from outside the organization is not in the Twins' best interest (sorry, Nelson Cruz fans). The Twins need a hitter that they can rely on to hit, bring in runners and get on base themselves. After Nelson Cruz was traded, the Twins used several different players as DH, particularly a hobbling Josh Donaldson. When using position players from the roster, while the DH can give a player a break, a team runs the risk of more injuries and fewer players to DH. Players are more likely to get hurt playing their position playing the field, which would remove them from playing DH, putting it on someone else. Having a full-time or tandem DH is what makes sense. It is common knowledge that the front office will find ways to save every penny they can. $30-40 Million left in revenue to spend is a fair chunk of change. However, if the Twins use someone already on the roster, they can use that money to bring in the pitching they desperately need. So what do the Twins do at the designated hitter spot? I am glad you asked. **Takes audible deep breath** Miguel Sano. Hear me out. There is a great divide in the Minnesota fanbase over Sano's ability to hit. He is a very streaky hitter. Last season, he reached 1,000 strikeouts in the fewest games (661) in MLB history. He lacked plate discipline at times. If he sees a ball in his zone, he swings at it. Pitchers are not afraid to pitch to him because of his strikeouts and lack of consistent content. However, they also know that he can hit a ball-into-next week if his timing is right. During the 2019 season, the newly-acquired Nelson Cruz saw Sano struggling and took an interest in helping him improve his plate appearances. Cruz invited Sano to meet with him and hitting coaches Edgar Varela and Rudy Hernandez, who Cruz frequently used to help him improve his hitting and technique. Sano put in the hard work, not shying away from asking questions and even calling Valera or Hernandez to discuss mechanics when they weren't meeting. In 2019 Sano had an outstanding season. His contact was harder, balls went farther and faster off the bat. His stance, timing, and mechanics also improved. His ability to be patient and read pitchers became an asset. Nelson Cruz had not only stepped in as a father figure but also as a friend and a coach. Sano may not have had a 'record-breaking year' in 2021; in fact, he was streaky at best throughout the first half of the season, but because Alex Kirilloff kept getting hurt, Sano stayed in the lineup and worked hard to stay where he was. Last season, Sano had a career-low strikeout percentage (32.3%). He relied on his timing and mechanics shown to him by Cruz and the coaches to help him drive in 75 runs and launch 30 home runs into the stands. Sano made significant improvements to his plate appearances, and he is not the greatest at first base. Taking him off of first base would not be a loss for the Twins. Sano has firm control of his swing, and even in Twins losses, his presence adds excitement to the game and runs to the board. Sano easily is the best choice for a full-time designated hitter. There could be an argument for Josh Donaldson joining in tandem due to his already high-cost contract and consistent hitting. Donaldson may need a break from third base, and a rotating DH position for him wouldn't be out of the question. Donaldson is one of the best hitters on the team for the Twins, he has a batting average of .247 and an equally impressive OPS of .827, but has pre-existing injury conditions and he has a consistently declining batting average. Miguel Sano has less time on Injured Reserve and would be on the roster more consistently than Donaldson. Sano was shown how to get the most out of an at-bat by the best-designated hitter in the league, and he was also not afraid to put in the work to improve. His batting average may be lower than Donaldson’s, but this past season, in 2021, he had more at-bats of any year - showing that he is consistently on the roster more. When Nelson Cruz left on July 22, 2021, Sano quite literally slid into Cruz's pants and poured his heart and work ethic into his plate appearances to show the clubhouse and the fans that in his final season (before the 2023 club option), this is where he deserves to be. Who's on first? So naturally, the next question would be who would play first base? The Twins have moved players up and down from St. Paul to see what fits. There has been success with Alex Kirilloff. First base and the outfield have a few players that could easily take over that position and even leave room to bring up a St. Paul player if needed to another position. Alex Kirilloff has proven to be an asset to the Twins 40-man roster. Kirilloff was drafted 15th overall in the first round of the 2016 MLB draft. He was a hot commodity, and the organization knew it. He has spent his entire career from the minors to the majors with the Twins organization rotating between the corner outfield positions and first base, showing that he has some versatility. Kirilloff is a good outfielder but is best served at first base, and he could potentially be a gold glove contender. Last season, he showed that he deserves to be in the big leagues. In 215 at-bats, Kirilloff hit .251 with eight home runs and a .722 OPS. Barring any complications from his wrist surgery, this writer believes Kirilloff would make an outstanding first baseman. The Twins have an arsenal of players at their disposal for not only the lineup, but it also leaves the ability to move players around and still have depth. The Twins farm system was ranked number 12out of 30 by MLB Pipeline. Alex Kirilloff was ranked number 26 in the top 100 prospects by MLB Pipeline a year ago and was the Twins Daily top prospect. The farm system is doing the work that the Twins need to create a strong team that will hopefully take them to the postseason. What do you think the Twins should do at the Designated Hitter position in 2022?
  11. Certainly, Josh Donaldson cannot be the one to blame for the putrid 2021 season; that existed outside of his sphere of influence. Unless he secretly siphoned off all the talent from the pitching staff while bullying Max Kepler by placing pictures of his BABIP in his locker before every game, the disastrous year should not be attributed to him. In fact, I would argue that he did exactly what the team asked of him. His somewhat disappointing 124 wRC+ masks batted ball data that suggests he should have hit at an MVP level in 2021. If those balls allude outfielders like they were supposed to, then we’re talking about Donaldson as a tragic hero, an excellent performer stuck on a bad team. Click the link and you'll see enough red to give Senator Joseph McCarthy a heart attack. His xwOBA is right in line with his peak years on the Toronto Blue Jays—some better luck would have altered the season and turned the Twins from bad to... still pretty bad, but with a better third baseman. Ultimately, his batted-ball numbers change little about the team as a whole, but it does improve Donaldson's footing; perhaps the vitriol of fans washes over him if his wRC+ is upped by 30-40 points. But those balls didn’t safely land in the grass. They were caught. And the team stunk. And stats disagree on his defense. And the team stunk. So, now we’re halfway through a contract that was supposed to represent a changing tide for the Twins organization, and all there is to show for it is a playoff series sweep at the hands of the Houston Astros, a series that Donaldson did not participate in. The conversation has moved on from discussing Donaldson as the veteran that will lead the Twins to higher greatness. Now we ask whether or not his contract should be dumped onto some rich team like the Mets so that we can warm the seat for Jose Miranda, Austin Martin, or another prospect who represents the soft rebuild the team is inevitably embracing. Funny how much two years can change things. But none of this is his fault. It’s somewhat odd, really, that the team failed solidly in 2021, yet the big-name free agent signing was not the reason for such disaster. Donaldson did as we expected, or, to play off the words of the great Dennis Green; he was who we thought he was. He hit well, made headlines for comments made outside of the diamond, made headlines for comments made inside of the diamond, was told to meet Lucas Giolito outside, met Lucas Giolito outside, and, ultimately, flashed a level of showmanship possibly unmatched in franchise history. If you’re the type who is unimpressed by xwOBA, BABIP, or any other vaguely medicinal-sounding advanced stat, you at least can’t argue that Donaldson has brought entertainment to the team. I don’t know if Josh Donaldson will be on the Twins for the 2022 season. The front office has played their cards close to their hand as usual; after the lockout ends, I could wake up to the headline that the team signed Trevor Story and be just as surprised had I woke up to see that they dealt Jorge Polanco. The Twins under Derek Falvey and Thad Levine relish refusing to act until they absolutely must—a bowl is most useful when it is empty, after all. If Donaldson remains, he will be left as the eldest leader of a currently youthful squad—just three players currently on the 40-man roster were born during the Reagan administration. The team would have to rebound dramatically to make good on the promises made following the 2019 season. If the Twins decide to trade him, then I can say for sure that it was the team that failed Donaldson, not the other way around. I hope the biggest free-agent signing in franchise history gets the chance to lead a legendary Twins squad properly, but the real world is not as poetic as hopes and dreams; wrongs cannot be righted by the whims of an author and the randomness of life can often spoil even the prettiest of visions. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook, or email
  12. 2020 was admittedly a bad start to the four-year, $92m contract the Twins gave Josh Donaldson after whiffing on a big-name starting pitcher the offseason before. The former MVP missed more than half of the 60-game season with injuries including the best of three playoff series that ended in a whimper from the offense. Per game, however, Donaldson was the same star hitter he always has been, and he showed that across a much bigger body of work in 2021. For those unfamiliar with MLBs use of Statcast measurements, these numbers read in percentiles, meaning Donaldson is in the 99th percentile in average exit velocity, 95th percentile in barrel percentage, etc. In most offensive measurements, Donaldson’s raw skills were among the top 5-10% in all of baseball. For a season many considered disappointing, I think such a strong showing deserves some context. As you can see, Donaldson actually bested fan-favorite Nelson Cruz in many raw measurements in 2021 according to Statcast. It’s interesting to look at considering one of these players is discussed as the cornerstone of whatever lineup he’s in while the other is being discussed as a possible salary dump. Why might that be? 2020 Left a Bitter Taste 2020 was a season that likely had the front office wishing for a do-over on the largest free-agent contract the team had ever handed out. There was an understandable amount of frustration as the biggest addition to the team was nowhere to be seen for most of a season where the Twins captured their second consecutive division title only to be swept out of the playoffs once again. To make matters worse, those feelings of frustration had gasoline thrown onto the fire when Donaldson injured his hamstring on opening day 2021 and missed a chunk of time. For many, their minds were made up. Donaldson’s availability down the stretch was an incredible accomplishment, however, and showed that while his injury concerns are very much a reality, he’s still capable of being an everyday player across a full season. To once again make a Cruz vs. Donaldson comparison, DH Nelson Cruz played in 140 games compared to Donaldson’s 135 in 2021 which may surprise even the biggest Twins fans to hear. 2021 Was Unlucky The ongoing joke in 2021 was the continued use of the phrase “bad luck” as so much went wrong that it’s impossible to chalk it all up to misfortune. For Donaldson however, we have Statcast measurements saying his raw offensive ability hasn’t declined at all at age 35. His .247 average was much lower than his .268 expected batting average. His .475 slugging percentage was much lower than his .541 expected slugging. He also hit four fewer home runs than expected given the way he impacts the ball. His speed on the bases may be a partial explanation for these discrepancies but his hampered legs can only explain away a portion of these gaps in expected performance. If you aren’t a believer in expected stats, it’s still difficult to look back and be disappointed in his body of work that included a triple slash of .247/.352/.475, good for 24% above league average. Repeating that line would be just fine for 2022, but he appears to still have the physical capabilities to garner MVP votes if he can remain on the field as he did in 2021. So why point out Donaldson’s impressive performance in 2021? To be honest, he doesn’t get the appreciation he deserves. His impact would have essentially erased a disappointing 2020 in the eyes of fans had he performed exactly the same and the team hadn’t crumbled. Statcast says he could have performed even better. He’s talked about like he’s over the hill and his contract needs to be dumped before it’s too late so the Twins can improve. In reality, however, Donaldson is probably one of the three most important pieces of the Twins offense in 2022. Without Nelson Cruz, Donaldson is an important figure on the team not just on the field, but as a veteran-hitting savant who can have a huge impact on the upcoming prospects. It’s entirely possible that Donaldson’s health in 2022 could go the way of 2020 rather than 2021. That being said, at bat for at bat there still aren’t a ton of players you want in the heart of your lineup over Josh Donaldson, and he’s still a tantalizing talent that should have Twins fans looking forward to the beginning of the 2022 season. — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email — Follow Cody Pirkl on Twitter here
  13. As players age, their physical abilities deteriorate and they often can not play as well as they used to play.. So when a player 35 or older has a great season, it is remarkable. Veterans are usually good locker room presences and leaders for younger players, but if they can also be one of the best players on the team, that is an added bonus. In this article, we will look at the top five seasons by hitters in Twins history over the age of 35. If a player has multiple great seasons over the age of 35, I picked their best one. All of the players on this list have had illustrious careers and while their production in these seasons wasn’t as high as they had in their primes, they still were very impactful players on their teams. 5. Josh Donaldson, 2021 - 2.2 fWAR When Josh Donaldson made news in 2021, it was for sparking a sticky controversy with White Sox pitcher Lucas Giolito and for feuding with Gerrit Cole. Despite being one of the most controversial players in baseball, Josh Donaldson has also been one of the best. Since 2013, he has the third highest WAR in all of baseball, trailing only Mike Trout and Mookie Betts. In Donaldson’s prime, he was a 6-8 WAR player, winning AL MVP in 2015 and finishing in the top 10 four times. In 2021, he was only worth 2.2 WAR, making him the third best player on the Twins behind Byron Buxton and Jorge Polanco. Donaldson hit .247/.352/.475 (.827) in 135 games. He had a wRC+ of 124, meaning he was 24 percent better than league average at creating runs for his team. He also had a keen eye at the plate, leading the Twins with 74 walks. When you dive deeper into the numbers, Donaldson was even more impressive. He ranked 4th in MLB in average exit velocity (94.1), 3rd in Barrels per plate appearance (11.2 percent), and 11th in hard hit rate. Below are his Baseball Savant percentile rankings. In nearly all of the offensive categories, Donaldson ranked in the top 10 percent of all hitters. This is incredible for a player who is 35 years old. As Donaldson ages, he will get more time in the DH role as the Twins look to younger players like Luis Arraez and Jose Miranda to occupy third base to keep Donaldson’s bat in the lineup more regularly. Donaldson had a good 2021 and I wouldn’t be surprised to see his production improve in 2022 as a 36 year old. 4. Paul Molitor, 1996 - 2.5 fWAR After an outstanding career in Milwaukee and Toronto, Hall-of-Famer and native Minnesotan Paul Molitor returned to play in his homeland for the final three years of his career. As is the case with most veterans, Molitor was mostly a designated hitter in his tenure with the Twins. During his career, Molitor’s versatility was one of his best assets so confining him to DH took a lot of his value away. Still, the future Twins manager was able to post 2.5 WAR in 1996, his first season with the Twins. In Molitor’s prime, he was consistently a 4-6 win player for the Brewers and Blue Jays. He won the World Series in 1993 with the Blue Jays and was named World Series MVP, going 11-for-24 with five extra base hits, seven RBI, three walks, and no strikeouts in six games. He also tied the World Series record for most runs in a series with 10 runs scored. In 1996, Molitor hit .341/.390/.468 (.858) for a 114 wRC+. Molitor led the American League with 225 hits, which is the third most for a single season in Twins history. He also drove in 113 runs and hit 41 doubles in that year. During that season he became the first player to hit a triple for his 3000th career hit. Molitor was a great veteran addition to a Twins team that needed some guidance. 3. Jim Thome, 2010 3.1 fWAR As a player who spent the majority of his career with the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox, Twins fans did not associate Jim Thome with good memories. In his career against the Twins, Thome hit an ungodly .314/.415/.635 (1.049) with 61 home runs in 196 games. In 2010, the Twins decided that if you can’t beat him, join him, so they signed Thome to a one year deal worth $1.5 million. In his age 39 season, Thome was outstanding. He appeared in 108 games and hit .283/.412/.627 (1.039) for a 177 wRC+. Among players 39 and older who appeared in 100 or more games, the only players in MLB history with a higher OPS than Thome were Barry Bonds and Hank Aaron. Thome posted 3.1 WAR in only 108 games despite only playing DH. The only primary DH’s in MLB history with more WAR in a similar amount of games are Yordan Alvarez and David Ortiz. Thome hit his 600th career home run with the Twins in 2011, but his signature moment as a Twin was this walk-off home run he hit in August of 2010, the first walk-off homer in Target Field history. Thome was also an outstanding clubhouse presence, being named the nicest player in baseball by his fellow players, a nice touch on an outstanding career. 2. Harmon Killebrew, 1971 3.9 fWAR Killebrew was an outstanding player for the entirety of his career. He actually had two seasons that would’ve placed him on this list but I chose to go with the better of the seasons, 1971. Killebrew was already on his way to the Hall of Fame before he turned 35, having hit 487 home runs in his career. But in his age 35 season, Killebrew had a great season. By this time, Killebrew’s outfield days were behind him and he was splitting time between first base and third base. In 1971, Killebrew hit .254/.386/.464 (.850) for a wRC+ of 137. He led the American League in RBI (119) and walks (114). He was named to the final all-star game of his fantastic career. In late July of this year, Killebrew hit his 499th homer. For the next 16 games, Killebrew went into a slump, not able to hit his 500th. But in the 17th game, Killebrew hit home runs 500 and 501 at Metropolitan Stadium to cement his legacy as an all-time great. Killebrew was relieved, telling the Associated Press he could finally breathe a sigh of relief again. “When people keep asking you when you’re going to hit it, you try a bit harder. The only time I thought about it was when people were asking me about it”, said Killebrew. 1. Nelson Cruz, 2019 - 4.3 fWAR The ageless wonder, Nelson Cruz, was a fantastic signing for the Twins in the 2019 offseason. In his age 38 season, Cruz turned the Twins from a mediocre team into a 100 game winner. The Dominican slugger helped guide young Hispanic sluggers Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario to career highs in home runs. Cruz had such a profound impact on Sano that Sano decided to name Cruz the Godfather of his daughter. He also won the 2021 Roberto Clemente Award for all of the great work he does in the community. Along with his great leadership, Cruz was one of the best hitters in the league. In 2019, Cruz hit .311/.392/.639 (1.031) for a wRC+ of 164. His .639 slugging percentage was the best single season slugging percentage in Twins history. He hit 41 home runs and drove in 108 runs. He also led MLB in Barrels per Plate Appearance, Hard Hit Rate, and Average Exit Velocity. The combination of this means that he hit the ball harder than anyone else did more consistently than anyone else. This led to a lot of success for Cruz. Nelson Cruz had two more good seasons for the Twins before he was traded during his age 40 season to the Tampa Bay Rays for Joe Ryan and Drew Strotman. Cruz has a strong impact on baseballs and teammates, making him a great addition to any team. Conclusion Throughout the Twins history, they have had some great seasons by older players, proving that baseball isn’t always a young man’s game. Hopefully another great season by Donaldson next year can move him up on this list, but don’t look for many Twins to make this list in the near future as the Twins will try to get younger players more experience. Who did I miss on this list? What would you change about the order? Is Cruz the best power hitter in Twins history? Leave a comment below! Let me hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading, and Go Twins!
  14. If you missed the first half of the series, take a look back at some of the year's other top stories. Below is a rundown of the top-10 stories of the year at Twins Daily. 10. Three Starting Pitchers to Trade for this Winter Published: September 19 Author: Cody Pirkl Trading for starting pitching might be the most logical path to building Minnesota's 2022 rotation, and that was even before Minnesota missed out on many of the top-tier free agent arms. There are multiple teams with controllable arms that offer intriguing trade options. Which player makes the most sense for the Twins? 9. Get Ready for the Opposite of Joe Mauer Published: November 18 Author: Ted Schwerzler With Joe Mauer, the Twins paid a premium for one of baseball's best players. He was coming off an MVP season, and his hometown connections were tough to ignore. Like Mauer, Byron Buxton was a homegrown star on the cusp of free agency. Luckily, the Twins didn't bypass a Buxton extension. Fans may continue to connect Mauer and Buxton because of their injury histories, but Twins fans won't have to watch Buxton in another team's uniform. 8. The 10 Best Twins Target Among Remaining Free Agents Published: January 17 Author: Nick Nelson Last winter, multiple free agents seemed like fits for the 2021 Twins. Two of the names identified ended up signing with the Twins, and both players signed for one-year deals. This leaves the Twins looking for replacements for these players during the current off-season. Also on the list, there were some names that Minnesota was lucky to avoid 7. 4 Possible Teams Interested in a Byron Buxton Trade Published: June 15 Author: Cody Christie During the summer, rumors swirled about the Twins and Buxton not reaching an agreement on a contract extension. It seemed like a very real possibility the team would entertain trading their Gold Glove center fielder. Imagining Buxton in a Yankees or Red Sox uniform might have been tough to swallow for Twins Territory. Luckily, fans won't have to worry about that for the foreseeable future. 6. Sano Sets Strikeout Record Published: September 18 Author: Seth Stohs When he was a top prospect, Miguel Sano breaking a record was something all Twins fans hoped for, but this probably isn't the record most fans had in mind. Not only did he set the record for fastest player to 1,000 career strikeouts, but he also smashed the record. The other players on the list aren't exactly a group of Hall of Fame players, but this is the type of player Sano has become throughout his career. 5. Notebook: Twins Have Offer Out to Veteran SP Published: February 11 Author: Matthew Lenz Twins fans were excited about the possibility of adding a veteran pitcher to Minnesota's starting staff. Unfortunately, the signing became one of the worst free-agent moves under the current regime. Other news covered in this story included the Twins claiming Kyle Garlick, who eventually made the team's Opening Day roster over Brent Rooker. 4. Simmons Wants to Know the Real Story Behind Reliever's Broken Hand Published: October 1 Author: Randballs Stu Randballs Stu offers a little humor to the Twins Daily site, and this piece was one of multiple he has in the top stories of the year. After celebrating the team's playoff-clinching victory, Milwaukee's Devin Williams broke his hand. Andrelton Simmons, a player with a known anti-vaccine stance, questions whether fans are getting the full story with the relief pitcher's injury. 3. What Happened Between Josh Donaldson and Luis Arraez? Published: July 18 Author: Tom Froemming There were plenty of frustrations with the Twins in the middle of the season. During the middle of July, Josh Donaldson got frustrated with Luis Arraez during a game in Detroit. Arraez was slow to get his lead off second base with Donaldson batting. This caused Donaldson to call time and step out. Eventually, the two had a heated discussion with Nelson Cruz playing mediator. 2. 5 Things to Know About Twins Deadline Centerpiece Austin Martin Published: July 30 Author: Nick Nelson After his blockbuster trade to the Twins, fans were excited to know more about Austin Martin. Austin Martin immediately entered the conversation as one of the team's top prospects after being a 2020 top draft pick. His college experience and defensive flexibility make him one of the exciting prospects in the Twins farm system. 1. Rare Unwritten Rule Triggers Name Change for Minnesota Twins Published: May 21 Author: Randballs Stu Baseball's unwritten rules can undoubtedly cause some on-field headaches. Randballs Stu painted a satirical picture of how ridiculous these rules can be when teams follow some of these old-school mentalities. It might be fun to have some Minnesota Cocaine Dentist gear. I wonder if MLB.com still has some available? Which of these stories will you remember the most? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  15. The Minnesota Twins have long struggled to acquire top-end starting pitching. This was the case with prior Twins’ front offices and has been the case under Falvey/Levine’s leadership. Whether it is because of injuries (Kenta Maeda) or poor evaluation (J.A. Happ), betting on starting pitchers is extremely risky as the Twins have seen play out season after season. After getting largely shut out from the first wave of free agent starting pitchers, the Twins have now found themselves in a spot where they need to sign Carlos Rodón, trade for starting pitching (they shouldn’t), or be in for another long season with a better shot of fighting for the number one pick in the draft than a playoff spot. But what if there is another direction that the Twins could go? What if the Twins went all in on offense? While there is a shortage of impact starting pitching left on the free agency market, there are no shortage of bats. This surplus of bats on the market could present an opportunity for the Twins to pivot, settle for back-of-the-rotation arms, and instead go heavy on bats to bolster up what is already a strength of the Minnesota Twins. Names like Trevor Story, Kris Bryant, Nicolas Castellanos, and Michael Conforto are all all-star bats and are all still available as free agents. Not only is there a nice supply of big bats left on the free agent market, but the Twins have a need to fill multiple holes in their lineup as well, including shortstop, outfield and (potentially) designated hitter. The Minnesota Twins committed to Byron Buxton this offseason with a seven year contract. Additionally, the Twins have the young bats of Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach, Royce Lewis and Austin Martin ready to contribute for the next decade as well. An intriguing path for the Minnesota Twins to take would be for them to sign even more bats, completely lean into their offense and take on the identity of a bat-first team that will out-hit all of its opponents for years to come. Assuming that the Twins have $55M to spend this offseason, they would have the funds to bring in two superstar bats this offseason like Trevor Story and Kris Bryant. They could then fill out the rest of their team with fringe starting pitching, or trade Max Kepler and a marginal prospect for a moldable arm. Yes, this would leave the Twins with quite the shaky starting rotation, but with a lineup core of Trevor Story, Kris Bryant, Byron Buxton, and Alex Kirilloff, on top of Josh Donaldson, Luis Arraez and Jorge Polanco. John Bonnes could be pitching for the Minnesota Twins and they’d be in good shape with that potent lineup. I mean..just look at this team: You hear about football teams that take on an offensive identity and out-score their opponents in order to win games, but you hardly find that in baseball. The Twins are in a position that they could go all in on offense and outscore the rest of the league by producing fireworks all Summer at Target Field. What do you think?
  16. If you’ve been reading Twins Daily lately, I hope you haven’t missed Nick Nelson's piece on the front office avoiding free-agent starters. Derek Falvey has largely missed on the names he’s targeted, and he’s sat out on most of them. Length has been this club’s sticking point, and as Nick points out, it’s also been the track record of this front office. Cleveland sustained winning through pitching. The arms were developed internally, inexpensively, and near-peak of their projections. Given the success Falvey has seen using this blueprint and operating with the same parameters that Minnesota is not a sought-after destination, it’s understandable for him to get creative. That leaves opportunity on the trade market, like sending a high-end reliever in Brusdar Graterol to the Dodgers for an established arm like Kenta Maeda. I believe at least one trade will bring in a top-of-the-rotation starter, but dollars still need to be allocated. How about looking at this route. Come on down, Kris Bryant. Going into 2021, I had made a couple of points to suggest dealing for the former Cubs third basemen made a lot of sense. He can play left field and first base and had just a year left on his deal while fully intending to hit free agency. Minnesota declined, and the San Francisco Giants utilized him for their stretch run. Now a free agent, Bryant is a better fit for the Twins than you imagine. Even with the Cubs manipulation of the Vegas natives’ service time, Bryant will play 2022 at just 30 years old. His “injuries” have been largely overstated in that he’s missed significant time in just two of his seven big league seasons. When healthy, he’s been among the best in the sport. Coming off a 2021 in which he posted an .835 OPS with 25 homers, Bryant flashed his versatility played every position except for second base and catcher. He’s best suited on the corners, either in the infield or outfield, and that’s where the fit lies with the Twins. Josh Donaldson was mostly fine last season, posting an .827 OPS. He played in 135 games but was immediately on the Injured List with a leg issue to start the season. Donaldson needed significant time in the designated hitter spot to be eased back in, and he’s now another year older. Luis Arraez plays second base for Minnesota, but not well, and has bulky knees. Jose Miranda has forced his way into time, but that could come anywhere. What version of Miguel Sano shows up in his final contract year remains to be seen. Alex Kirilloff figures to play more first base than anything, and Trevor Larnach’s rebound is uncertain. Maybe the most significant linchpin here is if and when Max Kepler is moved. That’s a ton of moving pieces, but just one (with Kepler being the most likely), needs to be moved for a perfect set of musical chairs. Spending on bats seems to be much more fruitful on the free-agent market, and giving Bryant a three-to-five-year deal may be enough to have him call Twins Territory home. This lineup should already do plenty of damage when on, and adding Bryant to it only helps to supplement a pitching staff that would leave plenty to be desired. Spending dollars on his bat gets easier as the top of the Twins farm assumes rotation spots, and his versatility doesn’t hamstring any single player. With the Giants interested in retaining his services, the Seattle Mariners lurking, and Scott Boras angling for the biggest deal, there’s plenty of reasons this won’t happen before even considering the Twins. That all being said, the fit is there, and spending needs to happen regardless. Rather than continuing to do nothing with the funds freed up in trading Jose Berrios, it certainly makes sense to grab a player of impact instead of spreading them out between roster filler. Kris Bryant doesn’t pitch, and he isn’t a shortstop, but somehow this still seems to work. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Order the Offseason Handbook — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  17. Current Third Baseman: Josh Donaldson Over the last two seasons, the Twins have gotten what they expected from Donaldson. He has hit .243/.355/.474 (.829) with 28 doubles and 32 home runs in 163 games. Donaldson has posted an OPS+ of 127 or higher in both seasons, which is better than his season in Atlanta. Offensive regression is expected with a player like Donaldson as he reaches his mid-to-late 30s, but that has yet to be the case. Defensively, Donaldson made 91 starts at third base last season, and age might be catching up to him on this side of the ball. He was worth one defensive run saved and posted a career-worst -6.2 UZR. 40-Man Roster Options Minnesota's best defensive third baseman last season was Luis Arraez. Only four AL third basemen ranked higher than him according to SABR's Defensive Index. This may surprise some fans because the Twins moved Arraez to a utility position last season because his defense was poor at second base. If the Twins use Donaldson more at DH, Arraez can continue to get more reps at third base. Minnesota's long-term third baseman looks to be Jose Miranda, the 2021 Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Year. At Double- and Triple-A, Miranda hit .344/.401/.572 (.973) with 32 doubles and 30 home runs. It was one of the biggest breakout seasons in recent Twins history. Minnesota left him unprotected in the 2020 Rule 5 Draft, so he was an easy addition to the 40-man roster this winter. Miranda has firmly planted himself in Minnesota's long-term plans. On the Farm Options Not all of the players listed below are guaranteed to be on the team's roster at the start of next season. Still, it offers some insight into the organization's third base depth. Minnesota has multiple third-base options populating the rosters in the upper minors. Miranda likely won't be in the big leagues to start the season, so he will return to St. Paul to start the season. Andrew Bechtold has a chance to join him on the Saints roster, but he is also eligible for the Rule 5 Draft. Last season, he played the entire year at Double-A and posted a .786 OPS with 23 doubles and 18 home runs. In the Arizona Fall League, Bechtold went 14-for-59 (.237) with four doubles. He can play both corner infield positions, and he caught five games in the AFL. Minnesota selected Seth Gray in the 4th round back in 2019 from Wright State University. He played all of the 2021 season at High-A and hit .212/.321/.333 (.655) with 27 extra-base hits in 113 games. He was slightly older than the average age of the competition this season, so it seems likely for him to play most of the 2022 season at Double-A. In the minor's lower levels, the Twins have two 22-year-old players that took different paths to this point. Jake Rucker was taken in the 7th round in 2021 from the University of Tennessee, while Wander Valdez was signed out of the Dominican Republic back in 2016. Rucker posted a .700 OPS in 22 games after being drafted last year. Valdez split time between Fort Myers and the FCL Twins with a .689 OPS in 55 games. Overall, Minnesota has a veteran at the MLB level with a top prospect ready to debut. What do you think about the organization's third base depth? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES — Catchers — First Base — Second Base
  18. Randy Dobnak was thankful for beans, rice, Jesus Christ, and Byron Who? BYRON! Byron Buxton surprised us with the best early-Christmas gift No one thought the Twins could get it done. Byron Buxton will remain a Twin for a very long time with his 7-year extension. That means we’ll have some of this in our future: And definitely a little bit of this: Buxton’s athleticism is like a perfectly crafted Thanksgiving plate, with the perfect amount of turkey, stuffing, and a heaping side of taters. Josh Donaldson celebrated his 36th birthday The Bringer of Rain celebrated the big 3-6 presumably in style yesterday. The entire staff of Twins Daily celebrated his birthday by joining hands and watching one of his best moments from last season. Happy birthday Josh! Eduardo Escobar broke ground at Citi Field Despite moving on to his third team after the Twins, Eduardo Escobar remains one of the most beloved Twins of all time. We wish him nothing by the best as he moves on to the NL East. Fogo Power, baby! Miguel Sano Took No Days Off Thanksgiving, shmanksgiving. Sano said no to giving up on his quest to prepping for the year ahead. Lewis Thorpe took his horse to the Old Town Road Max Kepler Continues to Live the Good Life We have no idea where Max Kepler spends most of his days. Wherever he is, there will be no grainy photos with poor lighting for Max. Kepler continues to be, what the kids say, ~*a vibe*~ Don’t ask us what that means. Which other players would you like to hear from in the offseason? Comment below!
  19. Twins Daily's own Cody Christie broached this very topic two years ago when Chapman was coming off monster 2018 and 2019 seasons that earned him MVP votes in each season and an All-Star Appearance in 2019. At that time Cody speculated that the package would start with Byron Buxton and include a couple prospects based on Chapman’s recent performance and four years of team control remaining. Since then, Chapman has added a third Gold Glove to his resume, but has regressed a little on the offensive side of the ball coming off a career-low 101 wRC+ in the 2021 season. Furthermore, he’s now only under team control for two more years which diminishes his value a little more. As Forst suggested in the full quote to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, letting other teams hand out big contracts is “the cycle for the A’s”. You might remember current Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson was once an up-and-coming star for the Oakland Athletics before getting shipped to the Toronto Blue Jays for Franklin Barreto, Kendall Graveman, Brett Lawrie, and Sean Nolin... none of which were Top 100 prospects at the time and none of which have made much of an impact on the field for the A’s. OOF. The similarities between 2014 Donaldson and 2021 Chapman are quite surprising. Both players were/are 28 years old. Donaldson had one-year of team control whereas Chapman has two-years. Donaldson had two monster years and so has Chapman. Both were/are considered among the best defenders in the league. Albeit the Donaldson trade was seven years ago, can the Twins really get away with trading for Chapman without giving up a top 100 prospect? To answer that question let's look at a more recent traded involving a star third baseman on a small market team. Back in February of this year, the St. Louis Cardinals acquired Nolan Arenado and $51 million while giving up the following: LHP Austin Gomber - never top 100, 219.1 IP, 4.27 FIP, 2.35 K/BB INF Mateo Gil - never top 100, #22 prospect in COL system in 2020, unranked in 2021 INF Elehuris Montero - never top 100, #7 prospect in COL system in 2020, #4 in 2021 RHP Toney Locey - never top 100, #15 prospect in COL system in 2020, unranked in 2021 RHP Jake Sommers - never top 100, unranked in COL system in 2020 & 2021 Looking at that list of names and their resumes, there is definitely some more recent precedent that indicates the Twins may not have to “sell the farm” to acquire Chapman from the A’s, who I think most would rank below Arenado in terms of providing value to a team (not to mention the $51 million toss-in). So with all that said, what does a trade with the A’s look like involving Chapman? First thing the Twins would have to do is move on from Donaldson, who was shopped at the trade deadline, or get him to agree to be the primary Designated Hitter and relieve Chapman at third base as-needed. The former seems like a more realistic option than the latter, although the metrics clearly show that Donaldson has lost a step (or multiple steps) at the hot corner. Once we’ve opened third base, then comes working with the A’s on a deal keeping in mind the precedent that has been set and the ongoing CBA negotiations that could make any teams tentative to be aggressive until they have a more clear picture on what the next CBA entails. With that said, here are some names I would shop/include in a deal for Matt Chapman: Jose Miranda - yes, he’s coming off a monster 2021 minor league season but was that real or sustainable? Nobody knows. This could be an opportunity to sell high and what better option than giving the A’s their third basemen of the future. Josh Winder, Matt Canterino, Blayne Enlow - you can never have enough pitching but seven of their top ten prospects are pitchers which afford them some flexibility to part with one. You might have to add in another low level prospect or two, but I think it makes a lot of sense to sell high on Miranda if you’re getting a young-ish third basemen in return who you have at least two years of team control over with the ability to negotiate an extension to keep him in a Twins uniform through his prime. Are you interested in seeing Matt Chapman as a Twins if it means giving up Donaldson, Miranda, and a couple other prospects?
  20. There is a small chance the Twins will consider a reunion with Nelson Cruz, but a few factors will impact his return. First of all, his performance significantly declined after being traded to the Rays. Secondly, there is a good chance the National League adds the DH for 2022, which opens the possibility of Cruz signing with many other teams. Cruz was outstanding during his time in Minnesota, but it seems likely for the Twins to move on for next season. After the Cruz trade, the Twins started using a rotational system at DH for various reasons. "We saw the benefit play through the season, whether it was [Donaldson] -- he was dealing with a couple of things along the way, and if he wasn't feeling the best, he could go DH for a day," Derek Falvey said. "[Jorge] Polanco, right? As well as anybody, maybe go get him a day. Get him off his feet. Maybe not play second today, but go DH. So the benefits are the ability to rotate through." There are obvious benefits to playing Josh Donaldson at DH. In recent years, Donaldson's health has been a concern, but playing him at DH can give his legs a break while still keeping his bat in the line-up. However, in 2021, Donaldson's OPS was nearly 170 points lower when serving as the team's DH. Donaldson isn't the team's only option at DH, especially if they will use a rotational system. Out of players on the Twins, Miguel Sanó best fits the mold of a traditional DH as he is a power-hitting slugger who struggles on the ball's defensive side. Sanó was the second-worst defensive first baseman in 2021, and the Twins have a natural replacement at the position. Alex Kirilloff can see defensive time at first base or in the outfield, with him having a chance to be an above-average defensive first baseman. Throughout his career, Sanó has over 645 plate appearances as a DH, and he has hit .230/.336/.417 (.753). Another potential option is to get Mitch Garver more regular at-bats by using him as a DH. Manager Rocco Baldelli likes to give his catchers regular rest, and that's one of the reasons Garver has only started 18 games at DH throughout his career. Falvey knows it is essential to keep Garver's bat in the line-up, and he said that he could get more time at DH and first base next season. There are plenty of other options for the Twins at DH. Jorge Polanco is coming off his best big-league season, but he has struggled with ankle issues in the past. Brent Rooker has little left to prove in the minor leagues, and there have been questions about his defensive skills in the past. Luis Arraez slid into the utility role last season, and his bat is tough to keep out of the line-up if he is healthy. Because of the players listed above, Minnesota seems destined to use a rotational system at DH next season. There is also a chance the team adds other offensive options in free agency, which would add another bat to the DH equation. How do you think the Twins approach the DH spot next season? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email.
  21. Typically, baseball assumes that you’re dealing from a pool of future talent to acquire something usable now, or vice versa. That is a logical assumption, but one that may not fit the Twins current mold. If their goal is to get better now, without embarking on a complete rebuild, dealing from a position of depth could be a path to accomplishing that goal. When looking at the Twins roster, there are three current regulars that all provide an enticing level of opportunity regarding the trade market. At catcher, it’s Mitch Garver. From an infield or utility perspective, it’s Luis Arraez. In the outfield, it’s Max Kepler. Sure, if we’re not re-signing Byron Buxton, then he has to be moved, but I choose not to live in a online world where that may be a possibility. With that said, let’s explore the three options. Mitch Garver Rebounding to the tune of an .875 OPS following a down year in 2020, Garver looked again like a top-tier bat behind the plate. He’s an adept pitch framer and has made considerable strides defensively. While age isn’t on his side for a future payday, he’s still plenty ripe for a prime stretch at 31-years-old being a late-blooming prospect. With Ryan Jeffers as his backup, it could be argued that Minnesota has a luxury in their backstop stable. 2020 showed a brief glimpse of what Jeffers may be, and as a future starter, he could push toward the upper tier for the position. Behind him, however, is Ben Rortvedt, who is almost certainly going to be a defense-only type of player. Moving Garver could net the Twins a handsome return, and catcher is one of the most challenging places in the sport to squeeze out offensive production. The Twins may desire to do this if Garver’s future prognosis trends more towards designated hitter duties as injuries mount. Selfishly, I’d like them to avoid this route. Give me all the Garv Sauce. Luis Arraez Formerly a fill-in for Jorge Polanco at second base, Arraez has established himself as one of baseball’s best pure hitters. He’s a contact guy that will always hit for average, and he has an incredible sense of plate discipline. Not a great defender anywhere; he truly can play everywhere after being thrust into a left-field role at times during the 2021 season. Assuming that Minnesota opts to keep Polanco at second base and sign a shortstop, that leaves Arraez looking at a utility role once again. He can spell Josh Donaldson at the hot corner and take reps in the outfield, but his defensive home will cease to exist. There’s no denying the at-bats will always be there for him with the Twins, but what is the gain should he be flipped to a team that sees him as their everyday option in the same defensive role? I don’t know that moving Arraez is an opportunity cost that Minnesota should be looking into. His utility is invaluable, and he covers multiple guys necessary of a true insurance policy. Max Kepler We’ve made it to the one player in this trio that finds themselves still seeking peak value. The .719 OPS in 2021 was a career-low, and the .855 mark during the 2019 Bomba Squad year looks as distant as ever. There is this, though, as Twins Daily’s Tom Froemming pointed out, Kepler’s expected results are drastically different from what reality is giving us. I’ve consistently hoped that Kepler would elevate the baseball and see the payoff due to his hard-hit contact potential. We noticed some of that in 2019, and that consistency is the biggest thing holding him back. Under team control through 2023 and tied to a 2024 team option, Kepler’s contract is among the most enticing things about him. He’s not turning any heads with a 98 OPS+, but at 123 or even 109 in 2020, he’s an above-average player that’s stellar on defense and could net something nice. Kepler’s value is hard to pinpoint given the results in comparison to what you’d hope he’s capable of. Getting the right team to bite on the right return is the goal, and with young outfield talent behind him, a flip could be more than beneficial for both sides. What do you think? If you’re trading a regular from the Twins lineup, who is it that you’re moving, and who do you think has the most value
  22. Fall/Halloween Roundup Baseball players, they’re just like us, posing in pumpkin patches and dressing up in adorable Halloween costumes. Here’s is a roundup of all of our fall favorites: Cody Stashak is Enjoying the Offseason with his Family and the Cutest Little Pumpkin Kyle Gibson and the Chocolate Factory Josh Donaldson has the Cutest Unicorn Family The Twins’ Uniform is Looking Different Nowadays Byron Buxton watched the Braves in the World Series And spoiler alert, they won! Brent Rooker shared our Daylight Savings woes. Baseball players, they’re just like us And same…. Welcome to Minnesota, Jayce Tingler and David Popkins Jayce Tingler and David Popkins will bring their impressive resumes to Minnesota next season as the Twins’ new bench coach and hitting coach, respectively. They will be replacing the late Mike Bell and Edgar Varela. Tingler comes to Minnesota from the San Diego Padres, where he spent two seasons as their manager. Prior to San Diego, he spent some time as a coach for the Texas Rangers. Popkins comes from the Dodgers organization, where two years coaching for the Arizona Dodgers and the Great Lakes Loons. Check out Aaron & John’s reaction on their latest episode of Gleeman & the Geek. Cody Laweryson is a Fall Star This 22-year-old has had a great Fall League thus far, and he was the sole Twin named on the Fall Star game roster today. In his 13 innings pitched this fall, he has struck out 17 while allowing just one home run. Congrats Cody! Check out the remaining Fall Star game roster below:
  23. Both Miguel Sano and Josh Donaldson are polarizing Twins players for differing reasons. The former is a hulking slugger that crushes mammoth blasts but goes through cold spells where it seems his bat has a literal hole in it. The latter is a talented slugger that holds down the hot corner but can often not be counted upon when it comes to consistent availability. This offseason, both could be on the trading block, but any return would likely focus on a re-allocation of funds rather than the asset joining the organization. Let’s first take a look at Sano. Miguel is owed $9.25 million in 2022 with a $2.75 million buyout in 2023. Minnesota is on the hook for $12 million over the next two seasons at worst. After a few years stunted by injuries, Sano played in 53 (of 60) games during 2020 and 135 last season. His .778 OPS was a far cry from the .923 mark he posted during the Bomba Squad season of 2019, but he did return the on-base percentage north of .300. His 112 OPS+ puts him just north of league average, although he was worth just 0.4 fWAR after contributing 0.5 in roughly one-third the number of games during 2020. Looking at Fangraphs valuation of fWAR, Sano has been worth just $3.5 and $4.2 million each of the past two seasons. Despite having entered Spring Training in better shape the past few years, he’s just never stayed consistent enough to produce at a high level. Unfortunately, it’s not just the Twins that are aware of this. Sano would almost undoubtedly clear waivers if Minnesota wanted to go that route, which means no one is trading for him and the current price that comes along with it. The Twins would need to eat a significant salary with even a tiny hope of bringing a warm body back in return. Internally there are immediate options to replace Sano. Alex Kirilloff becomes your everyday first basemen, and the designated hitter role gets to be a revolving door. That’s not a terrible thing, but I’m also not sure that keeping Sano as a bottom-of-the-lineup slugger sets you back at all. The cost is already sunk on Miguel, and without the ability to generate enough relief to swap him out with another impact player, riding the final season out seems wise. On Donaldson, the situation is different as he’s an above-average talent. Playing 135 games for Minnesota in 2021, coincidentally the same amount as Sano, he posted an .827 OPS. The former American League MVP has an .829 OPS in Minnesota across 163 games. He missed significant time in 2020 and then was hurt early on in 2021. Down the stretch, he became a reliable contributor but did need to be shut down in the field for a period due to his nagging calf issues. The Bringer of Rain will be 36 in 2022 and is still owed at least $51.5 million through 2023. Putting up 2.2 fWAR last season, Fangraphs valued Donaldson’s worth just north of $17 million. That still falls below the $21.75 million the Twins are on the hook annually for, and he last had back-to-back seasons of at least 3.0 fWAR in 2017. I don’t think there’s any denying that Donaldson is still a very good player and that a competing Twins team should want his talent in their lineup. He is, however, not $21 million a year good and carries a significant injury risk while continuing to age. The Twins could certainly get something nice in return for Donaldson, but it’s not going to come without eating close to half of his remaining salary and will likely be in the form of a future prospect. Ultimately I’m not sure that either player makes sense to trade if the Twins want to compete. Both Sano and Donaldson bring value to the lineup, and while their cost certainly outweighs that fact, the alternative option for either isn’t necessarily a desirable avenue. Minnesota can be done with Sano after this season should they choose, and the year ahead could provide a more straightforward path for Donaldson’s future as well. Roll with both, allow Jose Miranda to be an internal backup plan on either, and leave the spending to other areas of the roster. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Order the Offseason Handbook — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  24. To be clear, the scenario we're hypothesizing here is not a commitment to a rebuild, which could involve gutting the payroll, trading stars for distant prospects, and letting the kids run. Instead, we're trying to depict what it might look like if the organization says, "We still want to compete, we still want to spend, but the current mix just isn't working." It will involve keeping some core pieces in place, but unloading large or expiring contracts and charting a new, dramatically different course for the franchise. This means starting with... THE SUBTRACTIONS Trade 1B Miguel Sanó to San Diego Padres for OF Samuel Zavala This is mainly a salary dump. The Twins owe Sanó $9.25M in 2022, with a $3M team option for 2023, so I have them picking up that option amount (added to the "Dead Money" section) while San Diego takes on the rest of his salary and exchanges a lotto ticket in 17-year-old Samuel Zavala. He's an athletic rookie-ball outfielder ranked as the organization's #17 prospect. This idea presumes that universal DH is implemented, which seems like a safe bet. The championship-minded Padres could use more pop in the lineup, with first baseman Eric Hosmer and the corner outfielders not providing a ton. Trade 3B Josh Donaldson to Washington Nationals for RHP Joan Adon and LHP Matt Cronin Another trade aimed more at salary relief than upgrading talent. This swap was proposed by J.D. Cameron in his story for the Offseason Handbook, so I'll just repurpose it here because it seems like a reasonable framework for a Donaldson deal: Washington sends a couple of mid-tier pitching prospects (ranked #12 and #22 in their system) while taking on two-thirds of JD's remaining commitment. The Twins eat the rest of his salary, so $7M gets added to the Dead Money pool. Trade OF Byron Buxton to Philadelphia Phillies for RHP Mick Abel and RHP Francisco Morales Here the Twins start getting some real value back. If they determine that an extension with Buxton can't be reached, this is the logical path. Philadelphia reportedly expressed interest in Buxton around the deadline, so here the two sides revisit and strike an accord now that the star center fielder is healthy. For a cost-efficient final year of Buxton's control, Philadelphia gives up its #1 pitching prospect in Abel, who was drafted 15th overall in 2020 (10 picks after Austin Martin) and was ranked by MLB Pipeline ahead of this season as the game's #76 prospect. Abel offers plentiful upside, but he's still a ways off (pitched in Single-A this year and turned 20 in August). To round out the package, Philly adds in Morales, their #6-ranked prospect. He's 22 and reached Triple-A this season, and would bring further depth to Minnesota's substantial crop of near-ready arms in the minors. To be clear, I don't personally endorse a move like this – I think failing to retain Buxton would be a colossal mistake – but if they can't make an extension happen, this feels like a reasonable way to soften the blow by acquiring some quality talent in offsetting the loss. Non-tender Taylor Rogers Of course a trade would be preferable, but in this scenario I'm assuming the Twins (and other teams) don't feel confident enough in his injured finger to tender an offer in the $7M range, because they feel they can make that money stretch further in free agency. (We'll get to the reallocation of these funds in the bullpen shortly.) THE ADDITIONS A lineup that's lost three key fixtures in Sanó, Donaldson in Buxton now needs an infusion, and of course there are still those three open rotation spots to address – not to mention a closer spot to fill. The good news is that the above moves have left us with about $85M in spending money for 2022 (assuming a steady $130M payroll). Let's take advantage of this flexibility with a free-agent spending spree, led by two landmark signings that radically reshape the franchise's identity. Sign SP Robbie Ray to a 5-year, $125M contract At long last, the Twins make their long-awaited plunge into the deep end of the pitching market, signing Ray to the largest free agent contract in team history, coming off a spectacular season in Toronto that will likely earn the Cy Young Award. Ray led the league in strikeouts, innings, and ERA. It had the looks of a true breakout for the 30-year-old, but Ray's mediocre previous run (4.53 ERA from 2018 through 2020) should keep him out of the Gerrit Cole range, meaning the Twins could plausibly win a bidding war. So, we've got our rotation-fronter. Now we turn our attention to a big splash at the shortstop position to counteract the significant subtraction of electricity from Buxton and others. Sign SS Javier Báez to a 4-year, $88M contract Like Ray, Báez is a high-tier prospect in his free agent class, but not quite at the top because he has some warts. Namely, Báez hasn't been all that great the past couple years. But in 2018 and 2019 he broke out as a superstar, finishing as MVP runner-up in the former. Báez would be well worth the $22M AAV if he his 2021 performance (3.6 fWAR) becomes his norm, but the Twins are banking on a return to form of sorts from the 29-year-old. He becomes a cornerstone next to Jorge Polanco, while the Twins hope that one of Royce Lewis, Austin Martin, or Gilberto Celestino can emerge in center to solidify their long-term strength up the middle. WIth that, we turn our attention back to the rotation. Sign SP Eduardo Rodriguez to a 3-year, $36M contract Rodriguez's advanced metrics shine a much more favorable light on him than his ERA, so it'll be interesting to see how the market gauges him. Based on FanGraphs' value calculation, E-Rod's 3.8 fWAR with Boston in 2021 made him worth nearly $30M; his record of durability and his age (only 28) help his case as well. Still, it's hard to see someone signing Rodriguez to a mega-deal coming off a 4.74 ERA and 1.39 WHIP. This looks like the type of opportunistic buy-low play the Twins aspire toward. The framework and approach are not dissimilar to the Rangers' (highly effective) strategy in free agent signings like Mike Minor, Lance Lynn, and Kyle Gibson. Sign OF Mark Canha to a 3-year, $30M contract Even with Baez added to the mix, the position player group still needs more veteran reinforcements to aid the internally-driven evolution of the lineup. Canha looks like a nice fit – he's a right-handed bat capable of playing left field, center, and first base. On-base skills are his calling card, as illustrated by a .377 OBP over the past three seasons. He's been a steady fixture for the A's. There will surely be some reservations about handing the reins to Jose Miranda and Trevor Larnach as starters. Canha's presence in the lineup mitigates the rookie risk by provide needed experience and leadership. Sign RP Raisel Iglesias to a 2-year, $16M contract The loss of Rogers obviously leaves a huge hole at the end of the bullpen. To address it, we're signing Iglesias coming off a great year with the Angels. His track record as a closer (134 saves and a 2.87 ERA over the past five years) may have yielded a bigger deal in years past, but I wonder if the league's generally declining fixation on the save statistic – along with a competitive high end of free agency that also includes Kenley Jansen, Craig Kimbrel, and Mark Melancon – might keep Iglesias relatively affordable. The FA relief market is notoriously volatile, but Iglesias looks like as much of a sure thing as you're going to find. (Of course, the same could've been said about Addison Reed when they the Twins signed him to a similar deal in 2018.) In case you can't tell, I'm not too enthusiastic about throwing guaranteed money at relievers, which is why this is my only significant move in the bullpen. But in order for this unit to have a fighting chance, we needed at least one. Sign SP Corey Kluber to a 1-year, $7M contract We've got a bit of money left and one key vacancy to account for: the third rotation spot. Kluber fits the bill as a short-term stopgap with some upside. Since signing his one-year, $11 deal with the Yankees for 2021, Kluber has gotten a year older and dealt with more injuries. His velocity was down, he was limited to 16 starts and 80 innings, and he did not appear in the postseason. With that said, the 35-year-old showed enough positive signs while on the field – 3.83 ERA, 3.85 FIP, 9.2 K/9 rate, above-average ratings in many key Statcast metrics – to merit belief that his tank is not yet emptied. SUMMARY This plan represents a complete change in direction for the Twins, both substantively and stylistically. In Buxton, Donaldson, and Sanó, we're losing our three most established power bats, eschewing the homer-driven Bomba Squad offensive model in search of greater balance and a youth infusion. I'd imagine an Opening Day lineup that looks something like this: Arraez, 3B Baez, SS Polanco, 2B Kirilloff, 1B Garver, DH Kepler, CF Canha, LF Larnach, RF Jeffers, C On the pitching side, Ray and Rodriguez become veteran building blocks – to be rejoined by Kenta Maeda in 2023 – as the system feeds the rest of the rotation. We're counting on Iglesias to become an anchor in the back of the bullpen, supported by returns of Tyler Duffey, Jorge Alcala, Caleb Thielbar, and Juan Minaya. Would the Twins actually follow a path this drastic during the offseason? I doubt it. But there are signs that a significant shakeup could be at hand. This blueprint shows a semi-extreme version of what this could look like in practice. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Order the Offseason Handbook — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  25. Spoiler Alert: Your NLCS MVP is Eddie Rosario Unsurprisingly, Eddie Rosario was named the NLCS MVP last Saturday, surrounded by his loved ones including his parents, wife, children, and closest inner circle at Truist Park. Lest we forget that Rosario was DFA’d by the Twins last offseason, signed by Cleveland, and subsequently traded to Atlanta for Pablo Sandoval, who had the third slowest sprint speed of all active players. As Jesse Sanchez of MLB said in his profile of Rosario’s humble upbringing to his MVP honor, Rosario was “born to hit” and “may be the best unknown player in baseball”. Give it up one more time for Ed-die, Ed-die, Ed-die! Nelson Cruz won the Roberto Clemente Award Last night, Nelson Cruz won the coveted Roberto Clemente award for philanthropy, joining the ranks of Clayton Kershaw, Yadier Molina, Albert Pujols, and many others. Cruz was awarded this honor for his tremendous philanthropic efforts in his hometown of Las Matas de Santa Cruz in the Dominican Republic throughout the pandemic. Here’s a list of some of Cruz’s philanthropic efforts that he aided in this past year: Provided financial support to over 1,200 families who were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic Helped feed over 700 struggling families Gifted a firetruck, ambulance, and 80 uniforms to the town after a childhood friend’s home was burned down in a fire Organized dentists and optometrists to provide check-ups, dental services, glasses, and dental services Began construction of an education center And more! Not only is Cruz one of the most beloved players of all time, but he’s also an exemplary human being. Congratulations Nelson! Josh Donaldson watched a LOT of baseball Josh Donaldson was all of us, live-tweeting during every playoff game. Max Kepler snuggled a Frenchie *Googles how to become a bulldog* Randy Dobnak wasn’t a regular mom; he was a cool mom The man induces ground balls and is the biggest hype man on the planet. Everyone needs a friend like Randy. Louie Varland caught a big fish Devin Smeltzer caught an even bigger fish Sorry Louie Brent Rooker missed Jake Cave ....and we all now know where Cave stands on duck, duck, goose. Which other Twins would you like to see here in the future? Let us know down below in the comments!
×
×
  • Create New...