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  1. The Minnesota Twins’ bullpen has been struggling all season. The Twins need pitching now to make it to win the division and reach the postseason. With that said, maybe the best way for the Twins to capitalize is to bring Kyle Gibson home. Kyle Gibson , a first-round pick in the 2009 draft (22nd overall). He spent the first nine years of his baseball career with the club. After a challenging 2019 season on and off the field, he signed a three-year deal with the Texas Rangers. Even with the health struggles, in 2018 and 2019, Gibson was among the top 20 pitchers in MLB He became an All Star last year and should again be available at the trade deadline. Veteran Stability Gibson would provide stability for the Twins that they do not have right now. Sonny Gray is one of the Twins’ best pitchers; he went seven innings against Detroit and then struggled for five innings against the Guardians on Wednesday night. Dylan Bundy is the only pitcher this season to pitch through eight innings. The Twins’ bullpen is exhausted. Bringing a veteran pitcher into the rotation would increase the rest time for the key bullpen arms. While the Twins do need bullpen pitchers, they also need pitching that is not on restrictions or struggles once they get past the fourth inning. With Josh Winder being optioned back to St. Paul, Chris Paddack, Bailey Ober, and a handful of relievers not playing right now, the rotation the Twins have is not effective and it shows. Gibson has already seen long games this season and the biggest let down hasn't been his pitching, it's been the Phillies offense, or lack there of. If the argument against bringing Gibson home is his pitching stats, I suggest reviewing how the Twins are doing before turning a nose up at the concept. Gibson can go deep into games, which no Twins pitchers have rarely been able to do. Even some Twins fans agree, it's time to bring Gibson home. Gibson, after ten-plus years in the big leagues, his goal this season was not to reinvent himself or his pitching but to work on trying new things to catch hitters off guard. Gibson already had six pitches in his arsenal, but the pitch he has been working on lately is the cutter. The cutter is all about deception, and it’s a nasty pitch. If he can continue to perfect it, he will be one of the most dangerous pitchers in the league. Gibson’s goal is to perfect the cutter on both the throwing and glove sides. As a righty, the glove side is more manageable. Gibson spent a lot of the lockout working on his cutter and now uses it about 20% of the time. His determination to consistently improve shows on the mound and in the clubhouse. Leadership in the House Gibson is a leader who the Twins need for the remainder of the season. Since his contract ends after 2022 there is no commitment. Gibson is a good person, a leader, and a rally-man when the chips are down. The Rangers manager referred to Target Field as “The House that Kyle Gibson Built,” which tells you a lot. Gibson went to the Rangers and didn’t waste any time bringing his infectious attitude into the clubhouse, becoming a role model for the younger players. A true leader wants everyone on their team to succeed, and that’s what Kyle Gibson wants, no matter where he is. He doesn’t hold the business of baseball against other players or coaches. He sits with the younger guys and hears their concerns, answering their questions and creating dialogue. Most recently, the Phillies have had a rough season and, for the first time since 2020, dipped below .500, and Gibson noticed. Knowing what the team needs, he rallied the guys by reminding them to have fun. In an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer he told reporter Alex Coffey, “You are beating yourself if you are getting bogged down by the losses and not enjoying the wins.” He has told some of the younger hitters, “pretend they are playing backyard Wiffle ball,” meaning have fun and don’t forget why they love playing the game. The Twins hitters are having fun, but the pitchers look like they are going to a funeral every time they step onto the mound. There is a sense of dread and mistrust, not only from the fanbase, but fans also see the struggles and dread on the faces of the players. Low Cost, High Return The cost of bringing Gibson on board is minimal. He has a $7 million payout left on his contract for 2022, making a trade for him one of the best things the Twins could do with minimal financial impact or player loss on the team. The Phillies certainly will want a decent return on one of their best pitchers because the Phillies rely on their starting pitching and offense. Giving away the farm for Gibson would not be wise, but luckily the Phillies like guys they can grow. They are looking for a center-fielder and some bullpen help, and while the Twins are also looking for that additional bullpen help, they do have some outfielders they could part with and some lower-level pitchers that are up and coming. If the Twins mean business and want to sweeten the pot, they could send minor-league pitchers Yennier Cano or Marco Raya as part of a package. The great thing about bringing home Gibson is that for the Twins, it could be an excellent value, much like bringing Gio Urshela and Gary Sánchez, who have both been a part of the Twins’ offense, has been. You can’t put a price on the return of leadership, a solid arm, and rotation relief, but if you could. Should the Twins consider a reunion with Kyle Gibson? View full article
  2. Kyle Gibson , a first-round pick in the 2009 draft (22nd overall). He spent the first nine years of his baseball career with the club. After a challenging 2019 season on and off the field, he signed a three-year deal with the Texas Rangers. Even with the health struggles, in 2018 and 2019, Gibson was among the top 20 pitchers in MLB He became an All Star last year and should again be available at the trade deadline. Veteran Stability Gibson would provide stability for the Twins that they do not have right now. Sonny Gray is one of the Twins’ best pitchers; he went seven innings against Detroit and then struggled for five innings against the Guardians on Wednesday night. Dylan Bundy is the only pitcher this season to pitch through eight innings. The Twins’ bullpen is exhausted. Bringing a veteran pitcher into the rotation would increase the rest time for the key bullpen arms. While the Twins do need bullpen pitchers, they also need pitching that is not on restrictions or struggles once they get past the fourth inning. With Josh Winder being optioned back to St. Paul, Chris Paddack, Bailey Ober, and a handful of relievers not playing right now, the rotation the Twins have is not effective and it shows. Gibson has already seen long games this season and the biggest let down hasn't been his pitching, it's been the Phillies offense, or lack there of. If the argument against bringing Gibson home is his pitching stats, I suggest reviewing how the Twins are doing before turning a nose up at the concept. Gibson can go deep into games, which no Twins pitchers have rarely been able to do. Even some Twins fans agree, it's time to bring Gibson home. Gibson, after ten-plus years in the big leagues, his goal this season was not to reinvent himself or his pitching but to work on trying new things to catch hitters off guard. Gibson already had six pitches in his arsenal, but the pitch he has been working on lately is the cutter. The cutter is all about deception, and it’s a nasty pitch. If he can continue to perfect it, he will be one of the most dangerous pitchers in the league. Gibson’s goal is to perfect the cutter on both the throwing and glove sides. As a righty, the glove side is more manageable. Gibson spent a lot of the lockout working on his cutter and now uses it about 20% of the time. His determination to consistently improve shows on the mound and in the clubhouse. Leadership in the House Gibson is a leader who the Twins need for the remainder of the season. Since his contract ends after 2022 there is no commitment. Gibson is a good person, a leader, and a rally-man when the chips are down. The Rangers manager referred to Target Field as “The House that Kyle Gibson Built,” which tells you a lot. Gibson went to the Rangers and didn’t waste any time bringing his infectious attitude into the clubhouse, becoming a role model for the younger players. A true leader wants everyone on their team to succeed, and that’s what Kyle Gibson wants, no matter where he is. He doesn’t hold the business of baseball against other players or coaches. He sits with the younger guys and hears their concerns, answering their questions and creating dialogue. Most recently, the Phillies have had a rough season and, for the first time since 2020, dipped below .500, and Gibson noticed. Knowing what the team needs, he rallied the guys by reminding them to have fun. In an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer he told reporter Alex Coffey, “You are beating yourself if you are getting bogged down by the losses and not enjoying the wins.” He has told some of the younger hitters, “pretend they are playing backyard Wiffle ball,” meaning have fun and don’t forget why they love playing the game. The Twins hitters are having fun, but the pitchers look like they are going to a funeral every time they step onto the mound. There is a sense of dread and mistrust, not only from the fanbase, but fans also see the struggles and dread on the faces of the players. Low Cost, High Return The cost of bringing Gibson on board is minimal. He has a $7 million payout left on his contract for 2022, making a trade for him one of the best things the Twins could do with minimal financial impact or player loss on the team. The Phillies certainly will want a decent return on one of their best pitchers because the Phillies rely on their starting pitching and offense. Giving away the farm for Gibson would not be wise, but luckily the Phillies like guys they can grow. They are looking for a center-fielder and some bullpen help, and while the Twins are also looking for that additional bullpen help, they do have some outfielders they could part with and some lower-level pitchers that are up and coming. If the Twins mean business and want to sweeten the pot, they could send minor-league pitchers Yennier Cano or Marco Raya as part of a package. The great thing about bringing home Gibson is that for the Twins, it could be an excellent value, much like bringing Gio Urshela and Gary Sánchez, who have both been a part of the Twins’ offense, has been. You can’t put a price on the return of leadership, a solid arm, and rotation relief, but if you could. Should the Twins consider a reunion with Kyle Gibson?
  3. The reality, though, is that we all know things are going to fall somewhere in the middle for both buyers and sellers. We know the Twins need help - definitely in the bullpen and possibly in the rotation - and the next couple of weeks are going to be full of rumors and speculation. Over the next two weeks, I’m going to present a series to you that hopefully takes a different look at things. Today’s part - Part 1 - will start by focusing on next year, but we’ll get more into that soon. Part 2 will be a continuation of today’s article, but will look at the financial side of things. Especially who this regime has invested in. Part 3 will update an article I posted seven weeks ago looking at who might the Twins be most motivated to move? Part 4 (the teams) and Part 5 (the players) will narrow the focus as the deadline approaches. And, finally, Part 6 will be me revisiting something I’ve done in the past, playing GM for a Day. ---- The Twins leadership has banged the same drum repeatedly over time. They aren’t interested in committing future dollars, but they value control. Beyond Jorge Polanco's and Max Kepler's contract extensions, only Marwin Gonzalez is on the books for a guaranteed dollar amount next year. Nelson Cruz and Martin Perez have buyouts on team options. Which is really just a fancy way of maybe telling us they overvalue prospects and pre-arbitration-eligible player. You could assume they value guys in arbitration too, but as price increases and control decreases, the value decreases quickly. And then they hit free agency. The Twins will have five guys hitting the ranks of free agency after the season: Jake Odorizzi, Kyle Gibson, Michael Pineda, Jason Castro and Jonathan Schoop. Knowing how the organization values control, we need to look at next year before we can look at the moves for the next few weeks. (Seems backwards though.) Assuming the free agent leave and the Twins add no other players, here’s a guess at how things could look on the 25-man and 40-man roster: C: Mitch Garver 1B: C.J. Cron 2B: Luis Arraez 3B: Miguel Sano SS: Jorge Polanco LF: Eddie Rosario CF: Byron Buxton RF: Max Kepler DH: Nelson Cruz Bench: Marwin Gonzalez (UTIL) Bench: Jake Cave (OF) Bench: Willians Astudillo (C/3B) Bench: Ehire Adrianza (SS) SP: Jose Berrios SP: Martin Perez SP: Devin Smeltzer SP: Lewis Thorpe SP: Sean Poppen RP: Taylor Rogers RP: Ryne Harper RP: Trevor May RP: Blake Parker RP: Fernando Romero RP: Matt Magill RP: Tyler Duffey On assignment: LaMonte Wade On assignment: Nick Gordon On assignment: Kohl Stewart (P) On assignment: Stephen Gonsalves (P) On assignment: Zack Littell (P) On assignment: Trevor Hildenberger (P) On assignment: Ryan Eades (P) To be added: Brusdar Graterol (P) To be added: Jhoan Duran (P) To be added: Wander Javier (SS) To be added: Jorge Alcala (P) To be added: Luis Rijo (P) To be added: Griffin Jax (P) To be added: Lewin Diaz (1B) To be added: Travis Blankenhorn (2B/3B) Not adding: Luke Raley (OF), Gilberto Celestino (OF), Jovani Moran (P) No room: Mike Morin (P) (Edit: Morin was DFA'd yesterday before the game.) Other top prospects: Royce Lewis (SS), Alex Kirilloff (OF), Trevor Larnach (OF), Jordan Balazovic (P), Brent Rooker (OF), Yunier Severino (2B), Blayne Enlow (P), Ben Rortvedt ©, Jose Miranda (3B), Edwar Colina (P), Akil Baddoo (OF), Ryan Jeffers © First thing, I’ve not actually adding eight guys to the roster, but for this exercise, I wanted to have a full 40-man just so that we can work backwards. Let’s take a closer look. Mitch Garver, C.J. Cron, Luis Arraez, Miguel Sano, Jorge Polanco, Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, Nelson Cruz, Marwin Gonzalez seem to fill out the top 10 position players pretty well. Garver has split duties with Castro, but has become the more regular catcher. Schoop departs and Arraez slides in nicely. This leaves spots for a backup catcher (Willians Astudillo), a backup shortstop (Ehire Adrianza) and a fourth outfielder (Jake Cave). Astudillo and Cave both have options left, if needed. Gonzalez could serve as the fourth outfielder and backup infielder too. Adrianza is a smooth fielder. But when your only concern is whether or not to upgrade your bench next year… that seems like a winter question, not the trade deadline. The rotation - with 60% on expiring deals - is much more interesting. Jose Berrios will be the Opening Day starter in 2020 and beyond. Martin Perez is very likely to slot into one of the other four spots. The Twins will not go into next season slotting three rookies - Devin Smeltzer, Lewis Thorpe and Sean Poppen - in those spots. Could one break the rotation? Maybe. But that’s two starters, minimum, that need to be acquired between now and March. If the rotation is interesting, the bullpen is downright messy. Taylor Rogers is the Ace. Ryne Harper has been fantastic and, at this point, probably is at least written in dark pencil for next year. Trevor May has the ability but hasn’t been consistent. There’s no doubt that he can be a part of a very good major league bullpen though. And then… questions. Blake Parker and Matt Magill are controllable, but replaceable. Fernando Romero has upside, but has been a disaster and out of options after his year. Tyler Duffey has been OK at times, but is also out of options. Zack Littell and Trevor Hildenberger could be solutions, but both can start the year in the minors. I also had to get rid of Mike Morin, who is out of options. There are other options, like Kohl Stewart, if the Twins wanted to try him out in the bullpen. But as much depth as there is in the system, there are no great answers for next year to the bullpen question either. What we have above is the sketchings of the 2020 team. Print it out, make changes, run your own projections. Because there is a 100% chance that it changes before the spring… and a lot of fans that hope it changes before August 1.
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