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  1. Aaron and John discuss the Twins' new shortstop Andrelton Simmons, new contract talks with Nelson Cruz, losing Eddie Rosario to Cleveland and why they miss the Winter Meltdown. You can listen by downloading us from iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio or find it at GleemanAndTheGeek.com. Or just click this link. Listen To Episode 511 Here Now Click here to view the article
  2. Now that the Eddie Rosario Experience is almost certainly over, let's take a look back at some of his contributions to Twins history. This is just what appears in my Twins Almanac spreadsheet. Please contribute your own Eddie trivia, fun facts, or cool stories in the comments section. And if you're into this kind of stuff, follow me on Twitter at @TwinsAlmanac. May 6, 2015 Major League Debut Leading off the bottom of the third against Oakland's Scott Kazmir, the 23-year-old Puerto Rico native hits the first big-league pitch he sees for an opposite field home run. In what made for a storybook moment, Eddie's parents were actually in the stands at Target Field being interviewed by Marney Gellner when it happened. Twins won 13-0. Six Twins have homered in their first major league at-bat: Rick Renick, Dave McKay, Gary Gaetti, Andre David, Gary Gaetti, Luke Hughes, and Rosario. Fifteen players in major league history have homered on their first pitch, including former Twin Brant Alyea (playing for the Ted Williams-managed Senators). July 30, 2015 Triple Streak The rookie left fielder triples in his third-straight game, tying the club record (Rod Carew 1977, Dan Gladden 1991, and Delmon Young 2008). Bonus Fact: Rosario led the majors with 15 triples his rookie season. June 13, 2017 First Three-Home Run Game The Twins beat the Mariners 20-7 at Target Field, setting a franchise record with 28 hits. Nine-batter Eddie Rosario goes 4-for-5 with three home runs, five RBI, and three runs scored. Third baseman Eduardo Escobar went 5-for-6 in the game. Kennys Vargas, Jason Castro, and Rosario all had four hits. The only Twin in the starting lineup without multiple hits was first baseman Joe Mauer. Rosario's 13 total bases in the game are tied for second-most in team history, along with outfieldmates Byron Buxton and Max Kepler, Tim Teufel, and Rich Becker. Kirby Puckett set the team record with 14 that one Sunday in Milwaukee. Rosario was the fifth player in major league history to hit three home runs from the nine-hole. The others were Trot Nixon, Dale Sveum, Art Shamsky, and knuckleball pitcher Jim Tobin in May 14, 1942. July 1, 2017 5-for-5 Rosario goes 5-for-5 with three runs scored and an RBI in a 10-5 Twins win in Kansas City. Last I checked, there have been 51 five-hit games in Twins history. Escobar and Rosario both had one in 2017. Kirby Puckett had two six-hit games—one each in 1987 and '91. June 3, 2018 Second Three-Home Run Game Tied with stupid Cleveland 5-5 in the bottom of the ninth, Rosario hits a two-run walk-off home run, becoming the first player in team history with two career three-home run games. Additionally, he joined Tony Oliva as the only other player in team history with two games with 12 or more total bases. Max Kepler and Nelson Cruz have since joined the club of Twins players with two career three-home run games, with Cruz's coming just 10 days apart. Hitting three home runs in a game used to be a big deal. There were just four such games in the team's first 55 seasons (Bob Allison, Harmon Killebrew, Tony Oliva, and Justin Morneau), and EIGHT in the four seasons from 2016 to 2019. April 5, 2019 Rosario's Bat Hits for Cycle Jorge Polanco goes 5-for-5, hitting for the 11th cycle in Twins history—and he did it swinging Eddie Rosario's bat! Unfortunately the Twins lost 10-4 in Philadelphia (starter Jake Odorrizi gave up five runs in 2/3 of an inning). Polanco came up a double shy of the cycle just four days later. April 20, 2019 Second-Straight Multi-HR Game In the first game of a Saturday doubleheader in Baltimore, Rosario hits two solo home runs in a 6-5 win, joining Don Mincher and Kirby Puckett as the only players in team history with back-to-back multi-home run games. The Twins tied a team record with eight home runs in the second game of the doubleheader. They had a second eight-home run game just over a month later, on May 23, becoming just the second team in major league history with two such games in one season, joining the '05 Rangers. May 6, 2019 12 Home Runs in First 32 Games (*Note: This one is really about Kirby Puckett) After hitting zero home runs in 1984, and just four in 1985, Kirby Puckett erupted for 13 home runs in the Twins' first 33 games of the '86 season. That's a team record. Second-most through 33 is 12, by Harmon Killebrew in 1970, Rosario in 2019, and Nelson Cruz this season. (Rosario hit his 13th in Game 34, but, like I said, this fun fact was about Puckett.) Well folks, that's what I have. Obviously there are a lot more Eddie Rosario memories to share. Please make your contributions in the comments section below. (I remember him inducing a big balk dancing off third base...) And remember, if you enjoy geeking out on Twins history, coming join me at @TwinsAlmanac on Twitter.
  3. The state of Minnesota has lost the North Stars, Krispy Kreme Donuts, and now Twins left fielder Eddie Rosario. A highly anticipated move, the Twins chose to cut ties with the power hitting lefty whose anticipated 2021 salary would have surpassed $10 million. There’s no doubt that Eddie will be picked up by a team who needs a slightly above average corner outfielder. Rosario has proven to be a talented player yet lacks consistency both at the plate and on defense. Nonetheless, let's take a look at some probable new homes for Rosario. Chicago White Sox One of the most talented young rosters in baseball, the SouthSiders 2021 outfield will look different than it did this year. While Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez are locks, right field is up for rent as the Sox non-tendered the contract of Nomar Mazara earlier this week. With no immediate prospects ready to fill Mazara’s hole, it’s likely that the White Sox will be looking to make a long-term fill through trade or free agency. Rosario could be a stellar grab for the Sox, a team already blossoming with offensive talent. While Mazara has a slight edge on Rosario’s defense, the comparison at the plate overwhelmingly favors Rosario. Mazara batted a meager .227 in 2020, a number that is still considerably shy of Rosarios sub-par .258 2020 season. At 29, Rosario could be a veteran presence among some of the game's brightest young talent. And while it’s unlikely he’ll receive a contract anywhere for north of $10 million, Rosario’s value would be well worth a look from Chicago. His aggressive approach to the game would complement the style of baseball that the 21st century White Sox play. Detroit Tigers MLB Veteran Jordan Zimmerman became a free agent after the 2020 season, ending a tumultuous run in Detroit. The bright side? The Tigers have $25 million freed up in payroll and need someone who can hit the ball...hard. Insert Eddie Rosario. The 2020 Tigers outfield was a circus to say the least. Of the eight players who spent time on the field during the season, center fielder Victor Reyes was the only one to surpass 100 at bats (202). The next closest was JaCoby Jones with 97. Detroit is yearning for consistent playing time in the outfield, something that Rosario can bring. While his plate approach is sporadic it’s almost certain that Eddie would immediately become an everyday starter for the Tigers, something they need. Miami Marlins Could we see a reunion of Eddie Rosario and former Twins hitting coach James Rowson? It’s definitely a possibility! Rowson helped groom Rosario from 2017-19 in Minnesota and it wouldn’t be crazy to speculate that the two have been in contact following their previous time together. Corey Dickerson has left field locked down for the ‘Fins, but right field is nothing short of a revolving door for Miami. 2020 saw four different faces in right field for the Marlins, a number that they’d like to decrease. Let’s remember that right field may actually be Rosario’s best position. Outside of baseball, Miami is a city blossoming with culture. Rosario was born in Puerto Rico and holds his Latino roots close to his heart, as does the city of Miami. The Marlins have some money freed up thanks to the end of Wei-Yin Chen’s $80 million contract alongside Brandon Kintzler’s 2021 option being declined. Of all the potential options that Rosie has, this one feels the most “right.” Boston Red Sox Red Sox faithful sure miss that Mookie Betts guy who went out to the west coast. And with Jackie Bradley Jr. and Kevin Pillar on the market, it’s probable the Sox will be looking for some replacement talent in the outfield. Similar to other teams on this list, there’s a good chance that Rosario would be assigned to right field with the Red Sox. Playing right field at Fenway requires excellent defense, something that Kevin Pillar has got Rosario beat on. However, Rosario is a far superior offensive threat than Pillar and has shown he can play strong defense. He just needs to get in a groove of consistency. Rosario’s network webs out to Boston as well. Manager Alex Cora is back on the block for 2021 and is no stranger to Rosario. In fact, Cora selected Rosario to play for him when he managed Team Puerto Rico during the 2017 World Baseball Classic. https://twitter.com/NBCSBoston/status/1334593621123862528 Regardless of where Rosario ends up, we at Twins Daily wish him nothing but the best. There are few Twins players in the last decade who have drawn a following like Rosario has and there’s no denying that he was an integral part of the Twins success. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  4. Rumors proved to be true earlier this week when the Twins non-tendered the contract of outfielder Eddie Rosario. In his six seasons with the Twins, Eddie cultivated a strong following thanks to his electric bat, stunning putouts, and infamous blunders. Now a free agent, the question becomes, where will Eddie land next?The state of Minnesota has lost the North Stars, Krispy Kreme Donuts, and now Twins left fielder Eddie Rosario. A highly anticipated move, the Twins chose to cut ties with the power hitting lefty whose anticipated 2021 salary would have surpassed $10 million. There’s no doubt that Eddie will be picked up by a team who needs a slightly above average corner outfielder. Rosario has proven to be a talented player yet lacks consistency both at the plate and on defense. Nonetheless, let's take a look at some probable new homes for Rosario. Chicago White Sox One of the most talented young rosters in baseball, the SouthSiders 2021 outfield will look different than it did this year. While Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez are locks, right field is up for rent as the Sox non-tendered the contract of Nomar Mazara earlier this week. With no immediate prospects ready to fill Mazara’s hole, it’s likely that the White Sox will be looking to make a long-term fill through trade or free agency. Rosario could be a stellar grab for the Sox, a team already blossoming with offensive talent. While Mazara has a slight edge on Rosario’s defense, the comparison at the plate overwhelmingly favors Rosario. Mazara batted a meager .227 in 2020, a number that is still considerably shy of Rosarios sub-par .258 2020 season. At 29, Rosario could be a veteran presence among some of the game's brightest young talent. And while it’s unlikely he’ll receive a contract anywhere for north of $10 million, Rosario’s value would be well worth a look from Chicago. His aggressive approach to the game would complement the style of baseball that the 21st century White Sox play. Detroit Tigers MLB Veteran Jordan Zimmerman became a free agent after the 2020 season, ending a tumultuous run in Detroit. The bright side? The Tigers have $25 million freed up in payroll and need someone who can hit the ball...hard. Insert Eddie Rosario. The 2020 Tigers outfield was a circus to say the least. Of the eight players who spent time on the field during the season, center fielder Victor Reyes was the only one to surpass 100 at bats (202). The next closest was JaCoby Jones with 97. Detroit is yearning for consistent playing time in the outfield, something that Rosario can bring. While his plate approach is sporadic it’s almost certain that Eddie would immediately become an everyday starter for the Tigers, something they need. Miami Marlins Could we see a reunion of Eddie Rosario and former Twins hitting coach James Rowson? It’s definitely a possibility! Rowson helped groom Rosario from 2017-19 in Minnesota and it wouldn’t be crazy to speculate that the two have been in contact following their previous time together. Corey Dickerson has left field locked down for the ‘Fins, but right field is nothing short of a revolving door for Miami. 2020 saw four different faces in right field for the Marlins, a number that they’d like to decrease. Let’s remember that right field may actually be Rosario’s best position. Outside of baseball, Miami is a city blossoming with culture. Rosario was born in Puerto Rico and holds his Latino roots close to his heart, as does the city of Miami. The Marlins have some money freed up thanks to the end of Wei-Yin Chen’s $80 million contract alongside Brandon Kintzler’s 2021 option being declined. Of all the potential options that Rosie has, this one feels the most “right.” Boston Red Sox Red Sox faithful sure miss that Mookie Betts guy who went out to the west coast. And with Jackie Bradley Jr. and Kevin Pillar on the market, it’s probable the Sox will be looking for some replacement talent in the outfield. Similar to other teams on this list, there’s a good chance that Rosario would be assigned to right field with the Red Sox. Playing right field at Fenway requires excellent defense, something that Kevin Pillar has got Rosario beat on. However, Rosario is a far superior offensive threat than Pillar and has shown he can play strong defense. He just needs to get in a groove of consistency. Rosario’s network webs out to Boston as well. Manager Alex Cora is back on the block for 2021 and is no stranger to Rosario. In fact, Cora selected Rosario to play for him when he managed Team Puerto Rico during the 2017 World Baseball Classic. Regardless of where Rosario ends up, we at Twins Daily wish him nothing but the best. There are few Twins players in the last decade who have drawn a following like Rosario has and there’s no denying that he was an integral part of the Twins success. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email Click here to view the article
  5. Eddie Is Who He Is Which is a solid contributor who is as likely to decline as he is improve. He’s never really learned any but the most bare bones strike zone discipline, limiting him to a career on-base percentage of just .310. He’s been effective because of his power, but power isn’t something the Twins have lacked in this lineup. His speed in the outfield has slowed so his defense is declining, and likely to decline further. He’s an above average regular, but he’s never been an All-Star level outfielder and he isn’t especially likely to be. The Twins may be getting rid of him a year too early. But as the saying goes, that’s better than a year too late. He Drives Us Crazy Having a free-swinger in the middle of the Twins order often proved counter-productive. A young pitcher would grind against disciplined hitters like Max Kepler, Josh Donaldson and Nelson Cruz – and up would walk Eddie Rosario like a blast of fresh air. Rosario could make them pay on occasion – his RBI totals demonstrate that – but that .310 OBP would often provide them the lifeline they needed. Plus, of course, his bizarre choices on the bases and in the field could be maddening. Like running through an . Or because he thought it was out of play. (Yes, those links are to the same video from the same game. It also includes some good plays. Such is the Eddie Rosario Experience.) He’s Too Expensive In this pandemicized MLB market, it looks like free agents – and especially hitters – are going to be available at bargain prices. And while the Twins are well-situated with a low committed payroll, they’ll obviously have financial limitation since we still don’t know if fans will be allowed in Target Field. The Twins put Rosario on waivers last night, even though the non-tender deadline was today, to give him a chance to latch on with another team that would voluntarily offer him arbitration, and thus commit to paying him around $10M. If no team claims him – and I suspect none will, since the Twins clearly tried to trade him before this deadline – it confirms that Rosario’s built-in arbitration raise just made him too expensive to keep. Plus, the Twins have a number of replacements that could replace his production. Their top prospect, Alex Kirilloff, is a left-handed hitting corner outfielder and was called up for the playoffs last year. His ceiling looks potentially higher than Eddie’s, and he’s just 23 years old. Their third best prospect, Trevor Larnach, is also a left-handed hitting corner outfielder who looks like he’s close to the majors. They also have other options who could fill a portion of the role like Jake Cave, Lamonte Wade Jr. and Brent Rooker. Bottom Line Rosario is the kind of player a competitive team makes a tough decision on and lets go. He’s good, but he’s not great, and he’s not likely to get better. He’s right at the point where he’s getting expensive, there are better opportunities on the market, and he’s the organization had worked hard to develop internal replacements who deserve their shot. Eddie will likely go on to have a successful career with another team. But that team doesn’t need to be the Twins. Now read Three Strikes: Why Eddie Rosario Should Stay
  6. The Twins essentially cut ties last night with left fielder Eddie Rosario, perhaps the most polarizing Twins’ player since he joined the team six years ago. Here are three reasons it was a good move.Eddie Is Who He Is Which is a solid contributor who is as likely to decline as he is improve. He’s never really learned any but the most bare bones strike zone discipline, limiting him to a career on-base percentage of just .310. He’s been effective because of his power, but power isn’t something the Twins have lacked in this lineup. His speed in the outfield has slowed so his defense is declining, and likely to decline further. He’s an above average regular, but he’s never been an All-Star level outfielder and he isn’t especially likely to be. The Twins may be getting rid of him a year too early. But as the saying goes, that’s better than a year too late. He Drives Us Crazy Having a free-swinger in the middle of the Twins order often proved counter-productive. A young pitcher would grind against disciplined hitters like Max Kepler, Josh Donaldson and Nelson Cruz – and up would walk Eddie Rosario like a blast of fresh air. Rosario could make them pay on occasion – his RBI totals demonstrate that – but that .310 OBP would often provide them the lifeline they needed. Plus, of course, his bizarre choices on the bases and in the field could be maddening. Like running through an . Or because he thought it was out of play. (Yes, those links are to the same video from the same game. It also includes some good plays. Such is the Eddie Rosario Experience.) He’s Too Expensive In this pandemicized MLB market, it looks like free agents – and especially hitters – are going to be available at bargain prices. And while the Twins are well-situated with a low committed payroll, they’ll obviously have financial limitation since we still don’t know if fans will be allowed in Target Field. The Twins put Rosario on waivers last night, even though the non-tender deadline was today, to give him a chance to latch on with another team that would voluntarily offer him arbitration, and thus commit to paying him around $10M. If no team claims him – and I suspect none will, since the Twins clearly tried to trade him before this deadline – it confirms that Rosario’s built-in arbitration raise just made him too expensive to keep. Plus, the Twins have a number of replacements that could replace his production. Their top prospect, Alex Kirilloff, is a left-handed hitting corner outfielder and was called up for the playoffs last year. His ceiling looks potentially higher than Eddie’s, and he’s just 23 years old. Their third best prospect, Trevor Larnach, is also a left-handed hitting corner outfielder who looks like he’s close to the majors. They also have other options who could fill a portion of the role like Jake Cave, Lamonte Wade Jr. and Brent Rooker. Bottom Line Rosario is the kind of player a competitive team makes a tough decision on and lets go. He’s good, but he’s not great, and he’s not likely to get better. He’s right at the point where he’s getting expensive, there are better opportunities on the market, and he’s the organization had worked hard to develop internal replacements who deserve their shot. Eddie will likely go on to have a successful career with another team. But that team doesn’t need to be the Twins. Now read Three Strikes: Why Eddie Rosario Should Stay Click here to view the article
  7. Eddie Is Who He Is Eddie is a solid hitter and left fielder. Sure, his RBI stats are inflated a bit by batting in the middle of the order, but his last three full seasons he’s averaged 27 home runs. His career OPS is 788. He’s consistently played in 135+ games. And his defense in left field – outside of 2019 when he clearly played hurt – has been above average per Ultimate Zone Rating every year. Is he a middle-of-the-order bat? He’s probably stretched in that role. But a player doesn’t need to bat fourth to be worth $10M. In fact, being pried into that role, while helping his RBI totals, may have hurt his reputation with fans, who were frustrated that he wasn’t the cleanup hitter they wanted. But it’s not Rosario’s fault he wasn’t in a more suitable spot in the batting order. He Drives Opponents Crazy He’s maddening, but he’s been effective. He led the team in RBI the last three years. Granted, he had a lot of opportunities, but someone still needs to cash those chips. Eddie did. He also had a nose for the huge play. Sometimes it was a baserunning play that made no sense but somehow worked. Sometimes it was a . Or (swoon) . He has deserved his reputaion as a fan-favorite. (By the way, those links are worth clicking on. They are the best of the Eddie Rosario Experience.) He’s Not That Expensive Arbitration aamounts after this shortened season are less clear than previous years, but Rosario would likely make around $10M if the Twins offered arbitration. First, that’s not a lot of money for a starting corner outfielder. In this pandemicized MLB market, it might be a little more than he’s worth, but the Twins are in a competitive window where they should pony up for quality regulars. Finally, it’s only effective to cut salary if the team spends it on an upgrade. This year, with $40M or so to spend on free agents, that likely means chasing some high-profile free agents. The Twins haven’t been linked to many outside of trying to re-sign Nelson Cruz. Bottom Line Rosario is the kind of player a competitive team holds onto. He’s good at his job, he has a nose for the big play, he’s expensive but not crazy expensive, and he deserves a chance to see the rebuild (that he was a part of) pay off. Rosario may not be the difference between the Twins winning a championship or not in the upcoming few years. But he also might be. That should've be reason enough to hold onto Eddie. Now read Three Strikes: Why Eddie Rosario Should Leave
  8. The Twins essentially cut ties last night with left fielder Eddie Rosario, perhaps the most polarizing Twins’ player since he joined the team six years ago. Here are three reasons it was a bad move.Eddie Is Who He Is Eddie is a solid hitter and left fielder. Sure, his RBI stats are inflated a bit by batting in the middle of the order, but his last three full seasons he’s averaged 27 home runs. His career OPS is 788. He’s consistently played in 135+ games. And his defense in left field – outside of 2019 when he clearly played hurt – has been above average per Ultimate Zone Rating every year. Is he a middle-of-the-order bat? He’s probably stretched in that role. But a player doesn’t need to bat fourth to be worth $10M. In fact, being pried into that role, while helping his RBI totals, may have hurt his reputation with fans, who were frustrated that he wasn’t the cleanup hitter they wanted. But it’s not Rosario’s fault he wasn’t in a more suitable spot in the batting order. He Drives Opponents Crazy He’s maddening, but he’s been effective. He led the team in RBI the last three years. Granted, he had a lot of opportunities, but someone still needs to cash those chips. Eddie did. He also had a nose for the huge play. Sometimes it was a baserunning play that made no sense but somehow worked. Sometimes it was a . Or (swoon) . He has deserved his reputaion as a fan-favorite. (By the way, those links are worth clicking on. They are the best of the Eddie Rosario Experience.) He’s Not That Expensive Arbitration aamounts after this shortened season are less clear than previous years, but Rosario would likely make around $10M if the Twins offered arbitration. First, that’s not a lot of money for a starting corner outfielder. In this pandemicized MLB market, it might be a little more than he’s worth, but the Twins are in a competitive window where they should pony up for quality regulars. Finally, it’s only effective to cut salary if the team spends it on an upgrade. This year, with $40M or so to spend on free agents, that likely means chasing some high-profile free agents. The Twins haven’t been linked to many outside of trying to re-sign Nelson Cruz. Bottom Line Rosario is the kind of player a competitive team holds onto. He’s good at his job, he has a nose for the big play, he’s expensive but not crazy expensive, and he deserves a chance to see the rebuild (that he was a part of) pay off. Rosario may not be the difference between the Twins winning a championship or not in the upcoming few years. But he also might be. That should've be reason enough to hold onto Eddie. Now read Three Strikes: Why Eddie Rosario Should Leave Click here to view the article
  9. I haven't done one of these Nine Innings bits in awhile... I wasn't sure how I would fill all nine innings, but we've done it. This has topics all across the board. Please feel free to ask questions or leave comments below. First Inning - Eddie Rosario Outrighted Listen. No one thought that the #MNTwins were going to tender Eddie Rosario at the deadline Wednesday evening. But tonight, Ken Rosenthal tweeted that the Twins have put Rosario on outright waivers. https://twitter.com/Ken_Rosenthal/status/1333948164244647937 I know I held out some hope that some team would be willing to give up a Low A pitching prospect for Rosario, and certainly the Twins tried, but they couldn’t find a taker. https://twitter.com/Ken_Rosenthal/status/1333948257819631618 Instead of just non-tendering him tomorrow, and making him a free agent, the Twins are hoping to find a team that will take whatever number they agree to in arbitration. Rosario has been a controversial player. Ultimately, since he debuted in 2015, he has been a very productive player. While he comes with flaws that he just hasn’t been able to overcome, he has also produced in the middle of the Twins lineup. I know it has become cliche for me to do so, but I truly have enjoyed watching Eddie Rosario in a Twins uniform. He is absolutely entertaining when you just sit back and take the good with the bad. Most likely, he will go unclaimed by the 1:00 deadline on Wednesday and become a free agent. Second Inning - Wednesday is Decision Day Teams have until 7:00 central time on Wednesday night to decide whether to tender a 2021 contract for its arbitration eligible players. If they are non-tendered, they become a free agent. Taylor Rogers is the one other Twins player who some think could be non-tendered, but I think it’s most logical for the Twins to bring him back for 2021. The other players who are arbitration-eligible are: Jose Berrios, Byron Buxton, Tyler Duffey, Mitch Garver, Caleb Thielbar, and Matt Wisler. I would be surprised if any of them were non-tendered. However, it is possible that the team agrees to terms with a player or two before the deadline as well. Of that group, which if any are most likely to sign a deal ahead of the deadline? Third Inning - Offseason Live TONIGHT (Reacting to the Non-Tender Deadline) Tonight at 8:00 central time, Nick Nelson, Seth Stohs and David Young will react to the day in Twins news, specifically to the arbitration decisions that are made. Join us live on Twins Daily’s Twitter, Facebook or YouTube pages. Fourth Inning - Realigning the Minor Leagues The Star Tribune is reporting that the Twins and MLB will be announcing their re-aligned minor league system in the near future. In the worst kept secret in baseball, the St. Paul Saints will become the Twins Triple-A affiliate. The Wichita Wind Surge will become the Twins new Double-A affiliate. The two Twins Class A affiliates will switch levels. The Midwest League and the Cedar Rapids Kernels will move from Low-A to High-A with the Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels and the rest of the Florida State League moving to a Low-A affiliation. For much more on these changes, check out Tom’s Minor League Realignment article tonight. My thoughts? First and foremost, I will miss conversations with some really good people at both Rochester and at Pensacola. The Red Wings have such an incredible baseball history going back well over a century. The Blue Wahoos were only a Twins affiliate for two seasons, but their stadium is remarkable and the people there were so helpful. That said, there are obvious reasons for wanting their Triple-A affiliate in St. Paul, a dozen miles from Target Field. It’ll be much easier to call people up or send them down. It will be great for rehab assignments. And, with the Twins in a position to win and so many exciting prospects, it is great for baseball in Minnesota. As for Wichita, they built a new $75 million stadium just a year ago. It was supposed to be the Marlins AAA affiliate, but then came COVID, a missed season and re-alignment. Seems like it would be a great facility for Twins prospects. I am happy that Cedar Rapids remains an affiliate, and it’s exciting - I would think - for them and their fans to move up a level, to get a higher level of play with a more advanced league. I will always encourage baseball fans from the Twin Cities to try to make a trip or two each season to watch the Kernels. And, with the Twins player development site and the academy in Ft. Myers, it makes sense to keep players there for their first step up rather than sending them to Cedar Rapids right away. That will be good especially for transactions at that Low-A level. Easy to call guys up from across the parking lot. So overall, I am very comfortable with how this has played out, and over time I think it will prove itself to be a good thing for the organization. I just still feel bad about losing the Elizabethton affiliate and the great history of that team. And I feel worse that the Twins have just let go of long-time leaders and coaches in Ray Smith and Jeff Reed. Fifth Inning - Twins Lose Another Player Development Leader to Big-League Job JP Martinez was announced on Tuesday night as the new assistant pitching coach of the San Francisco Giants. A week earlier we had heard rumblings that he was seen as a favorite. Now it isi Twitter official. https://twitter.com/SFGiants/status/1333936170024140802 I got to know JP when he was the pitching coach in Cedar Rapids in 2017. Had some great conversations with him. He went to the same high school in New Orleans that the Mannings went to. More important to his role as a coach, he knows how to pitch. He reached AAA as a player. He’s coached as well as been the assistant pitching coordinator the last couple of seasons with the Twins. He also speaks Spanish (and English) fluently which is helpful too.He was also placed in charge of the Twins alternate site this summer in St. Paul. The Twins have certainly lost their fair share of player development staff. Derek Falvey has talked about not only player development but coaching development, front office development, and providing opportunities for people to move up the ladder with the Twins or elsewhere. Derek Shelton went from Twins bench coach to Pirates manager. James Rowson went from Twins hitting coach to Marlins bench coach and hitting coordinator. Jeremy Hefner went from assistant pitching coach with the Twins to pitching coach of the Mets. Tanner Swanson went from Twins minor league catching coordinator to Yankees MLB coach. Peter Fatse went from Twins minor league hitting coordinator to Red Sox assistant hitting coach. Edgar Varela went from Twins minor league coordinator to Twins hitting coach. Sixth Inning - (Trevor) May to the Mets Reports started coming out mid-afternoon on Tuesday that the Mets were close to a deal with Trevor May. It wasn’t long after that we had verification that, pending a physical, the Mets and Trevor May had agreed to a two-year, $15 million contract. May is one of the team bullpen arms available on the free agent market, and with this move, he sets the tone for that market. In 2020, May struck out 14.6 batters per nine innings and that number has been over 11 the past two years. He clearly has great stuff and could thrive in the Big Apple where he will be reunited with former Twins bullpen coach Jeremy Hefner. May has been a great ambassador for Twins baseball throughout his tenure with the team, but this is a good opportunity for him and hopefully it works out well for him. Seventh Inning - Top 60 Twins Players in 60 Seasons in Minnesota E-Book Available In Case You Missed It… over the past month, I have been working with “Nate Tubbs Rules” on an e-book. NTR updates his Top 300 Twins Player rankings after every season and it is enjoyable to read through those updates each year. With the Twins having just completed their 60th season in Minnesota in 2020, we wrote The Top 60 Twins Players in 60 Season in Minnesota, and it is available now for just $7.99 (immediate download). It includes fun profiles of the Top 60 players on his list and yes, it does name all of his Top 300 players. Yes, my personal Top 60 rankings is in the back of the book too. Please consider this e-book. If you are interested, you can order here. Last night, we spent about 40 minutes on a bonus Twins Spotlight discussing some of the fun topics of the rankings. Please enjoy. (Seth on WJON in St. Cloud today.) Eighth Inning - Kirilloff Bumps Lewis from Baseball America Top Spot On Monday, Baseball America released its updated Minnesota Twins Prospect rankings. Of note, they have now bumped Alex Kirilloff up from #2 to the #1 Twins prospect, a spot Royce Lewis has held for the past three offseasons. And no surprise, the two have always been kind of a 1a and 1b. Kirilloff certainly was the talk of the alternate site, and when he became the first player in MLB history to make his MLB debut by starting in a playoff game, more people started talking about him. I think the key is that Lewis’s star hasn’t diminished as much as Kirilloff has now been talked about more, and deservedly so. That said, I will continue to say that Trevor Larnach should be discussed in the same range as Kirilloff and Lewis. Carlos Collazo, who worked on the rankings for Baseball America, wrote in the Twins chat that he has Larnach lumped into a group that includes Ryan Jeffers, Jhoan Duran and Jordan Balazovic. I personally have Larnach just a bit above that group, but that is a very good group. Literally all six of those guys should be in their Top 100 Prospect rankings when those come out in the spring. He then noted that there is a group from #7 through #12 or 13 that could be inter-changeable too, and I agree with that. That is an exciting group as well with both power hitters, strong offense/defense guys and about three more pitchers that all profile as potential big-league starters. Ninth Inning - A Minor Signing The Royals signed veteran lefty Mike Minor to a two-year, $18 million with a $13 million option for a third year. The Royals are adding a veteran to a staff that includes youngsters like Brady Singer and Kris Bubic and a plethora of pitching prospects that are potentially available in the next year or two. Danny Duffy becomes a free agent after the 2021 season. I have been a little surprised by the number of starting pitcher free agents who have already signed. Not sure what that will mean over the long course of an offseason, but it is encouraging. That’s all I’ve got. Nine innings worth. Hopefully you have enjoyed it, and I welcome any questions or comments that you have below.
  10. While it seems to have been a slow offseason so far, there have been and will soon be several more bits of information around the Minnesota Twins. Here is a list of nine things for you to consider as a Twins fan today.I haven't done one of these Nine Innings bits in awhile... I wasn't sure how I would fill all nine innings, but we've done it. This has topics all across the board. Please feel free to ask questions or leave comments below. First Inning - Eddie Rosario Outrighted Listen. No one thought that the #MNTwins were going to tender Eddie Rosario at the deadline Wednesday evening. But tonight, Ken Rosenthal tweeted that the Twins have put Rosario on outright waivers. I got to know JP when he was the pitching coach in Cedar Rapids in 2017. Had some great conversations with him. He went to the same high school in New Orleans that the Mannings went to. More important to his role as a coach, he knows how to pitch. He reached AAA as a player. He’s coached as well as been the assistant pitching coordinator the last couple of seasons with the Twins. He also speaks Spanish (and English) fluently which is helpful too.He was also placed in charge of the Twins alternate site this summer in St. Paul. The Twins have certainly lost their fair share of player development staff. Derek Falvey has talked about not only player development but coaching development, front office development, and providing opportunities for people to move up the ladder with the Twins or elsewhere. Derek Shelton went from Twins bench coach to Pirates manager. James Rowson went from Twins hitting coach to Marlins bench coach and hitting coordinator. Jeremy Hefner went from assistant pitching coach with the Twins to pitching coach of the Mets. Tanner Swanson went from Twins minor league catching coordinator to Yankees MLB coach. Peter Fatse went from Twins minor league hitting coordinator to Red Sox assistant hitting coach. Edgar Varela went from Twins minor league coordinator to Twins hitting coach. Sixth Inning - (Trevor) May to the Mets Reports started coming out mid-afternoon on Tuesday that the Mets were close to a deal with Trevor May. It wasn’t long after that we had verification that, pending a physical, the Mets and Trevor May had agreed to a two-year, $15 million contract. May is one of the team bullpen arms available on the free agent market, and with this move, he sets the tone for that market. In 2020, May struck out 14.6 batters per nine innings and that number has been over 11 the past two years. He clearly has great stuff and could thrive in the Big Apple where he will be reunited with former Twins bullpen coach Jeremy Hefner. May has been a great ambassador for Twins baseball throughout his tenure with the team, but this is a good opportunity for him and hopefully it works out well for him. Seventh Inning - Top 60 Twins Players in 60 Seasons in Minnesota E-Book Available In Case You Missed It… over the past month, I have been working with “Nate Tubbs Rules” on an e-book. NTR updates his Top 300 Twins Player rankings after every season and it is enjoyable to read through those updates each year. With the Twins having just completed their 60th season in Minnesota in 2020, we wrote The Top 60 Twins Players in 60 Season in Minnesota, and it is available now for just $7.99 (immediate download). It includes fun profiles of the Top 60 players on his list and yes, it does name all of his Top 300 players. Yes, my personal Top 60 rankings is in the back of the book too. Please consider this e-book. If you are interested, you can order here. Last night, we spent about 40 minutes on a bonus Twins Spotlight discussing some of the fun topics of the rankings. Please enjoy. (Seth on WJON in St. Cloudtoday.) Eighth Inning - Kirilloff Bumps Lewis from Baseball America Top Spot On Monday, Baseball America released its updated Minnesota Twins Prospect rankings. Of note, they have now bumped Alex Kirilloff up from #2 to the #1 Twins prospect, a spot Royce Lewis has held for the past three offseasons. And no surprise, the two have always been kind of a 1a and 1b. Kirilloff certainly was the talk of the alternate site, and when he became the first player in MLB history to make his MLB debut by starting in a playoff game, more people started talking about him. I think the key is that Lewis’s star hasn’t diminished as much as Kirilloff has now been talked about more, and deservedly so. That said, I will continue to say that Trevor Larnach should be discussed in the same range as Kirilloff and Lewis. Carlos Collazo, who worked on the rankings for Baseball America, wrote in the Twins chatthat he has Larnach lumped into a group that includes Ryan Jeffers, Jhoan Duran and Jordan Balazovic. I personally have Larnach just a bit above that group, but that is a very good group. Literally all six of those guys should be in their Top 100 Prospect rankings when those come out in the spring. He then noted that there is a group from #7 through #12 or 13 that could be inter-changeable too, and I agree with that. That is an exciting group as well with both power hitters, strong offense/defense guys and about three more pitchers that all profile as potential big-league starters. Ninth Inning - A Minor Signing The Royals signed veteran lefty Mike Minor to a two-year, $18 million with a $13 million option for a third year. The Royals are adding a veteran to a staff that includes youngsters like Brady Singer and Kris Bubic and a plethora of pitching prospects that are potentially available in the next year or two. Danny Duffy becomes a free agent after the 2021 season. I have been a little surprised by the number of starting pitcher free agents who have already signed. Not sure what that will mean over the long course of an offseason, but it is encouraging. That’s all I’ve got. Nine innings worth. Hopefully you have enjoyed it, and I welcome any questions or comments that you have below. Click here to view the article
  11. On Wednesday, the Minnesota Twins will need to decide whether or not they’ll tender a contract to left fielder Eddie Rosario for the 2021 Major League Baseball season. He's already been placed on outright waivers, so they would be negotiating for less than his projected arbitration value. A 4th round pick in 2010, he’s been in the organization for a decade since he was a 19-year-old. A changing of the guard could be coming involving a core player, and it’s worth looking back on the impact he’s had. Rosario was selected out of high school in Puerto Rico as a second basemen, and he stuck there pretty regularly through his first four professional seasons. At that point it was determined his arm was an underutilized asset, and his glove on the dirt simply wasn’t going to get the job done. By 2012 he’d cracked a top 100 prospect list (Baseball Prospectus) and prior to 2014 he landed 60th from the same publication. It was in 2014 that adversity caught up with Rosario a bit as he received a 50-game suspension for a drug of abuse. This was something that there had been rumblings about for some time but was brought to the forefront through the failed test. A maturation process was going to be necessary, and it was one that ultimately took place leading to a Major League debut in 2015. To this point the Twins have had Rosario play in 697 career games with a .277/.310/.478 slash line. His last four seasons have amounted to an .810 OPS and some of the breakout power potential that was expected from him. He contributed 32 dingers to the 2019 Bomba Squad’s tally, and despite lacking any real on-base presence, remained a run producer at the plate. In the outfield there’s been flashes of brilliance from a guy with such a strong right arm. Putting up gaudy DRS numbers on somewhat of a scattered basis, injury and an inconsistent motor are the only things that have held him back from entering elite territory when in the field. Any given night can result in Twitter faithful providing reminders not to run on his rocket arm, and that ability should carry well into his 30’s. Should Minnesota decide to non-tender their home-grown outfielder it won’t be due to lack of talent. The OPS hovering around .800 is a strong number, but an arbitration figure teetering on $10 million is quite a lot for a player that has replaceable qualities and is battling with internal talent expected to be as good or better. There should be no shock if Rosario goes elsewhere and flourishes. He did well with former Twins hitting coach James Rowson, and a mutual fit in Miami could make sense for a plethora of reasons. Rosario was among the prospects Twins fans waited on for years, and he’s parlayed that into six years of production that will be missed should his time be up. No matter what happens, Minnesota’s hot stove gets cooking forcibly sooner rather than later. For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  12. It looks like the Twins are moving on from longtime left fielder Eddie Rosario. But closer Taylor Rogers is sticking around. Shockingly, Matt Wisler was non-tendered despite a seemingly modest price tag coming off a breakout year. Minnesota wasn't the only team confronting tough calls on quality players – calls that would perhaps be no-brainers under different circumstances. Numerous players from other clubs suddenly became available, some of them logical fits for Minnesota. I was joined via live-stream by Seth Stohs and David Youngs on Wednesday night, an hour after the deadline, as we reacted to the news and broke it down. Tune into future live broadcasts on Twins Daily's Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube page. (Or by tuning into the YouTube stream above.) It's an interactive show where viewers help steer the conversation via comments and questions. You can also catch every episode via audio by subscribing to our podcast. In the meantime, check out previous episodes of Offseason Live and see what's upcoming: Ep 1: (Thurs, 10/8) Ep 2: (Tues, 10/13) Ep 3: (Thurs, 10/15) Ep 4: (Tues, 10/20) Ep 5: (Thurs, 10/22) Ep 6: (Tues, 10/27) Ep 7: (Thurs, 10/29) Ep 8: (Thurs, 11/5) Ep 9: (Thurs, 11/12) Ep 10: (Tues, 11/17) Ep 11: (Weds, 12/2)
  13. On Wednesday night, a major offseason milestone arrived with the non-tender deadline. This one loomed especially large for the Minnesota Twins, who are facing difficult stay-or-go arbitration decisions on two longtime fixtures. We reacted to those decisions, plus another out-of-nowhere shocker, and analyzed a wave of newly available free agents on Offseason Live.It looks like the Twins are moving on from longtime left fielder Eddie Rosario. But closer Taylor Rogers is sticking around. Shockingly, Matt Wisler was non-tendered despite a seemingly modest price tag coming off a breakout year. Download attachment: twinsinarb.png Minnesota wasn't the only team confronting tough calls on quality players – calls that would perhaps be no-brainers under different circumstances. Numerous players from other clubs suddenly became available, some of them logical fits for Minnesota. I was joined via live-stream by Seth Stohs and David Youngs on Wednesday night, an hour after the deadline, as we reacted to the news and broke it down. Tune into future live broadcasts on Twins Daily's Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube page. (Or by tuning into the YouTube stream above.) It's an interactive show where viewers help steer the conversation via comments and questions. You can also catch every episode via audio by subscribing to our podcast. In the meantime, check out previous episodes of Offseason Live and see what's upcoming: Ep 1: (Thurs, 10/8)Ep 2: (Tues, 10/13)Ep 3: (Thurs, 10/15)Ep 4: (Tues, 10/20)Ep 5: (Thurs, 10/22)Ep 6: (Tues, 10/27)Ep 7: (Thurs, 10/29)Ep 8: (Thurs, 11/5)Ep 9: (Thurs, 11/12)Ep 10: (Tues, 11/17)Ep 11: (Weds, 12/2) Click here to view the article
  14. Aaron and John explain why Eddie Rosario will probably not be a Minnesota Twin next week, other impacts of Wednesday's non-tender deadline, and a couple impact starting pitchers reportedly available in trades. You can listen by downloading us from iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio or find it at GleemanAndTheGeek.com. Or just click this link. Click Here To Listen Now Click here to view the article
  15. As I said in my previous blog posting I am watching to see where the current Twins rank in ratings outside the Twin Cities. It is always suggestive to read a less biased - less connected view of our own team. So here is the ESPN Roto rankings for 2021 - https://www.espn.com/fantasy/baseball/story/_/id/28285423/fantasy-baseball-2021-rankings-roto-rotisserie Catcher Garver is rated #7 (between Will Smith and Gary Sanchez) Jeffers 34 (between Romine and Torrens Avila is 47 between Trevino and Knapp Of course Realmuto is 1, followed by Grandal and Perez, but I am surprised Garver stays this high. And I am surprised Jeffers is so low. Avila is in the right place and the Turtle is not rated. 1B Sano 13 between Guerrero Jr and Cronenworth Alex Kiriloff makes this list too at 35 between Moreland and Aguilar Freeman is the leader with Bellinger and LaMehieu next. Interesting that they put Kiriloff as our second 1B - I would have expected Rooker. 2B Arraez 43 between Diaz and Garcia Merrifield and Albies head the list, but Arraez is really low on the list. I have to remember this is fantasy so his bat does not play as well here as it does in our lineup. 3B Josh Donaldson in #17 between Urshela and Seager That is a very low ranking for our big purchase. Is it because they do not see him staying healthy? SS Polanco is #15 between Villar and Gregorius Royce Lewis is #40 between Simmons and Garcia Gordon makes the list at #49 between Chang and Mercer Like so many of our players Polanco is middle of the pack among starters. They do not have Ehire, but they put in Lewis and Gordon - they obviously expect some changes. OF Eddie Rosario #17 between Judge and Conforto Max Kepler #19 between Conforto and Meadows Byron Buxton #48 between Canha and Happ Alex Kiriloff is $93 between Margot and Taveras Betts, Acuna and Soto are their top three. Where is Rooker? Designated Hitters They only list three and Cruz is number one. No questions there. Starting pitchers Kenta Maeda is our top pitcher at #24 Jose Berrios is #34 Rich Hill #62 Michael Pineda #80 Jake Odorizzi #105 Randy Dobnak #114 Jordan Balazovic #121 deGrom, Cole and Bieber are the top three (of course) and I am most shocked that they would have Hill as our number three pitcher by these rankings. Our rotation is complete which is great, middle of the pack like our position players. Relief Pitchers Taylor Rogers #10 Sergio Romo #66 Caleb Thielbar #75 No Duffey, no May in their top 75. Hendriks, Hader and Chapman were the big three. They also rank the top 300 regardless of position so pitchers and all positions are mixed. Here are our top 300 players: 33. Nelson Cruz 57. Eddie Rosario 66. Max Kepler 96. Kenta Maeda 109. Josh Donaldson 115. Jorge Polanco 116. Miguel Sano 131. Jose Berrios 148. Taylor Rogers 178. Byron Buxton 227. Rich Hill 229. Mitch Garver That is 12 in the top 300 - with even distribution the teams would all have 10 and we have 10 in the top 200. When I look at these lists I have a lot of questions: Should we sign Cruz - he is our number one ranked player? Eddie Rosario keeps getting ranked higher than anyone not named Cruz and yet TD keeps putting out that he will be DFA's, should be DFA'd. Why? Taylor Rogers keeps getting love in these rankings and so does Garver. What did I miss? Where is Michael Pineda? Was Rich Hill really better than him?
  16. Alex Kirilloff 2020 Stats (1 game): 1-for-4 in AL Wild Card Series Current Contract (Arbitration Eligible: 2024, Free Agent 2027) Kirilloff technically hasn’t accumulated any service time since his long big-league appearance came in Minnesota’s final playoff game last season. The Twins are clearly high on Kirilloff after trusting him to appear in such a high-pressure game. He has at least six more years of team control, so it might seem ridiculous to consider signing him long-term. Pros of Extending Now It would offer the team some financial certainty and it would remove any idea of trying to manipulate service time to start 2021. With Eddie Rosario likely a non-tender candidate, Kirilloff is the most obvious choice to take over at a corner outfield spot. However, the Twins could keep him down for multiple months to gain an extra year of team control. By working out an extension now, this wouldn’t be needed, and the team could have their best roster on the field from season’s start. Cons of Extending Now While Minnesota is certainly high on him, there is no guarantee he will be able to succeed at baseball’s highest level. He’s already missed an entire professional season due to Tommy John surgery, so there is no rush to get a contract extension on the books. The Twins could likely let him work through his first two seasons at big-league level and then offer him a similar contract extension. He’s on pace to be one of the team’s best players over the next decade, but few teams have followed the path of offering early extensions. Possible Extension Other teams have taken this strategy with young players to lock in their costs moving forward. Chicago did this last year with Luis Robert as they signed him to a six-year, $50 million extension with two $20 million team options on the backend which keeps him on the southside through his age-29 season. This seems like the ideal extension for Kirilloff. Would Minnesota consider something similar? MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  17. In recent years, the Twins have done a good job of locking up multiple parts of their young core. Jorge Polanco, Max Kepler, and Miguel Sano will all be in a Twins uniform for at least the next two years with multiple options that can be exercised. With an eye to the future, here is one other player Minnesota can look to extend this winter.Alex Kirilloff 2020 Stats (1 game): 1-for-4 in AL Wild Card Series Current Contract (Arbitration Eligible: 2024, Free Agent 2027) Kirilloff technically hasn’t accumulated any service time since his long big-league appearance came in Minnesota’s final playoff game last season. The Twins are clearly high on Kirilloff after trusting him to appear in such a high-pressure game. He has at least six more years of team control, so it might seem ridiculous to consider signing him long-term. Pros of Extending Now It would offer the team some financial certainty and it would remove any idea of trying to manipulate service time to start 2021. With Eddie Rosario likely a non-tender candidate, Kirilloff is the most obvious choice to take over at a corner outfield spot. However, the Twins could keep him down for multiple months to gain an extra year of team control. By working out an extension now, this wouldn’t be needed, and the team could have their best roster on the field from season’s start. Cons of Extending Now While Minnesota is certainly high on him, there is no guarantee he will be able to succeed at baseball’s highest level. He’s already missed an entire professional season due to Tommy John surgery, so there is no rush to get a contract extension on the books. The Twins could likely let him work through his first two seasons at big-league level and then offer him a similar contract extension. He’s on pace to be one of the team’s best players over the next decade, but few teams have followed the path of offering early extensions. Possible Extension Other teams have taken this strategy with young players to lock in their costs moving forward. Chicago did this last year with Luis Robert as they signed him to a six-year, $50 million extension with two $20 million team options on the backend which keeps him on the southside through his age-29 season. This seems like the ideal extension for Kirilloff. Would Minnesota consider something similar? MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email Click here to view the article
  18. Many are anticipating a slow-moving offseason for baseball, mired in uncertainty, but there has been some early action, and we may see more dominoes start to fall in the coming weeks as key milestones approach. The non-tender deadline falls a week from Wednesday, on December 2nd, at which point the pivotal Eddie Rosario decision will need to be made. The following week brings the Winter Meetings, which will be held virtually this year but should nonetheless create the means for deals to be advanced and completed. That Thursday, MLB will hold its Rule 5 draft, providing teams with an opportunity to pluck hidden talents out of rival organizations. Ready or not, Hot Stove season is almost upon us. While it might be a cooler version than normal, aggressive teams will have the chance to strike and make some early noise. The Twins should definitely be in that category. To gain a full grasp of the landscape, I recommend catching up on our Offseason Live series. We've gone through 10 episodes covering a variety of important angles and aspects of the offseason from Minnesota's point of view. If you've got some downtime ahead of you during the holiday week ahead, consider catching up on any episodes you might've missed. PREVIEWING HOT STOVE SZN WITH OFFSEASON LIVE Episode 1: We kicked things off with a gamified overview of the offseason. Nash, Matthew and Andrew competed to answer questions from our Jeopardy board as I did my best to channel the late, great Alex Trebek (R.I.P.). Episode 2: Baseball has no payroll, but we always try to set a realistic benchmark for where the Twins might set a self-imposed cap, so as to understand the constraints in place as the front office seeks to supplement and solidify the roster. Episode 3: Nine members of the 2020 Twins team became free agents when the postseason concluded, and nearly all of them were significant contributors. Currently, all nine of them remain unsigned. In this episode we debated the relative merits of attempting to bring back each. Episode 4: With the non-tender deadline fast approaching, this is an especially pertinent episode to watch. The Eddie decision looms largest, and we spent a fair amount of time talking about it, but that's not the only point of uncertainty among Minnesota's eight arbitration-eligible players. Episode 5: The Twins might seek a third catcher to fill the role of departing free agent Alex Avila. They will definitely seek at least one versatile infielder to fill the roles of departing free agents Marwin Gonzalez and Ehire Adrianza. In this episode, we went through a bunch of options we like for each of those vacancies. Episode 6: Rosario and Nelson Cruz have been the top run producers on back-to-back division champions. If both of them move on this winter (very possible) the Twins may want to procure some established veteran production to replace their contributions. You'll find nine options submitted and vetted here. Episode 7: Jake Odorizzi and Rich Hill are also among the crop of outgoing free agents, leaving a noticeable void in the rotation. Several options from the external free agency pool are discussed here, although a few of them have already signed contracts elsewhere – a sign that the starting pitching market could be in higher demand than any other. Episode 8: Bullpen was a decisive strength for the Twins in 2020. Can they keep it that way? It might take a bit of work with several key contributors – Trevor May, Tyler Clippard, Sergio Romo – now in free agency. The good news is that there's a deep collection of options available on the open market, and we discussed nine of them spread across three different pricing tiers here. Episode 9: Of course, free agency isn't the only avenue for improving your team. Last offseason, the Twins' most impactful addition came via trade, when they acquired Cy Young runner-up Kenta Maeda from Los Angeles for Brusdar Graterol. How might a similar blockbuster take shape this time around? We laid out six specific ideas in this episode. Episode 10: Finally, a look at how it all comes together. John, Seth and I drawing from all we learned in the payroll, arbitration, free agency, and trade targets episodes to craft our own visions of what a successful Minnesota Twins offseason (within set spending constraints) could look like. We invite you to draw up your own blueprint using the Twins Payroll Spender tool. While our pre-set schedule for Offseason Live is completed, we definitely plan to create more of these episodes, situated around key offseason milestones to come. And there's plenty more video/audio content to be found on our YouTube and podcast channels. For example, Seth has been conducting interviews with Twins players and prospects for the Twins Spotlight series. He recently chatted with and new 40-man addition ... and I hear he's got a fun show lined up on Monday. This offseason has a different vibe, and it might be a bit of a grind, so we're taking the opportunity to experiment with new content formats and approaches. We really appreciate everyone who's tuned in, interacted, and helped spread the word. Definitely let us know what you like and what you'd like to see more of, either by commenting or reaching out directly. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  19. We've spent the past several weeks previewing the Twins offseason, and breaking down different decisions that lie ahead in a series of live-streamed videos. Below, you can find them all in one place.Many are anticipating a slow-moving offseason for baseball, mired in uncertainty, but there has been some early action, and we may see more dominoes start to fall in the coming weeks as key milestones approach. The non-tender deadline falls a week from Wednesday, on December 2nd, at which point the pivotal Eddie Rosario decision will need to be made. The following week brings the Winter Meetings, which will be held virtually this year but should nonetheless create the means for deals to be advanced and completed. That Thursday, MLB will hold its Rule 5 draft, providing teams with an opportunity to pluck hidden talents out of rival organizations. Ready or not, Hot Stove season is almost upon us. While it might be a cooler version than normal, aggressive teams will have the chance to strike and make some early noise. The Twins should definitely be in that category. To gain a full grasp of the landscape, I recommend catching up on our Offseason Live series. We've gone through 10 episodes covering a variety of important angles and aspects of the offseason from Minnesota's point of view. If you've got some downtime ahead of you during the holiday week ahead, consider catching up on any episodes you might've missed. PREVIEWING HOT STOVE SZN WITH OFFSEASON LIVE Episode 1: We kicked things off with a gamified overview of the offseason. Nash, Matthew and Andrew competed to answer questions from our Jeopardy board as I did my best to channel the late, great Alex Trebek (R.I.P.). Episode 2: Baseball has no payroll, but we always try to set a realistic benchmark for where the Twins might set a self-imposed cap, so as to understand the constraints in place as the front office seeks to supplement and solidify the roster. Episode 3: Nine members of the 2020 Twins team became free agents when the postseason concluded, and nearly all of them were significant contributors. Currently, all nine of them remain unsigned. In this episode we debated the relative merits of attempting to bring back each. Episode 4: With the non-tender deadline fast approaching, this is an especially pertinent episode to watch. The Eddie decision looms largest, and we spent a fair amount of time talking about it, but that's not the only point of uncertainty among Minnesota's eight arbitration-eligible players. Episode 5: The Twins might seek a third catcher to fill the role of departing free agent Alex Avila. They will definitely seek at least one versatile infielder to fill the roles of departing free agents Marwin Gonzalez and Ehire Adrianza. In this episode, we went through a bunch of options we like for each of those vacancies. Episode 6: Rosario and Nelson Cruz have been the top run producers on back-to-back division champions. If both of them move on this winter (very possible) the Twins may want to procure some established veteran production to replace their contributions. You'll find nine options submitted and vetted here. Episode 7: Jake Odorizzi and Rich Hill are also among the crop of outgoing free agents, leaving a noticeable void in the rotation. Several options from the external free agency pool are discussed here, although a few of them have already signed contracts elsewhere – a sign that the starting pitching market could be in higher demand than any other. Episode 8: Bullpen was a decisive strength for the Twins in 2020. Can they keep it that way? It might take a bit of work with several key contributors – Trevor May, Tyler Clippard, Sergio Romo – now in free agency. The good news is that there's a deep collection of options available on the open market, and we discussed nine of them spread across three different pricing tiers here. Episode 9: Of course, free agency isn't the only avenue for improving your team. Last offseason, the Twins' most impactful addition came via trade, when they acquired Cy Young runner-up Kenta Maeda from Los Angeles for Brusdar Graterol. How might a similar blockbuster take shape this time around? We laid out six specific ideas in this episode. Episode 10: Finally, a look at how it all comes together. John, Seth and I drawing from all we learned in the payroll, arbitration, free agency, and trade targets episodes to craft our own visions of what a successful Minnesota Twins offseason (within set spending constraints) could look like. We invite you to draw up your own blueprint using the Twins Payroll Spender tool. While our pre-set schedule for Offseason Live is completed, we definitely plan to create more of these episodes, situated around key offseason milestones to come. And there's plenty more video/audio content to be found on our YouTube and podcast channels. For example, Seth has been conducting interviews with Twins players and prospects for the Twins Spotlight series. He recently chatted with and new 40-man addition ... and I hear he's got a fun show lined up on Monday. This offseason has a different vibe, and it might be a bit of a grind, so we're taking the opportunity to experiment with new content formats and approaches. We really appreciate everyone who's tuned in, interacted, and helped spread the word. Definitely let us know what you like and what you'd like to see more of, either by commenting or reaching out directly. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email Click here to view the article
  20. Since the main TD articles keep talking about Eddie Rosario being traded, cut, cursed or whatever you want to call it I thought it might be instructive to do a comparison of all the six year players on the roster. In a move that we all thought would make the future of the Twins we had Eddie, Byron, Miguel, and Max arrive the same year and it did not take long before they were part of a home run hitting behemoth and twice got to the playoffs where they, like their predecessors failed. (I chose not to include pitchers since there is no way to have equivalent values between pitchers and position players.) Now all the discussions are about Eddie being too expensive and not needed. Why? Over the same six years here is there worth in Baseball Reference WAR - Max Kepler 12..3 Byron Buxton 11.7 Eddie Rosario 11.6 Miguel Sano 7.6 That makes the case for Eddie a little stronger as his WAR is not far off the top two and Miguel is the bottom (he was -0.2 this year). How about OBP? Sano 332 Kepler 319 Eddie 310 Buxton 289 OBP seems to consistently be the knock on Eddie, but in comparison he is not looking as bad as all the articles seem to hint. Okay let's try OPS and spruce up the data: Sano 829 Eddie 788 Kepler 763 Buxton 719 Sano blows them all away, but look who is second! Home Runs? Sano 131 Eddie 119 Max 101 Byron 51 Eddie looks pretty good here too. So being a traditionalist - what about RBIs? I know some of you do not believe in them, but what do you do when no one brings in the baserunners? I know - lose the playoffs. Eddie 388 Miguel 344 Max 303 Buxton 172 Like I have commented elsewhere, Eddie has a knack for bringing in runners and in this lineup, who doesn't have an opportunity? Another old tradition is BA - so let's check it out. Rosario 277 Sano 241 Buxton 238 Kepler 237 What about scoring runs? Yes runs win games. Rosario 400 Max 324 Sano 317 Buxton 204 So who stays on the field? Games played Rosario 697 Max 601 Miguel 539 Buxton 432 I know - you can say just think of the stats that the others would have if they played the same number of games - the trouble is they didn't. Max missed more than the number of games in last years short season - actually he missed the equivalent of 1 1/2 of last years games. Miquel is 158 games short - close to a full season and Buxton is 265 games shore - one full season plus 100 more! Can we say that Eddie is dependable? Someone will say, ya, but he can't field. I do not like a lot of fielding metrics but for the sake of this essay here is 2020 Fangraphs fielding for the four players Buxton 2.5 Rosario 1.2 Kepler -0.7 Sano -2.2 Everyone told me that Kepler was such a valuable fielder and Rosario was terrible. So baserunning - yep Rosario is a loose cannon here - I cannot justify his 2020 ranking Kepler 2.3 Sano 2.3 Buxton 0.4 Eddie -2 So there are all the various listings that seem to be part of the discussions. That is 10 statistical comparisons - if I treat them all as equal - I leave it to you to argue - then the one with the least points (if someone finished 1st in all they would have 10 points) should rate highest. Here are the point totals Rosario 20 Sano 23 Kepler 24 Buxton 29 At this point in their careers I would say Rosario was the most valuable of the four, but beyond statistics that is also my bias. Prove me wrong or agree with me, but don't just say I think!
  21. According to FanGraphs, the Twins have the fourth best roster (38.5 WAR) heading into the offseason. The teams ahead of the Twins include the Los Angeles Dodgers (44.3 WAR) the San Diego Padres (39.8 WAR), and the New York Yankees (38.5 WAR). This puts the Twins with the American League’s second-best roster, but Minnesota has clear holes to fill that can push them closer to the same level as the Dodgers. Big Name Trades Two of MLB’s best players, Francisco Lindor and Nolan Arenado, have a chance to be traded this winter. Cleveland has been trying to shed payroll for multiple seasons and Lindor is scheduled to make more than $20 million through arbitration this year, but he would be a free agent at season’s end. Arenado has the potential to be under contract for roughly $35 million per season through the 2026 campaign, but he can opt out after the 2021 season. Arenado doesn’t seem to fit into Minnesota’s future plans as the club already has Josh Donaldson under contract and they play the same defensive position. Lindor is intriguing as his addition can allow Jorge Polanco to move to a super utility role that Marwin Gonzalez has served over the last couple seasons. However, a trade in the division would be tough and the team trading for Lindor is only guaranteed that he would play one season for the club acquiring him. Do the Twins Already Have MLB’s Best Line-Up? Entering the off-season, the Twins might already have the best line-up in baseball. By looking at only position players, the closest teams to Minnesota are both clubs out of Chicago and the Dodgers. Unfortunately, this includes the Twins keeping Eddie Rosario, which seems highly unlikely. https://twitter.com/mike_petriello/status/1324758599424450562?s=20 The other major roster hole not addressed by this chart is the fact that Minnesota’s best hitter, Nelson Cruz, is now a free agent. To have baseball’s best roster, the Twins are going to have to make multiple decisions this winter to complete holes in the line-up, the rotation, and the bullpen. Filling Roster Holes Eddie Rosario’s hole in the line-up seems easily filled by Alex Kirilloff. The club thought highly enough of him that he made his debut in the Twins Wild Card Series against the Astros and it seems likely for him to play the majority of the team’s games in the outfield next season. Designated hitter is another story as Nelson Cruz already turned 40-years old and reports have him looking for a two-year contract. One of the easiest ways for the team to improve their overall WAR would be to sign the best available designated hitter and that might be Marcell Ozuna. He is over a decade younger than Cruz and he is coming off a season where he led the National League in home runs while positing a 1.067 OPS. There are a lot of questions about how the free agent market will transpire this year, but rival executives expect the Twins to be aggressive in the months ahead. There’s lots left to do, but the Twins are definitely in their window of opportunity. What do you think the Twins can do to pass the Dodgers? 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
  22. On Tuesday night's episode of Offseason Live I was joined by Twins Daily writers Lucas Seehafer and David Youngs. Each of us submitted our own preferred targets at these positions, and those choices were discussed and debated. You can watch it all play out below, or keep reading for a breakdown of what's available, and which targets stand out as our favorite fits for the Twins. Free Agent Designated Hitters at a Glance The Need: With Cruz hitting free agency and likely generating significant demand, coming off back-to-back monster seasons, the Twins will need to address a position that's been arguably their greatest competitive advantage. The Market (This list is not comprehensive): Nelson Cruz Marcell Ozuna Michael Brantley Shin Soo Choo Jay Bruce Yasiel Puig Robbie Grossman Yoenis Cespedes Nick Markakis Logan Morrison Matt Kemp Our Targets: Jay Bruce Age: 33 Former Team: Philadelphia 2020 Stats: .198/.252/.469, 6 HR, 14 RBI Why He's a Fit: He's a very accomplished lefty hitter, with 314 home runs and a .783 career OPS in 13 major-league seasons. But his somewhat diminished performance over the past three seasons (.217/.282/.448) should keep his pricetag in check. He can still play some first base and corner outfield, so Bruce won't be restricted to DH. Estimated 2021 Salary: $3 million Shin-Soo Choo Age: 38 Former Team: Texas 2020 Stats: .236/.323/.400, 5 HR, 15 RBI Why He's a Fit: Choo brings many of the same qualities as Bruce, but to a greater extent. He's also older and will probably be a bit more expensive. The 38-year-old left-handed hitter owns a .275/.377/.447 career slash line, and has consistently been around that in Texas, reliably scoring 85-95 runs, hitting 20-25 homers and 20-30 doubles. If you're looking for stable, rock-solid veteran production to replace Cruz at around half the price, Choo is a fine choice. Estimated 2021 Salary: $7 million Matt Kemp Age: 36 Former Team: Colorado 2020 Stats: .239/.326/.419, 6 HR, 21 RBI Why He's a Fit: Kemp figures to be very affordable. Last year he had to settle for a minor-league deal before a bouncing back a bit in Colorado. What I like about Kemp (aside from the low cost) is that he has a track record of mashing lefties – he hit .300/.375/.480 against this year and .313/.373/.536 in his career. This addresses a critical weakness from the 2020 Twins team, and – much like the two targets above – he brings a wealth of experience to help replace what you're losing with Cruz. Estimated 2021 Salary: $2 million Free Agent Outfielders at a Glance The Need: If the Twins keep Rosario, there really is no need. But as we discussed in the , that seems uncertain if not unlikely. Minnesota faces stark financial realities, with Rosario likely to command $10-13 million in his last year of arbitration. Can the Twins save money in left field, or use it more wisely? Let's take a look. The Market (This list is not comprehensive): George Springer Marcell Ozuna Michael Brantley Jackie Bradley Jr. Josh Reddick Joc Pederson Robbie Grossman Kevin Pillar Matt Joyce Yasiel Puig Nick Markakis Cameron Maybin Jarrod Dyson Billy Hamilton Our Targets: Jackie Bradley Jr. Age: 30 Former Team: Boston 2020 Stats: .283/.364/.450, 7 HR, 22 RBI Why He's a Fit: Bradley will probably require a multi-year deal at an annual rate in the same range as Rosario is lined up for in 2021. So there's no real opportunity to save money here. But what you are doing with this move is making a long-term investment in someone who could become a core player. Bradley is an elite defender and can play all three outfield positions. He's a lefty hitter with patience and power. Estimated 2021 Salary: $11 million Joc Pederson Age: 28 Former Team: LA Dodgers 2020 Stats: .190/.285/.397, 7 HR, 16 RBI Why He's a Fit: He's a left-handed power stick to replace Eddie at a lower cost. Pretty simple. Pederson struggled a bit in the 60-game season but still hit seven homers, and in 2019 he launched a career-high 36. Much like Bradley Jr., Pederson has plenty of experience playing on the big stage in October, which is where the Twins are focused on getting over the hump. Estimated 2021 Salary: $6 million Yasiel Puig Age: 29 Former Team: Cleveland 2019 Stats: .267/.327/.458, 24 HR, 84 RBI Why He's a Fit: Looking for a Rosario replacement? Puig sure seems to fit the bill. He brings some fire and brashness with his personality, and while he didn't play in 2020, his fairly typical production in 2019 (see above) was almost exactly what you'd expect in a given year from Eddie. He will, however, cost substantially less, and his right-handed bat helps balance out Minnesota's current LH-heavy corner outfield depth. Estimated 2021 Salary: $2 million Michael Brantley Age: 33 Former Team: Houston 2020 Stats: .300/.364/.476, 5 HR, 22 RBI Why He's a Fit: Similar to Bradley Jr., Brantley offers the opportunity to swing for the fences, replacing Rosario with a new building-block type who brings more to the table. Brantley is a four-time All-Star with a .297/.354/.440 career slash line, and unlike most others on this list he was on top of his game in 2020. He's the real deal and one of the best players on the free agent market. Estimated 2021 Salary: $11 million Kevin Pillar Age: 31 Former Team: Colorado 2020 Stats: .288/.336.462, 6 HR, 26 RBI Why He's a Fit: Pillar represents a different approach to addressing the outfield. While many of the other players are of similar molds to Rosario, Pillar is more Buxton-like. He's a terrific center fielder and an aggressive right-handed hitter with some power and speed. Sound familiar? Pillar gives you a credible replacement in the event that Buxton goes down, and if the Twins are fortunate enough to keep the latter healthy, Pillar is a great piece to rotate around the outfield spots. Estimated 2021 Salary: $6 million Robbie Grossman Age: 31 Former Team: Oakland 2020 Stats: .241/.344/.482, 8 HR, 23 RBI Why He's a Fit: Unthinkably, Grossman has reinvented himself as an outstanding offensive outfielder since leaving Minnesota. By various defensive metrics, he's become an asset in either corner spot, and he's also a patient, OBP-centric switch-hitter who could fill in regularly at DH. He's just a very functional asset. Estimated 2021 Salary: $5 million Let us know in the comments who you like at these positions, or if you'd rather stick with Rosario and Cruz. In the meantime, check out previous episodes of Offseason Live and see what's upcoming: Ep 1: (Thurs, 10/8) Ep 2: (Tues, 10/13) Ep 3: (Thurs, 10/15) Ep 4: (Tues, 10/20) Ep 5: (Thurs, 10/22) Ep 6: (Tues, 10/27) Ep 7: Free Agency – Starting Pitchers (Thurs, 10/29) Ep 8: Free Agency – Relief Pitchers (Thurs, 11/5) Ep 9: Twins Trade Targets (Tues, 11/10) Ep 10: Offseason Blueprints (Thurs, 11/12) MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  23. On Tuesday night's episode of Offseason Live, I talked through each of the Twins' arbitration-eligible players with Matt Braun and Matthew Trueblood. You can watch it below, or keep scrolling for a written breakdown. We know for sure that these seven players are eligible for arbitration: Mitch Garver, C (1st year of of 3) Tyler Duffey (2 of 3) Matt Wisler (2 of 3) Jose Berrios (2 of 3) Taylor Rogers (3 of 4) Byron Buxton (3 of 4) Eddie Rosario (3 of 3) We're not sure about Caleb Thielbar. His service time puts him right on the border of Super 2 status, but that's a murky line as is, made only cloudier by this shortened season. If he is arbitration-eligible for the first time, he is in line for about $1 million, and a no-brainer to bring back. Here's a look at the respective situations of the other seven players (2020 salaries based on full season, 2021 salary estimates via Twins Daily's guesses and those posted at MLB Trade Rumors): Mitch Garver, C 1st year of 3 in Arbitration 2020 Salary: $600K Key Stat: Career .275/.371/.522 hitter versus left-handed pitchers. Arbitration Salary Estimates: Twins Daily: $2M | MLBTR: $1.9M The Lowdown: As he enters arbitration for the first time, Garver's price will be kept in check coming off a lost season. Despite his discouraging campaign, keeping the 2019 Silver Slugger around next year is clearly a no-brainer at this price point, barring a trade. His ability to hit southpaws (which endured through his struggles in 2020, as he stilled slashed .304/.385/.435 vs. LHP) is particularly valuable. At this point it seems likely he'll head into next season slated for a 50/50 timeshare with Ryan Jeffers at catcher. Tyler Duffey, RP 2nd Year of 3 in Arbitration 2020 Salary: $1.2M Key Stat: Ranks 4th among MLB relievers in fWAR since 2019 All-Star break. Arbitration Salary Estimates: TD: $2.5M | MLBTR: $2.6M The Lowdown: Duffey was the Twins' best reliever and one of the best relievers in the American League, so he should at least double his 2020 salary in arbitration. Still, at somewhere in the range of $2.5 to $3 million, he'll be a tremendous bargain. With free agency only two years away, this might be an opportune time for the Twins to pitch his agent on an extension. Matt Wisler, RP 2nd Year of 3 in Arbitration 2020 Salary: $725K Key Stat: 1.07 ERA and 12.4 K/9 in first year with Twins (25.1 IP) Arbitration Salary Estimates: TD: $1.5M | MLBTR: $1.8M The Lowdown: The Twins claimed Wisler off waivers last offseason, seeing promise in his slider, and were rewarded to the fullest. He threw that pitch a career-high 83% of the time in his first season as a Twin, and completely dominated with it, holding opponents to a .143/.141/.221 slash line. It was the nastiest pitch on the Twins and one of the nastiest in baseball. Due to his lack of a track record prior to 2020, Wisler will still be quite cheap – likely under $2 million. Obviously he's back, though it's worth wondering how highly the Twins are prepared to slot him in the bullpen hierarchy. José Berríos, SP Year 2 of 3 in Arbitration 2020 Salary: $4.025M Key Stat: Since his debut on April 27th, 2016, only 11 MLB pitchers have logged more innings than Berríos. Arbitration Salary Estimates: TD: $7.5M | MLBTR: $7.5M The Lowdown: Durability has been Berríos' calling card as an MLB starter, and it shined through again in 2020 as he made a team-leading 12 starts. He took a bit of a step backward performance-wise (4.00 ERA and 1.32 WHIP were both the highest since his rookie year in 2016), but not enough to prevent him from getting a hefty raise. With free agency approaching at the end of 2022, the Twins are running out of leverage in extension talks, but they've had a hard time finding traction in those discussions during the past couple winters. Byron Buxton, CF Year 3 of 4 in Arbitration 2020 Salary: $3.075M Key Stat: Since start of 2018, Twins are 102-52 (.662) with Buxton, and 113-117 (.491) without. Arbitration Salary Estimates: TD: $6M | MLBTR: $5.9M The Lowdown: Durability has ... not been Buxton's calling card. He's been one of the biggest difference-makers in the game when on the field over the past three years, but has missed about 60% of the team's games during that span. The 2020 season, like most others, ended with Buxton injured and unable to play. This both diminishes his earning power in arbitration, and complicates the long-term picture. Can the Twins afford to go all-in on him when he has so consistently proven unable to stay healthy? Will his injury history make him more open to the security of a contract extension? Taylor Rogers, RP Year 3 of 4 in Arbitration 2020 Salary: $4.45M Key Stat: In 2018 & 2019, ranked 4th among MLB relievers in fWAR and 6th in WPA. In 2020, ranked 33rd and 169th (out of 173). Arbitration Salary Estimates: TD: $7M | MLBTR: $6.9M The Lowdown: For several years, Rogers was as good as it gets. He was a shutdown bullpen reliever, and essentially match-up proof, consistently coming through in the clutch to rank as one of the game's best high-leverage performers. In late 2019, that started to change, and this year the negative trend continued. His 2020 numbers weren't all that bad, on the surface – 4.05 ERA, 2.84 FIP, 6.00 K/BB ratio, just two home runs allowed – but Rogers was not a dependable back-end arm. And while there's a good chance he bounces back, the pricetag of around $7 million is quite high, especially with the Twins (probably) scaling back payroll and looking for cost savings. Eddie Rosario, LF Year 3 of 3 in Arbitration 2020 Salary: $7.75M Key Stat: Ranks 98th out of 128 qualified MLB players in fWAR since start of 2019. Arbitration Salary Estimates: TD: $10M | MLBTR: $12.9M The Lowdown: We were a little more conservative on Rosario's salary estimate than MLBTR, who foresees him making nearly $13 million in his final year of arbitration. At either number, it's going to be tough to justify keeping Rosario around. While he's been a reliable source of home runs and RBIs, he rates as a roughly average player overall, with poor defense and declining speed offsetting much of the (checkered) value he offers at the plate. Given the presence of multiple cheap replacement options – including Alex Kirilloff, who successfully debuted in the playoffs – it's tough to imagine the Twins keeping Rosario around ... unless they can non-tender him and reach agreement on a lower number. Would you keep Rosario and/or Rogers around at the heightened price tags? Where do you stand with the other arbitration-eligible players and contract extension candidates? Weigh in below. ~~~ You can tune into the next Offseason Live broadcast via Twins Daily's Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube page. It'll be an interactive show where viewers help steer the conversation via comments and questions. You'll also be able to watch the replay tomorrow here on the site, or via audio by subscribing to our podcast. In the meantime, check out previous episodes of Offseason Live and see what's upcoming: Ep 1: (Thurs, 10/8) Ep 2: (Tues, 10/13) Ep 3: (Thurs, 10/15) Ep 4: (Tues, 10/20) Ep 5: Free Agency – Catchers & Infield (Thurs, 10/22) Ep 6: Free Agency – Outfield & DH (Tues, 10/27) Ep 7: Free Agency – Starting Pitchers (Thurs, 10/29) Ep 8: Free Agency – Relief Pitchers (Thurs, 11/5) Ep 9: Twins Trade Targets (Tues, 11/10) Ep 10: Offseason Blueprints (Thurs, 11/12) MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
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