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  1. Two of the top four free agent starting pitchers are now spoken for, but early this morning, the Twins were linked to the biggest remaining prize, AL Cy Young winner Robbie Ray. Not surprisingly, they are not alone. The New York Post’s Joel Sherman also listed the Tigers, San Francisco Giants, Rangers and Angels as suitors for Ray’s services, and previously the Red Sox and Blue Jays had been mentioned. However, it’s worth noting that several of these teams have already signed free agent pitchers this offseason, perhaps limiting their interest. For instance, the Blue Jays reportedly now have an agreement with another of the other four premier pitchers on this list, Kevin Gausman. On the other hand, who wouldn’t want to add Ray? Last year he posted a 2.84 ERA over 193.1 innings, striking out 11.5 per nine innings. Most importantly, the 30-year-old’s career struggles with his control completely disappeared: he walked only 2.4 batters per nine innings, after averaging 5.1 per nine from 2018-2020. If the Twins want to play, they’ll need to pay. MLBTradeRumors predicted Ray would receive a $130M contract, 5-year deal on the open market. Given some of the other contracts we’re seeing, that estimate may be a little high, but any deal would certainly exceed $100M. What’s more, they’ll also likely need to move fast. The two premier pitchers who are at least very close to greements - Gausman and Max Scherzer - have done so in in the last 24 hours as teams and players scramble to get something done before MLB's Collective Bargaining Agreement expires on Wednesday. It is widely anticipate that event will lead to a work stoppage, effectively killing the offseason market for both sides. That urgency is further heightened by concerns that normally mundane details, like getting physicals done, will need to be completed by then for contracts to be valid. The Twins entered the offseason with at least three spots in their starting rotation to fill, and as of yet have not signed any free agents. They did, however, reach an agreement yesterday with star center fielder Byron Buxton on a 7-year extension. But starting pitching remains the team’s biggest need, and the available arms are dwindling fast. Even beyond the top four arms, other highly attractive targets like Noah Syndegaard, Justin Verlander, Eduardo Rodriguez, Anthony Desclafini and many others have signed within the last two weeks. View full article
  2. The New York Post’s Joel Sherman also listed the Tigers, San Francisco Giants, Rangers and Angels as suitors for Ray’s services, and previously the Red Sox and Blue Jays had been mentioned. However, it’s worth noting that several of these teams have already signed free agent pitchers this offseason, perhaps limiting their interest. For instance, the Blue Jays reportedly now have an agreement with another of the other four premier pitchers on this list, Kevin Gausman. On the other hand, who wouldn’t want to add Ray? Last year he posted a 2.84 ERA over 193.1 innings, striking out 11.5 per nine innings. Most importantly, the 30-year-old’s career struggles with his control completely disappeared: he walked only 2.4 batters per nine innings, after averaging 5.1 per nine from 2018-2020. If the Twins want to play, they’ll need to pay. MLBTradeRumors predicted Ray would receive a $130M contract, 5-year deal on the open market. Given some of the other contracts we’re seeing, that estimate may be a little high, but any deal would certainly exceed $100M. What’s more, they’ll also likely need to move fast. The two premier pitchers who are at least very close to greements - Gausman and Max Scherzer - have done so in in the last 24 hours as teams and players scramble to get something done before MLB's Collective Bargaining Agreement expires on Wednesday. It is widely anticipate that event will lead to a work stoppage, effectively killing the offseason market for both sides. That urgency is further heightened by concerns that normally mundane details, like getting physicals done, will need to be completed by then for contracts to be valid. The Twins entered the offseason with at least three spots in their starting rotation to fill, and as of yet have not signed any free agents. They did, however, reach an agreement yesterday with star center fielder Byron Buxton on a 7-year extension. But starting pitching remains the team’s biggest need, and the available arms are dwindling fast. Even beyond the top four arms, other highly attractive targets like Noah Syndegaard, Justin Verlander, Eduardo Rodriguez, Anthony Desclafini and many others have signed within the last two weeks.
  3. Minnesota's current front office has been in this position before, with the team focused on adding a front-line starter. This winter is the time to outbid other clubs to get a top-tier pitcher in a Twins uniform. Minnesota will need to hit on some cheaper rotation options to be competitive in 2022, and these buy-low candidates all fit that bill. However, affordable rotation options aren't going to help the team to contend. In recent years, the current front office has targeted some of the top free-agent pitchers, but none have accepted Minnesota's offer. Leading into the 2019 season, Minnesota targeted Zach Wheeler and offered him a contract north of $100 million. He eventually signed with Philadelphia for $118 million. Minnesota looked into Madison Bumgarner that same winter, but he took a below-market deal to pitch close to his ranch in Arizona. The Twins had to pivot that winter and ended up signing Josh Donaldson, but that didn't help their starting pitching deficiency. Trading for Kenta Maeda was undoubtedly a move that bolstered the rotation for multiple seasons. Unfortunately, he is likely out for all of 2022 following Tommy John surgery. Minnesota signed Randy Dobnak to a unique contract extension last winter, and he followed that up with the worst season of his career. The front office has tried different avenues to build the starting staff even if they haven't worked out. Some fans may point to Jose Berrios as one player the Twins could have overpaid to stay at the top of the team's rotation. Some of the top-tier starting pitchers this year compare very similarly to Berrios. However, he and his team have gone through the arbitration process with the goal of him hitting free agency and capitalizing on his value. Minnesota was right to trade him away when his value was highest, and they have the same opportunity as the other clubs to sign him following the 2022 campaign. Free-agent starting pitching is something the Twins haven't spent a lot on in the past, and now the timing may be right. Some of the available veteran starting pitchers aren't going to consider Minnesota as a viable option. They see their careers as coming to a close, and there's no guarantee the Twins will be relevant in 2022. This crosses Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, and Clayton Kershaw off the list, but there are other names to consider. Two other top-tier free agents, Carlos Rodon and Noah Syndergaard have injury concerns that teams will want to avoid. There is certainly the upside potential with these two players, but the risk may not be worth the reward. This leaves players like Kevin Gausman, Robbie Ray, and Marcus Stroman as the remaining top tier starting pitcher targets. Based on Minnesota's previous track record, the only way to get an ace to Minnesota is to overpay. All three of the pitchers mentioned above will cost over $20 million per season, with Gausman and Ray having the potential to make even more. Even if the Twins are out of contention in 2022, these three players can be part of the franchise's next winning window. Other pitching will be needed, but Minnesota needs to outbid other teams to get a name penciled at the top of the rotation. To read more about this year's crop of free-agent pitchers, make sure to order your copy of the 2022 Offseason Handbook. If you order today, it will be sent directly to your email. Which pitcher do you think the Twins are most likely to target? 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 View full article
  4. Minnesota will need to hit on some cheaper rotation options to be competitive in 2022, and these buy-low candidates all fit that bill. However, affordable rotation options aren't going to help the team to contend. In recent years, the current front office has targeted some of the top free-agent pitchers, but none have accepted Minnesota's offer. Leading into the 2019 season, Minnesota targeted Zach Wheeler and offered him a contract north of $100 million. He eventually signed with Philadelphia for $118 million. Minnesota looked into Madison Bumgarner that same winter, but he took a below-market deal to pitch close to his ranch in Arizona. The Twins had to pivot that winter and ended up signing Josh Donaldson, but that didn't help their starting pitching deficiency. Trading for Kenta Maeda was undoubtedly a move that bolstered the rotation for multiple seasons. Unfortunately, he is likely out for all of 2022 following Tommy John surgery. Minnesota signed Randy Dobnak to a unique contract extension last winter, and he followed that up with the worst season of his career. The front office has tried different avenues to build the starting staff even if they haven't worked out. Some fans may point to Jose Berrios as one player the Twins could have overpaid to stay at the top of the team's rotation. Some of the top-tier starting pitchers this year compare very similarly to Berrios. However, he and his team have gone through the arbitration process with the goal of him hitting free agency and capitalizing on his value. Minnesota was right to trade him away when his value was highest, and they have the same opportunity as the other clubs to sign him following the 2022 campaign. Free-agent starting pitching is something the Twins haven't spent a lot on in the past, and now the timing may be right. Some of the available veteran starting pitchers aren't going to consider Minnesota as a viable option. They see their careers as coming to a close, and there's no guarantee the Twins will be relevant in 2022. This crosses Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, and Clayton Kershaw off the list, but there are other names to consider. Two other top-tier free agents, Carlos Rodon and Noah Syndergaard have injury concerns that teams will want to avoid. There is certainly the upside potential with these two players, but the risk may not be worth the reward. This leaves players like Kevin Gausman, Robbie Ray, and Marcus Stroman as the remaining top tier starting pitcher targets. Based on Minnesota's previous track record, the only way to get an ace to Minnesota is to overpay. All three of the pitchers mentioned above will cost over $20 million per season, with Gausman and Ray having the potential to make even more. Even if the Twins are out of contention in 2022, these three players can be part of the franchise's next winning window. Other pitching will be needed, but Minnesota needs to outbid other teams to get a name penciled at the top of the rotation. To read more about this year's crop of free-agent pitchers, make sure to order your copy of the 2022 Offseason Handbook. If you order today, it will be sent directly to your email. Which pitcher do you think the Twins are most likely to target? 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
  5. There is no denying that the 2021 offseason for the Minnesota Twins went about as poorly as possible. Knowing what we know now, though, what would the ideal offseason have looked like for the Twins? This offseason, the Minnesota Twins made six free agent signings and all of them (save for Nelson Cruz) blew up in their faces. The Minnesota Twins front office misfired badly and the losing season they are going through is the result. But what if things played out differently? In a “hindsight is 20/20” thought exercise, let’s play out what the ideal version of the 2021 offseason would have looked like for the Minnesota Twins and see how the Twins front office could have best spent their offseason dollars. In this thought exercise I am giving the Minnesota Twins the same budget as they spent in their actual offseason, which was approximately $41.75M. Additionally in this exercise, the Twins’ “ideal” offseason signings will need to be signed at a 20% increase over what they actually signed for in the offseason. This 20% increase would account for the the Twins prying away the players from the teams they actually signed with, making this a more realistic scenario of what could have been. Are “what if” games pointless as they have no bearing in reality? Probably. Are they fun? You bet they are! So let’s run through these... Designated Hitter Actual Offseason signing: Nelson Cruz - 1 year, $13MM Ideal Offseason signing: Nelson Cruz - 1 year, $13MM The only of the six offseason signings from the Twins’ offseason that they would redo in our ideal version would be bringing back Nelson Cruz on a 1 year, $13MM deal. In his 214 plate appearances with the Minnesota Twins this season, Cruz posted a .907 OPS, which led the team and was third-best in baseball after Shohei Ohtani and J.D. Martinez. The Twins had a clear need at designated hitter and opted to fill that slot with Cruz which was the right choice, which is why the Twins would make that same move again, if they knew then what they know now. Middle Infield Actual offseason signing: Andrelton Simmons - 1 year, $10.5MM Ideal Offseason signing: Kolten Wong - 2 year, $21.6MM After Nelson Cruz, the Andrelton Simmons signing was the largest investment that the Minnesota Twins made last offseason. The thought was that Simmons’ bat would play well enough and that his glove would completely transform the team. While his glove has been solid (though not spectacular), Simmons is having one of the worst offensive seasons in team history, with his OPS of .565. In our ideal offseason, the Minnesota Twins would have signed Kolten Wong for a 2 year, $21.6MM contract. Wong has been excellent with the Milwaukee Brewers this year and owns a .810 OPS. Wong is only 30-years-old and would be under contract again for the Twins next season. Wong plays second base, which means the Twins would’ve needed to keep Jorge Polanco at shortstop under these circumstances, but at 2.7 fWAR compared to Simmons’s -0.3, signing Wong over Andrelton would’ve made a big difference for the Twins. Starting Pitcher Actual offseason signing: J.A. Happ - 1 year, $8MM Ideal Offseason signing: Robbie Ray - 1 year, $9.6MM The Minnesota Twins signed J.A. Happ last offseason hoping that he could fill the fourth starter role for the Twins in 2022. Instead, Happ completely imploded for Minnesota, posting a 6.77 ERA in 19 starts. What makes the Happ signing hurt even more for the Twins is that southpaw Robbie Ray signed with the Toronto Blue Jays for the identical 1 year, $8MM deal that J.A. Happ signed for. Under this exercise, the Twins would’ve needed to pay a 20% premium to guarantee Ray’s services, but for a 1 year, $9.6MM the Twins could have signed Ray who has a 2.71 ERA on the season and just became the all-time leader in K/9 in MLB history. Starting Pitcher Actual offseason signing: Matt Shoemaker - 1 year, $2MM Ideal Offseason signing: Carlos Rodón - 1 year, $3.6MM While J.A. Happ pitched terribly for the Minnesota Twins during his tenure here, Matt Shoemaker was even worse. In 16 appearances with the Twins, Shoemaker posted a 8.06 ERA and was worth -0.7 fWAR before getting DFA’d and ultimately released. At a 20% premium, the Minnesota Twins could have signed Carlos Rodón for just $3.6MM and gotten a pitcher who has been a revolution for the White Sox this year, with a 2.43 ERA and a 12.8 K/9. Relief Pitcher Actual offseason signing: Alexander Colomé - 1 year, $6.25MM Ideal Offseason signing: Sergio Romo - 1 year, $3MM Moving to the bullpen, Alexander Colomé was yet another disastrous signing for the Minnesota Twins this offseason, as he has a 4.26 ERA, six blown saves and the worst win probability added on the team. In their ideal offseason, the Minnesota Twins would have simply brought back Sergio Romo, who they let walk last offseason, for half of the price of Colomé. Romo has put together a 3.18 ERA in 54 appearances with the Oakland Athletics and has thrived there in a high-leverage role. Relief Pitcher Actual offseason signing: Hansel Robles - 1 year, $2MM Ideal Offseason signing: Collin McCugh - 1 year, $2.16MM Finally, in their ideal offseason the Minnesota Twins would have avoided Hansel Robles and his 4.91 ERA in Minnesota in favor of Collin McHugh for nearly the same price tag. McHugh signed with Tampa Bay this offseason and has been spectacular, featuring a 1.40 ERA and 11.6 K/9. Overall let’s compare the actual offseason for the Minnesota Twins to what the ideal offseason would have looked like: Actual offseason $ spent: $41.75MM Ideal offseason $ spent: $42.16MM Actual offseason fWAR acquired (with Twins): 0.2 fWAR Ideal offseason fWAR acquired: 14.4 fWAR Again, hindsight is always 20/20 and ideal history is always going to be an unfair game to play, but laying out what the ideal offseason for the Twins would have looked like is not only fun, but interesting to look at the types of players that succeeded as we try to find free agent options for the 2022 season. What trends stick out to you from the list of “ideal” free agents above? Which of the above names were you clamoring for the Twins to sign at the time? Leave a comment below and start the conversation! View full article
  6. This offseason, the Minnesota Twins made six free agent signings and all of them (save for Nelson Cruz) blew up in their faces. The Minnesota Twins front office misfired badly and the losing season they are going through is the result. But what if things played out differently? In a “hindsight is 20/20” thought exercise, let’s play out what the ideal version of the 2021 offseason would have looked like for the Minnesota Twins and see how the Twins front office could have best spent their offseason dollars. In this thought exercise I am giving the Minnesota Twins the same budget as they spent in their actual offseason, which was approximately $41.75M. Additionally in this exercise, the Twins’ “ideal” offseason signings will need to be signed at a 20% increase over what they actually signed for in the offseason. This 20% increase would account for the the Twins prying away the players from the teams they actually signed with, making this a more realistic scenario of what could have been. Are “what if” games pointless as they have no bearing in reality? Probably. Are they fun? You bet they are! So let’s run through these... Designated Hitter Actual Offseason signing: Nelson Cruz - 1 year, $13MM Ideal Offseason signing: Nelson Cruz - 1 year, $13MM The only of the six offseason signings from the Twins’ offseason that they would redo in our ideal version would be bringing back Nelson Cruz on a 1 year, $13MM deal. In his 214 plate appearances with the Minnesota Twins this season, Cruz posted a .907 OPS, which led the team and was third-best in baseball after Shohei Ohtani and J.D. Martinez. The Twins had a clear need at designated hitter and opted to fill that slot with Cruz which was the right choice, which is why the Twins would make that same move again, if they knew then what they know now. Middle Infield Actual offseason signing: Andrelton Simmons - 1 year, $10.5MM Ideal Offseason signing: Kolten Wong - 2 year, $21.6MM After Nelson Cruz, the Andrelton Simmons signing was the largest investment that the Minnesota Twins made last offseason. The thought was that Simmons’ bat would play well enough and that his glove would completely transform the team. While his glove has been solid (though not spectacular), Simmons is having one of the worst offensive seasons in team history, with his OPS of .565. In our ideal offseason, the Minnesota Twins would have signed Kolten Wong for a 2 year, $21.6MM contract. Wong has been excellent with the Milwaukee Brewers this year and owns a .810 OPS. Wong is only 30-years-old and would be under contract again for the Twins next season. Wong plays second base, which means the Twins would’ve needed to keep Jorge Polanco at shortstop under these circumstances, but at 2.7 fWAR compared to Simmons’s -0.3, signing Wong over Andrelton would’ve made a big difference for the Twins. Starting Pitcher Actual offseason signing: J.A. Happ - 1 year, $8MM Ideal Offseason signing: Robbie Ray - 1 year, $9.6MM The Minnesota Twins signed J.A. Happ last offseason hoping that he could fill the fourth starter role for the Twins in 2022. Instead, Happ completely imploded for Minnesota, posting a 6.77 ERA in 19 starts. What makes the Happ signing hurt even more for the Twins is that southpaw Robbie Ray signed with the Toronto Blue Jays for the identical 1 year, $8MM deal that J.A. Happ signed for. Under this exercise, the Twins would’ve needed to pay a 20% premium to guarantee Ray’s services, but for a 1 year, $9.6MM the Twins could have signed Ray who has a 2.71 ERA on the season and just became the all-time leader in K/9 in MLB history. Starting Pitcher Actual offseason signing: Matt Shoemaker - 1 year, $2MM Ideal Offseason signing: Carlos Rodón - 1 year, $3.6MM While J.A. Happ pitched terribly for the Minnesota Twins during his tenure here, Matt Shoemaker was even worse. In 16 appearances with the Twins, Shoemaker posted a 8.06 ERA and was worth -0.7 fWAR before getting DFA’d and ultimately released. At a 20% premium, the Minnesota Twins could have signed Carlos Rodón for just $3.6MM and gotten a pitcher who has been a revolution for the White Sox this year, with a 2.43 ERA and a 12.8 K/9. Relief Pitcher Actual offseason signing: Alexander Colomé - 1 year, $6.25MM Ideal Offseason signing: Sergio Romo - 1 year, $3MM Moving to the bullpen, Alexander Colomé was yet another disastrous signing for the Minnesota Twins this offseason, as he has a 4.26 ERA, six blown saves and the worst win probability added on the team. In their ideal offseason, the Minnesota Twins would have simply brought back Sergio Romo, who they let walk last offseason, for half of the price of Colomé. Romo has put together a 3.18 ERA in 54 appearances with the Oakland Athletics and has thrived there in a high-leverage role. Relief Pitcher Actual offseason signing: Hansel Robles - 1 year, $2MM Ideal Offseason signing: Collin McCugh - 1 year, $2.16MM Finally, in their ideal offseason the Minnesota Twins would have avoided Hansel Robles and his 4.91 ERA in Minnesota in favor of Collin McHugh for nearly the same price tag. McHugh signed with Tampa Bay this offseason and has been spectacular, featuring a 1.40 ERA and 11.6 K/9. Overall let’s compare the actual offseason for the Minnesota Twins to what the ideal offseason would have looked like: Actual offseason $ spent: $41.75MM Ideal offseason $ spent: $42.16MM Actual offseason fWAR acquired (with Twins): 0.2 fWAR Ideal offseason fWAR acquired: 14.4 fWAR Again, hindsight is always 20/20 and ideal history is always going to be an unfair game to play, but laying out what the ideal offseason for the Twins would have looked like is not only fun, but interesting to look at the types of players that succeeded as we try to find free agent options for the 2022 season. What trends stick out to you from the list of “ideal” free agents above? Which of the above names were you clamoring for the Twins to sign at the time? Leave a comment below and start the conversation!
  7. I will be listing four starters the Twins could acquire via trade along with their age, team and free agency year. While none of them are Noah Sydergaard or Max Scherzer, the trades I listed would definitely help the team. Detroit Tigers: Matthew Boyd, 28, 2023 Free Agent 2019 statistics: 4.56 ERA, 4.32 FIP, 1.23 WHIP, 4.76 K/BB, 3.3 WAR Boyd will be very interesting to monitor over the offseason. He was being shopped at the trade deadline, but Detroit was persistent on wanting major league talent which teams in contention were obviously reluctant to part ways with. The hope is that now, after a rough second half (5.51 ERA), the price will drop enough for a team to acquire him. The Tigers southpaw is extremely talented, but his main problem was giving up the long ball (worst HR/9 in MLB at 1.89). He held an elite 11.56 K/9 while his walk rate dropped from 2018. Boyd would hold a top two or three spot in the rotation until 2023. Now it just depends on what Detroit is asking for. Colorado Rockies: Jon Gray, 27, 2022 Free Agent 2019 statistics: 3.84 ERA, 4.06 FIP, 1.35 WHIP, 2.68 K/BB, 2.9 WAR The Rockies are coming off a 91-loss season and could be looking to part ways with a starting pitcher. Gray would be a nice piece for the middle of the Twins rotation, and the Rockies could be a solid team for Eddie Rosario to potentially join because of Coors Field. A trade for Gray would likely require three players who can contribute now or very soon. Pittsburgh Pirates: Joe Musgrove, 26, 2023 Free Agent 2019 statistics: 4.44 ERA, 3.82 FIP, 1.22 WHIP, 4.03 K/BB, 3.3 WAR Musgrove is someone whom no one is really talking about, and I first heard his name from Twins Daily contributor Matt Braun on Twitter. He is coming off his best season and at 26-years-old with three years of control, he would slide right in to the long-term rotation plans. He has a fastball/sinker combo that was hit hard last season, but an excellent slider and changeup make for an interesting Wes Johnson fix. Arizona Diamondbacks: Robbie Ray. 28, 2021 Free Agent 2019 statistics: 4.34 ERA, 4.29 FIP, 1.34 WHIP, 2.4 WAR Robbie Ray is interesting because he would be a one-year rental, but if the Diamondbacks are open to selling him for a small price then it would be a solid move. Ray is someone I was really hoping the Twins would acquire at the deadline, but ultimately the price was just too high. Hopefully now that Arizona is unlikely to win in 2020, he will be easier to acquire and could slide in as an excellent number four starter.
  8. The Minnesota Twins are in store for a starting rotation overhaul this offseason with only Jose Berrios and Martin Perez under contract. The free agent market will definitely be explored, but the area the Twins could land a top of the rotation starter might be the trade market. With the opportunity to win wide open along with an abundance of prospects, the time is now for Falvey and Levine to make a trade.I will be listing four starters the Twins could acquire via trade along with their age, team and free agency year. While none of them are Noah Sydergaard or Max Scherzer, the trades I listed would definitely help the team. Detroit Tigers: Matthew Boyd, 28, 2023 Free Agent 2019 statistics: 4.56 ERA, 4.32 FIP, 1.23 WHIP, 4.76 K/BB, 3.3 WARBoyd will be very interesting to monitor over the offseason. He was being shopped at the trade deadline, but Detroit was persistent on wanting major league talent which teams in contention were obviously reluctant to part ways with. The hope is that now, after a rough second half (5.51 ERA), the price will drop enough for a team to acquire him. The Tigers southpaw is extremely talented, but his main problem was giving up the long ball (worst HR/9 in MLB at 1.89). He held an elite 11.56 K/9 while his walk rate dropped from 2018. Boyd would hold a top two or three spot in the rotation until 2023. Now it just depends on what Detroit is asking for. Colorado Rockies: Jon Gray, 27, 2022 Free Agent 2019 statistics: 3.84 ERA, 4.06 FIP, 1.35 WHIP, 2.68 K/BB, 2.9 WARThe Rockies are coming off a 91-loss season and could be looking to part ways with a starting pitcher. Gray would be a nice piece for the middle of the Twins rotation, and the Rockies could be a solid team for Eddie Rosario to potentially join because of Coors Field. A trade for Gray would likely require three players who can contribute now or very soon. Pittsburgh Pirates: Joe Musgrove, 26, 2023 Free Agent 2019 statistics: 4.44 ERA, 3.82 FIP, 1.22 WHIP, 4.03 K/BB, 3.3 WARMusgrove is someone whom no one is really talking about, and I first heard his name from Twins Daily contributor Matt Braun on Twitter. He is coming off his best season and at 26-years-old with three years of control, he would slide right in to the long-term rotation plans. He has a fastball/sinker combo that was hit hard last season, but an excellent slider and changeup make for an interesting Wes Johnson fix. Arizona Diamondbacks: Robbie Ray. 28, 2021 Free Agent 2019 statistics: 4.34 ERA, 4.29 FIP, 1.34 WHIP, 2.4 WARRobbie Ray is interesting because he would be a one-year rental, but if the Diamondbacks are open to selling him for a small price then it would be a solid move. Ray is someone I was really hoping the Twins would acquire at the deadline, but ultimately the price was just too high. Hopefully now that Arizona is unlikely to win in 2020, he will be easier to acquire and could slide in as an excellent number four starter. Click here to view the article
  9. We finally have an RSS feed! Listening to the podcast is much easier than it ever has been before. We use Spotify and next week we hope to be approved for iTunes, but for the Spotify version click the link below! https://open.spotify.com/episode/0oFNDwbho6tEhWSRwNfbG8 If you have any comments or want to ask some questions for next weeks podcast, just tag our twitter accounts with the comment or question... Matt: Matthew_btwins Cooper: Carlson_MNTwins
  10. The MLB trade deadline is just a couple weeks away and the Minnesota Twins are 58-35 with World Series aspirations this season. For a few months now, there has been constant speculation as to who or if the Twins will be adding to push this team over the top and truly become the team to beat for the AL pennant. Most of the speculation has been about adding some high-leverage arms to the bullpen, and that is likely going to happen, but it has begun to look more and more like adding an arm to the rotation is something the Twins will look to do. Over the last month, the Twins bullpen has a 3.02 ERA, 4.01 FIP (4.26 xFIP), 1.08 WHIP, and 8.79 K/9. They have been much better than the starters over that time with the starters having a combined 4.48 ERA, 4.11 FIP (4.39 xFIP), 1.31 WHIP and a 8.09 K/9. With the rotation hitting a bit of a rough stretch and with the uncertainty of guys like Pineda (because of his recent surgeries) or Perez (because of inconsistency and past performance), adding an arm to the rotation could help. We have all heard of the rumors about guys like Matt Boyd, Madison Bumgarner, Marcus Stroman and Zack Wheeler so I decided to take a look at a couple guys who have not really been much talked about, but could be available for a good price. Sonny Gray It has been rumored lately that if the Twins were to acquire a starter, they would want team control beyond this season. Sonny Gray is now a 29-year-old veteran pitching for the Cincinnati Reds and is signed for three more years after 2019 with a 2023 option. He is making roughly $10 million per year. Gray was traded there this offseason and is having a great season so far and he even made the All-Star Game. His 3.42 ERA, 3.25 FIP, 1.18 WHIP, and 10.36 K/9 are all great and he would likely slot in right behind Odorizzi as the number three starter. Gray has a five-pitch arsenal with his curveball and slider being a couple of the best in baseball. He is in the 97th percentile for curveball spin with batters hitting just .169 against it while batters are hitting just .108 against the slider. The problem comes with his fastball, which has hung around 93.5 MPH his whole career. This season the AVG against it is .305 with a SLG of .453 but the expected statistics show he has been unlucky, with 30-40 points of positive regression likely for both stats. If MVP (most valuable pitching coach) Wes Johnson can unlock some more velocity to make the fastball better then we may have an elite pitcher here. Of course there are always the questions like will the Reds even be sellers? What would a trade for Gray cost? Will Gray be available? I would think the Reds are willing to sell anyone for the right price because even their young ace Luis Castillo was rumored to be in trade talks. I imagine it would be like last seasons Chris Archer trade where the Rays got two MLB ready players in Austin Meadows and Tyler Glasnow back. It could very well cost a package of something similar to Arraez/Thorpe to acquire Sonny Gray. He doesn’t have the same name value as someone like Trevor Bauer, but he may be a better upgrade. On the most recent Leading Off Podcast with fellow Twins Daily member Matt Braun we discussed Sonny Gray, so skip to the 52 minute mark. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-ZD_E7SPRg&feature=youtu.be Robbie Ray The Diamondbacks are sitting around a .500 record but they play in a division with the Dodgers so it is unlikely they make the playoffs. A wild card spot is open but that also would be difficult. They are stuck in the middle so they should trade away left-handed starter Robbie Ray to the Twins. Ray is having a great year, posting a 3.81 ERA, 4.04 FIP (3.89 xFIP) with a WHIP of 1.31 but the most interesting stats for him come with his walks and strikeouts. Robbie Ray is second in the NL with a K/9 of 11.76. Conversely he also has the worst BB/9 in the NL at 4.54. Then again, he also has the second best H/9. Basically, as a batter you go up there and either walk or get out with no other option. Just like Gray, his best pitches are his curveball and slider but the slider is used much more (34% compared to 14% on the curve) and opponents are hitting just .184 against it with a .356 SLG. His fastball hangs out around 92.5 MPH and he throws it 44.3% of the time. It isn't really anything special but it does a nice job of complementing the breaking balls. There is no certainty that the Diamondbacks will sell, but it might be wise because of the strong competition for a wild card spot and the already lost division. Plus they owe us for Eduardo Escobar, right? I have no idea what a package might look like for Ray but I doubt it would be an easy get. If the Twins feel like he would be the third-best pitcher on the team and it won’t cost you the farm then pull the trigger for some October wins. Overall, I think the Twins will be adding a rotation arm, especially now that it looks like Pineda is getting a reduced workload (he was limited to just 76 pitches his last outing). This front office doesn’t appear to be the type to go add a big name like Noah Syndergaard, and that could be a good thing. Acquiring a solid starter behind Berrios/Odorizzi and in front of Gibson gives you a stacked rotation for a deep October run. What do you think? Would you like either of these pitchers on the Twins, or is there someone else you have your eye on? Let me know in the comments.
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