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  1. Blame can be passed around when a team doesn't meet expectations. Who should receive blame for the Twins' failures, and who is most responsible? Image courtesy of Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports The Twins are finishing a terrible September that saw the team go from contender to pretender in a few weeks. There are plenty of reasons for fans to be frustrated, but the season's conclusion offers time to reflect on the 2022 campaign. Here are the people most responsible for the Twins' downfall this season. Culprit 1: The Front Office The front office will take the brunt of the blame for any team that falls short of its ultimate goal. Last off-season was unique because of the lockout, and Minnesota took a unique approach to construct the roster. Derek Falvey and Thad Levine thought the pitching pipeline was ready to contribute in 2022, so the team didn't need to acquire any of the best free agent pitchers. This plan failed as the team's farm system took a step back, and the pitching pipeline has yet to arrive. It's also easy to blame the front office for some of the prominent players the team acquired during the 2022 season. Minnesota traded Taylor Rogers shortly before Opening Day for Chris Paddack and Emilio Pagan. The timing of the trade was terrible, even if Rogers ended up having a poor season. Paddack was terrific for four games before needing Tommy John surgery. Pagan has been one of baseball's worst relievers for multiple seasons, and the team continued to use him in high-leverage situations. Minnesota's front office received praise following July's trade deadline because it seemed like the team was "going for it." Neither of the other AL Central teams made significant moves, and the Twins acquired Tyler Mahle, Jorge Lopez, and Michael Fulmer. Mahle has struggled with a shoulder injury since being acquired, and Lopez hasn't lived up to his All-Star performance from the first half. Mahle's acquisition might be the most frustrating as he added his name to a growing list of injured pitchers the Twins acquired via trade. In the end, the front office was wrong about the organization's young pitchers being ready to contribute. Falvey and Levine didn't address the bullpen in the offseason, which haunted the team. It cost the team multiple prospects at the trade deadline after the club had already been treading water for most of June and July. Now, the front office is facing a critical offseason as this current group's winning window is closing. Culprit 2: Rocco Baldelli Minnesota's front office gave Baldelli a vote of confidence over the weekend when they said he is part of the team's long-term plans. Fans may still blame the manager for the team's poor performance for multiple months. Obviously, he has been dealing with one of baseball's most injured rosters, but the team doesn't seem to have much fight left in them. Last season, the team was out of the race for much of the season, but the club played well in September as younger players got an opportunity. This year's team played its worst baseball in September. Sometimes it's easy to forget that preseason models projected this team to finish around .500. Pitching staff usage is one of the most significant areas where fans blame a manager. Many will point fingers at Baldelli for his bullpen usage or for pulling his starters too early. However, it is also essential to consider that the team lost its pitching coach in the middle of the season. Minnesota's bullpen was terrible, and there is only so much Baldelli can do with the players on the roster. Also, Twins starters were rarely allowed to face a line-up for the third time, a philosophy many organizations have adopted in recent years. Baldelli deserves some blame, but even baseball's best manager wouldn't have won with Minnesota this season. Culprit 3: Injuries It's easy for anyone looking at the Twins' 2022 season to blame injuries for the team's poor performance. No American League team has put more players on the IL than the Twins this season. At one point, Minnesota had nearly a full roster of players on the IL, and it was a team that could be reasonably competitive in the AL Central. The Reds are the only club with more days lost to injury than the Twins, but anyone following the team knows that number doesn't tell the whole story. Minnesota allowed many players to stay off the IL even when injuries hampered their performance. Bryon Buxton talked his way out of multiple IL stints, and there were stretches where he struggled on the field. Jorge Polanco tried to play through an injury, Tyler Mahle made two starts at less than 100%, and Max Kepler played through a broken toe. Few organizations have the depth to withstand the number of injuries the Twins suffered in 2022. Reflecting on a season that started with renewed expectations can be challenging. However, there is plenty of blame to go around as the season winds to a close. Who deserves the most blame for the Twins' failures in 2022? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. View full article
  2. The Twins are finishing a terrible September that saw the team go from contender to pretender in a few weeks. There are plenty of reasons for fans to be frustrated, but the season's conclusion offers time to reflect on the 2022 campaign. Here are the people most responsible for the Twins' downfall this season. Culprit 1: The Front Office The front office will take the brunt of the blame for any team that falls short of its ultimate goal. Last off-season was unique because of the lockout, and Minnesota took a unique approach to construct the roster. Derek Falvey and Thad Levine thought the pitching pipeline was ready to contribute in 2022, so the team didn't need to acquire any of the best free agent pitchers. This plan failed as the team's farm system took a step back, and the pitching pipeline has yet to arrive. It's also easy to blame the front office for some of the prominent players the team acquired during the 2022 season. Minnesota traded Taylor Rogers shortly before Opening Day for Chris Paddack and Emilio Pagan. The timing of the trade was terrible, even if Rogers ended up having a poor season. Paddack was terrific for four games before needing Tommy John surgery. Pagan has been one of baseball's worst relievers for multiple seasons, and the team continued to use him in high-leverage situations. Minnesota's front office received praise following July's trade deadline because it seemed like the team was "going for it." Neither of the other AL Central teams made significant moves, and the Twins acquired Tyler Mahle, Jorge Lopez, and Michael Fulmer. Mahle has struggled with a shoulder injury since being acquired, and Lopez hasn't lived up to his All-Star performance from the first half. Mahle's acquisition might be the most frustrating as he added his name to a growing list of injured pitchers the Twins acquired via trade. In the end, the front office was wrong about the organization's young pitchers being ready to contribute. Falvey and Levine didn't address the bullpen in the offseason, which haunted the team. It cost the team multiple prospects at the trade deadline after the club had already been treading water for most of June and July. Now, the front office is facing a critical offseason as this current group's winning window is closing. Culprit 2: Rocco Baldelli Minnesota's front office gave Baldelli a vote of confidence over the weekend when they said he is part of the team's long-term plans. Fans may still blame the manager for the team's poor performance for multiple months. Obviously, he has been dealing with one of baseball's most injured rosters, but the team doesn't seem to have much fight left in them. Last season, the team was out of the race for much of the season, but the club played well in September as younger players got an opportunity. This year's team played its worst baseball in September. Sometimes it's easy to forget that preseason models projected this team to finish around .500. Pitching staff usage is one of the most significant areas where fans blame a manager. Many will point fingers at Baldelli for his bullpen usage or for pulling his starters too early. However, it is also essential to consider that the team lost its pitching coach in the middle of the season. Minnesota's bullpen was terrible, and there is only so much Baldelli can do with the players on the roster. Also, Twins starters were rarely allowed to face a line-up for the third time, a philosophy many organizations have adopted in recent years. Baldelli deserves some blame, but even baseball's best manager wouldn't have won with Minnesota this season. Culprit 3: Injuries It's easy for anyone looking at the Twins' 2022 season to blame injuries for the team's poor performance. No American League team has put more players on the IL than the Twins this season. At one point, Minnesota had nearly a full roster of players on the IL, and it was a team that could be reasonably competitive in the AL Central. The Reds are the only club with more days lost to injury than the Twins, but anyone following the team knows that number doesn't tell the whole story. Minnesota allowed many players to stay off the IL even when injuries hampered their performance. Bryon Buxton talked his way out of multiple IL stints, and there were stretches where he struggled on the field. Jorge Polanco tried to play through an injury, Tyler Mahle made two starts at less than 100%, and Max Kepler played through a broken toe. Few organizations have the depth to withstand the number of injuries the Twins suffered in 2022. Reflecting on a season that started with renewed expectations can be challenging. However, there is plenty of blame to go around as the season winds to a close. Who deserves the most blame for the Twins' failures in 2022? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  3. The Minnesota Twins are trending towards a finish to the 2022 Major League Baseball season that has them looking at something near a .500 record. It was hardly how this had to go, but not far off from where projections initially suggested. If the organization is going to avoid another shakeup, then 2023 is do or die. Image courtesy of Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports Derek Falvey and Thad Levine took over the Minnesota Twins front office six seasons ago. 2023 will be year seven. In that timeframe the club has been to the postseason three times while winning two AL Central division titles. There’s certainly some success there, but ultimately it comes with an 0-6 record in the postseason, which has accounted for one-third of the 0-18 futility during October. There’s only a partial pass for the Twins to be had in 2022. The injuries were significant. 37 pitchers have been used for the first time in franchise history. Byron Buxton played injured from the jump, and time was missed by Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach, Max Kepler, and Jorge Polanco. All those things are fair to suggest that plenty has been working against Rocco Baldelli and his bosses. It’s also time to realize there’s no more room for error or excuses. It’s safe to say that the front office, and the manager, aren’t looking for a pass. Both those in the clubhouse and those employing it are looking for a way to create a sustainable winner for the future. Falvey was brought in to develop a pitching pipeline similar to that of Cleveland. Levine is a smart general manager who has made some shrewd moves. Baldelli can run a clubhouse and has orchestrated difficult decisions. For all the good each party has done, the results now have to follow. In year seven the Twins won’t, and shouldn’t be given the benefit of doubt. 2022 saw a franchise-high payroll that included the signing of superstar shortstop Carlos Correa. He fell into Minnesota’s lap and is likely gone over the offseason. It will be on the front office to appropriately name his replacement, and find ways to use that money. Plenty of the roster is penciled but almost all of it carries some level of uncertainty as to availability or expectation. There’s no more room for acquisitions like Dylan Bundy or Chris Archer. Every offseason addition has to be made under the premise of creating the best roster possible, with nothing added just to fill the fringes. Management can’t dictate any more reclamation projects to play a substantial role, and when something doesn’t work similar to Emilio Pagan this season, the plug has to be pulled. It’s more than fair to understand those running the Twins are an incredibly smart group with very good ideas. Both rooted in analytical outcomes and results based decision making, there’s probably never been a better group across the board. Ultimately though, the only thing that matters is the wins and losses, and they haven’t had enough of them. Over the winter the front office and coaching staff will need to find ways to improve internally. That will mean staffers being replaced, coaches being changed out, and developmental areas being addressed. This should be the last go-round for the collective as a whole, and there’s no excuse to forgo bringing in fresh faces to help reach the ultimate goal. There’s plenty of argument to be made that 2022 was never seen as the year to go “all in.” The trade deadline was navigated with a focus on the now, but a vision to the future as well. Fast forwarding to Opening Day 2023 and the future becomes now, with no more room for missteps. It’s time to come through on the vision, or change it entirely. View full article
  4. Coming into the 2022 Major League Baseball season the Minnesota Twins were largely projected as a runner-up to the Chicago White Sox in the AL Central Division. Now with the regular season coming to a close and it not playing out that way, how would you define the year as a whole? Image courtesy of Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports After limping through the last impactful series of the season against the Cleveland Guardians over the weekend, Minnesota’s postseason hopes were all but cooked. Having led the division for a vast majority of the season, injuries mounted and ultimately ruined any potential to hang on. That’s not to say injuries were the defining factor in falling short, Minnesota contributed to that plenty on their own as well. Relatively early on in the year, it was apparent that the AL Central was going to fade behind the competition. Chicago’s ineptitude was injury-related as well, but they were also horribly managed by Tony La Russa, and consistently played bad baseball defensively. Cleveland has a great manager in Terry Francona, and as expected, their pitching kept them in it while young players got their feet wet. Minnesota’s place in all of that got shuffled early after a strong May, but it shouldn’t be lost that no one seemed to want to win this division down the stretch. Therein lies the definition of the 2022 Minnesota Twins season: A failure to capitalize. Derek Falvey and Thad Levine didn’t throw all of Jim Pohlad’s resources at the 2022 season to suggest it was World Series or bust. Nothing about a bullpen addition of only Joe Smith said, “We’re all in.” However, what was done should’ve been enough and at every juncture, the Twins came up short. When the trade deadline came around and there was an opportunity to improve a winning ball club, the front office added a top-level starter in Tyler Mahle. They addressed the bullpen by bringing in Michael Fulmer and Jorge Lopez. Then, as it had all season long, it quickly was wiped out on and off the field. Every team has injuries, but very few had as many and those as impactful as the Twins. Byron Buxton played hurt from the jump. Pitching was constantly in flux. Alex Kirilloff never got better. They won through them, for a time. When Minnesota would create their own fortunes, generating base runners and putting guys in scoring position, they consistently failed to capitalize. Baserunning was bad, defense equally so. All season long the Twins found themselves with the opportunity to control their own destiny, run away and hide with the division, and create noise. Instead, they responded with more trips to the injured list, poor situational hitting, and an overall lack of execution. If we were to reflect on the season as a whole, taking a bit of a step back from the emotions down the stretch, maybe we should've seen this coming. After all, a .500 record was largely what was projected from the get-go. For a good portion of the season, all this team amounted to a .500 ballclub. Ultimately though, after creating their own good fortune, a wilting happened and nothing was done to substantiate it. There’s certainly a handful of different ways to get where Minnesota finished, but as The Athletic’s Aaron Gleeman put it, the Twins took the least enjoyable way to get there. Good teams capitalize on their opportunities, and although this one was masked as a good team for a while, they simply never capitalized on what was in front of them. View full article
  5. Derek Falvey and Thad Levine took over the Minnesota Twins front office six seasons ago. 2023 will be year seven. In that timeframe the club has been to the postseason three times while winning two AL Central division titles. There’s certainly some success there, but ultimately it comes with an 0-6 record in the postseason, which has accounted for one-third of the 0-18 futility during October. There’s only a partial pass for the Twins to be had in 2022. The injuries were significant. 37 pitchers have been used for the first time in franchise history. Byron Buxton played injured from the jump, and time was missed by Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach, Max Kepler, and Jorge Polanco. All those things are fair to suggest that plenty has been working against Rocco Baldelli and his bosses. It’s also time to realize there’s no more room for error or excuses. It’s safe to say that the front office, and the manager, aren’t looking for a pass. Both those in the clubhouse and those employing it are looking for a way to create a sustainable winner for the future. Falvey was brought in to develop a pitching pipeline similar to that of Cleveland. Levine is a smart general manager who has made some shrewd moves. Baldelli can run a clubhouse and has orchestrated difficult decisions. For all the good each party has done, the results now have to follow. In year seven the Twins won’t, and shouldn’t be given the benefit of doubt. 2022 saw a franchise-high payroll that included the signing of superstar shortstop Carlos Correa. He fell into Minnesota’s lap and is likely gone over the offseason. It will be on the front office to appropriately name his replacement, and find ways to use that money. Plenty of the roster is penciled but almost all of it carries some level of uncertainty as to availability or expectation. There’s no more room for acquisitions like Dylan Bundy or Chris Archer. Every offseason addition has to be made under the premise of creating the best roster possible, with nothing added just to fill the fringes. Management can’t dictate any more reclamation projects to play a substantial role, and when something doesn’t work similar to Emilio Pagan this season, the plug has to be pulled. It’s more than fair to understand those running the Twins are an incredibly smart group with very good ideas. Both rooted in analytical outcomes and results based decision making, there’s probably never been a better group across the board. Ultimately though, the only thing that matters is the wins and losses, and they haven’t had enough of them. Over the winter the front office and coaching staff will need to find ways to improve internally. That will mean staffers being replaced, coaches being changed out, and developmental areas being addressed. This should be the last go-round for the collective as a whole, and there’s no excuse to forgo bringing in fresh faces to help reach the ultimate goal. There’s plenty of argument to be made that 2022 was never seen as the year to go “all in.” The trade deadline was navigated with a focus on the now, but a vision to the future as well. Fast forwarding to Opening Day 2023 and the future becomes now, with no more room for missteps. It’s time to come through on the vision, or change it entirely.
  6. In the dire straits of September 2021, the Twins fanbase worried about the future of the franchise. The team had justifiably traded away both Nelson Cruz and José Berrios. Negotiations between Byron Buxton and the organization had fallen apart during the summer. A number of the team's exciting prospects were recovering from injuries and likely unavailable to at least start 2022. Plus, a contentious bargaining situation between the league and players had owners acting with caution. Image courtesy of Aaron Josefczyk-USA TODAY Sports Were the Twins to go the way of many teams and begin a long rebuild to return to contention? "I'm not using that word," Derek Falvey told the beat writers. Instead, 2022 would be a year for a reload. But what does a successful reload look like? The Twins set out to return to playoff contention as they had in 2019 and 2020. Doing so would require more money and trades than the team had done in previous years of Pohlad ownership. Teams often reload for playoff contention for several reasons but usually require a strong central core and only a few critical holes to fill. For the 2016 Red Sox, their last year with Hall of Famer David Ortiz and an ascending Mookie Betts, it meant grabbing David Price on a $217 million deal and Craig Kimbrel in a trade with San Diego. The team went from last to first in the division for the next three years, including a World Series ring in 2018. However, a better comparison for teams with smaller payrolls might be those 2005 White Sox. Their opening day lineup only featured three of the same faces from 2004, but none were rookies. Instead, Ozzie Guillén and Kenny Williams tried to rethink what kind of players to build around their core, grabbing AJ Pierzynski, Jermaine Dye, Tadahito Iguchi, and Scott Podsednik. Most of their core pitching returned, with Yankees pitcher Orlando Hernández filling in as their fifth man. Their salary ballooned from $65 million to $75 million, while the first-place Twins remained essentially static in the $50 million range. Of course, it was all worth it: the White Sox were an era-defining team, winning the division by six games, going on one of the all-time great post-season runs, and ending an 88-year-old championship drought. For the Twins going into 2022, there was enough in the revolver for one last go of a core set of players: Jorge Polanco, Byron Buxton, Josh Donaldson, Luis Arraez, Mitch Garver, and Miguel Sano, plus some promise with Joe Ryan, Bailey Ober, Trevor Larnach, and Alex Kirilloff to step up (not to mention the many hopes around the arrival of Royce Lewis). Their bullpen had enough interesting names to build around. So why didn't the Twins work? First, the Twins had too many holes to fill, particularly in the starting pitching realm. Ober and Ryan had less than 100 innings under their belts, and Kenta Maeda was merely a glimmer of promise for a late-season comeback. The Twins needed a Day One starter, but quickly missed names like Carlos Rodon, Marcus Stroman, and Noah Syndergaard, all of who made splashy but not impossible out-of-reach deals for the organization to match. When the market reopened, the Twins rebounded by making the smart move to trade their first-round draft pick for Sonny Gray. But then they went with not one not two but three different "fix me up" projects: Dylan Bundy, Chris Archer, and Chris Paddack. Beyond Gray, that left five essentially unproven starters on opening day. The bullpen additions were equally shaky with the additions of Joe Smith and Emilio Pagán while dealing Taylor Rogers. Most importantly, the Twins essentially committed almost no new money in this realm beyond their trade capital, an odd sign for a team serious about contending. Of course, the Twins put money down this season with a pair of $100+ million contracts: an extension of Buxton and a second in a blockbuster deal to commit $35.1 million a year to Carlos Correa. Bringing in a playoff specialist like Correa was the essential move they needed. It at least felt part of their decision to erase bad clubhouse vibes by flipping Josh Donaldson for Yankees veterans Gio Urshela and Gary Sánchez. Neither Urshela nor Sánchez were the top Bronx bombers, but there was plenty of sense they were the kind of players who understood big spots and big games. And yet, the Twins probably remained slim in other veteran talent to reinforce their lineup. The previous year had demonstrated that the team did not have their prospects ready to go as eight different men took to center field to fill in injury after injury. Whether the Twins expected this year's injury woes to be worse than last year, their decision to depend entirely on prospects to back up Buxton and Kepler felt short-sided with plenty of low-end veterans available on the market (Kevin Pillar for example took a minor league deal with the Dodgers). A strong reload rarely means depending on new players—those 2005 Sox were all veterans beyond their season call-up of closer Bobby Jenks—but the Twins seemingly put a lot of hope on what feels like too many prospects suddenly becoming core players. Jose Miranda, Griffin Jax, and Jhoan Duran, have made themselves essential to this year's success, but others still have question marks about their long term viability (whether injury or ability). Either way, building through prospects is similar to what this year's Mariners have done where team has done after a long rebuild where they plan on years of contention after making a number of high profile trades and signings of known quantities to reinforce any flops of their prospects (Julio Rodríguez and George Kirby has outshined all potential, while Jarred Kelenic has essentially disappeared). Reloads are not just about graduating prospects; it's about building with those who don't need time to figure out their success. In another world, Donaldson was traded for prospects rather than big leaguers, and you could imagine Buxton, Polanco, and even Arraez packing their bags for other ballparks. Watching multiple seasons of poor performance in the hope of a good team down the road is no one's idea of fun, so the fact that the Twins pushed this year remains a blessing. But in retrospect, their approach in the reload feels odd. The Twins did increase their salary by 20% this season, but in the end, they were perhaps not in the place for the reload that wins championships. What was missing from the Twins reload? Sound off in the comments. View full article
  7. After limping through the last impactful series of the season against the Cleveland Guardians over the weekend, Minnesota’s postseason hopes were all but cooked. Having led the division for a vast majority of the season, injuries mounted and ultimately ruined any potential to hang on. That’s not to say injuries were the defining factor in falling short, Minnesota contributed to that plenty on their own as well. Relatively early on in the year, it was apparent that the AL Central was going to fade behind the competition. Chicago’s ineptitude was injury-related as well, but they were also horribly managed by Tony La Russa, and consistently played bad baseball defensively. Cleveland has a great manager in Terry Francona, and as expected, their pitching kept them in it while young players got their feet wet. Minnesota’s place in all of that got shuffled early after a strong May, but it shouldn’t be lost that no one seemed to want to win this division down the stretch. Therein lies the definition of the 2022 Minnesota Twins season: A failure to capitalize. Derek Falvey and Thad Levine didn’t throw all of Jim Pohlad’s resources at the 2022 season to suggest it was World Series or bust. Nothing about a bullpen addition of only Joe Smith said, “We’re all in.” However, what was done should’ve been enough and at every juncture, the Twins came up short. When the trade deadline came around and there was an opportunity to improve a winning ball club, the front office added a top-level starter in Tyler Mahle. They addressed the bullpen by bringing in Michael Fulmer and Jorge Lopez. Then, as it had all season long, it quickly was wiped out on and off the field. Every team has injuries, but very few had as many and those as impactful as the Twins. Byron Buxton played hurt from the jump. Pitching was constantly in flux. Alex Kirilloff never got better. They won through them, for a time. When Minnesota would create their own fortunes, generating base runners and putting guys in scoring position, they consistently failed to capitalize. Baserunning was bad, defense equally so. All season long the Twins found themselves with the opportunity to control their own destiny, run away and hide with the division, and create noise. Instead, they responded with more trips to the injured list, poor situational hitting, and an overall lack of execution. If we were to reflect on the season as a whole, taking a bit of a step back from the emotions down the stretch, maybe we should've seen this coming. After all, a .500 record was largely what was projected from the get-go. For a good portion of the season, all this team amounted to a .500 ballclub. Ultimately though, after creating their own good fortune, a wilting happened and nothing was done to substantiate it. There’s certainly a handful of different ways to get where Minnesota finished, but as The Athletic’s Aaron Gleeman put it, the Twins took the least enjoyable way to get there. Good teams capitalize on their opportunities, and although this one was masked as a good team for a while, they simply never capitalized on what was in front of them.
  8. Were the Twins to go the way of many teams and begin a long rebuild to return to contention? "I'm not using that word," Derek Falvey told the beat writers. Instead, 2022 would be a year for a reload. But what does a successful reload look like? The Twins set out to return to playoff contention as they had in 2019 and 2020. Doing so would require more money and trades than the team had done in previous years of Pohlad ownership. Teams often reload for playoff contention for several reasons but usually require a strong central core and only a few critical holes to fill. For the 2016 Red Sox, their last year with Hall of Famer David Ortiz and an ascending Mookie Betts, it meant grabbing David Price on a $217 million deal and Craig Kimbrel in a trade with San Diego. The team went from last to first in the division for the next three years, including a World Series ring in 2018. However, a better comparison for teams with smaller payrolls might be those 2005 White Sox. Their opening day lineup only featured three of the same faces from 2004, but none were rookies. Instead, Ozzie Guillén and Kenny Williams tried to rethink what kind of players to build around their core, grabbing AJ Pierzynski, Jermaine Dye, Tadahito Iguchi, and Scott Podsednik. Most of their core pitching returned, with Yankees pitcher Orlando Hernández filling in as their fifth man. Their salary ballooned from $65 million to $75 million, while the first-place Twins remained essentially static in the $50 million range. Of course, it was all worth it: the White Sox were an era-defining team, winning the division by six games, going on one of the all-time great post-season runs, and ending an 88-year-old championship drought. For the Twins going into 2022, there was enough in the revolver for one last go of a core set of players: Jorge Polanco, Byron Buxton, Josh Donaldson, Luis Arraez, Mitch Garver, and Miguel Sano, plus some promise with Joe Ryan, Bailey Ober, Trevor Larnach, and Alex Kirilloff to step up (not to mention the many hopes around the arrival of Royce Lewis). Their bullpen had enough interesting names to build around. So why didn't the Twins work? First, the Twins had too many holes to fill, particularly in the starting pitching realm. Ober and Ryan had less than 100 innings under their belts, and Kenta Maeda was merely a glimmer of promise for a late-season comeback. The Twins needed a Day One starter, but quickly missed names like Carlos Rodon, Marcus Stroman, and Noah Syndergaard, all of who made splashy but not impossible out-of-reach deals for the organization to match. When the market reopened, the Twins rebounded by making the smart move to trade their first-round draft pick for Sonny Gray. But then they went with not one not two but three different "fix me up" projects: Dylan Bundy, Chris Archer, and Chris Paddack. Beyond Gray, that left five essentially unproven starters on opening day. The bullpen additions were equally shaky with the additions of Joe Smith and Emilio Pagán while dealing Taylor Rogers. Most importantly, the Twins essentially committed almost no new money in this realm beyond their trade capital, an odd sign for a team serious about contending. Of course, the Twins put money down this season with a pair of $100+ million contracts: an extension of Buxton and a second in a blockbuster deal to commit $35.1 million a year to Carlos Correa. Bringing in a playoff specialist like Correa was the essential move they needed. It at least felt part of their decision to erase bad clubhouse vibes by flipping Josh Donaldson for Yankees veterans Gio Urshela and Gary Sánchez. Neither Urshela nor Sánchez were the top Bronx bombers, but there was plenty of sense they were the kind of players who understood big spots and big games. And yet, the Twins probably remained slim in other veteran talent to reinforce their lineup. The previous year had demonstrated that the team did not have their prospects ready to go as eight different men took to center field to fill in injury after injury. Whether the Twins expected this year's injury woes to be worse than last year, their decision to depend entirely on prospects to back up Buxton and Kepler felt short-sided with plenty of low-end veterans available on the market (Kevin Pillar for example took a minor league deal with the Dodgers). A strong reload rarely means depending on new players—those 2005 Sox were all veterans beyond their season call-up of closer Bobby Jenks—but the Twins seemingly put a lot of hope on what feels like too many prospects suddenly becoming core players. Jose Miranda, Griffin Jax, and Jhoan Duran, have made themselves essential to this year's success, but others still have question marks about their long term viability (whether injury or ability). Either way, building through prospects is similar to what this year's Mariners have done where team has done after a long rebuild where they plan on years of contention after making a number of high profile trades and signings of known quantities to reinforce any flops of their prospects (Julio Rodríguez and George Kirby has outshined all potential, while Jarred Kelenic has essentially disappeared). Reloads are not just about graduating prospects; it's about building with those who don't need time to figure out their success. In another world, Donaldson was traded for prospects rather than big leaguers, and you could imagine Buxton, Polanco, and even Arraez packing their bags for other ballparks. Watching multiple seasons of poor performance in the hope of a good team down the road is no one's idea of fun, so the fact that the Twins pushed this year remains a blessing. But in retrospect, their approach in the reload feels odd. The Twins did increase their salary by 20% this season, but in the end, they were perhaps not in the place for the reload that wins championships. What was missing from the Twins reload? Sound off in the comments.
  9. The Minnesota Twins traded for Jorge Lopez at the 2022 Major League Baseball trade deadline. Acquiring the All-Star closer from the Baltimore Orioles, Minnesota looked to shore up their leaky bullpen. It hasn’t gone well. Image courtesy of Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports Derek Falvey and Thad Levine orchestrated a near-flawless trade deadline for the Minnesota Twins. They grabbed a good starter in Tyler Mahle, and netted a bullpen piece in Michael Fulmer. Acquiring an All-Star closer in Jorge Lopez was a great get as well, but it’s hardly gone as planned. Lopez came to the Twins with a 1.68 ERA across 48 1/3 innings. He racked up 19 saves for Baltimore and virtually all of his work came in high leverage. He had a strong 10.1 K/9 and a WHIP below 1.000. If regression was going to hit, it shouldn’t have been expected to be brutal given a solid 3.00 FIP. Fast forward to where we are now and Lopez has made 15 appearances for the Twins totaling 14 1/3 innings. He owns a 4.40 ERA and an awful 11/9 K/BB. He hasn’t allowed a home run but is giving up more than ten hits per nine innings and every appearance is a tightrope act to get through. Before coming to Minnesota, Lopez was allowing just a 19.8% hard-hit rate and was getting whiffs 11.4% of the time. His fastball was being used 55% of the time and clocked in just shy of 98 mph on average. Lopez used the curveball 20% of the time and often twirled it as his out pitch. Since joining the Twins, he has continued using his fastball and the life remains the same. Instead of predominantly going to the curveball as a secondary offering, however, he’s dropped the usage and now is going with his changeup 20% of the time. The hard-hit rate is the same, but the whiff rate has dropped below 9%. It’s not at all abnormal for a pitcher to experience tweaks from a new organization, but it could be that the Twins have tinkered too much here. Although the sample size is small, and Lopez will remain in the organization for the next two seasons, swapping out secondary offerings has not produced positive results to this point. Lopez was hit around plenty as a starter, and reducing his repertoire has been integral in his advancement as a reliever. He’ll need to advocate for himself though if there’s a better belief in a specific secondary offering. When with Baltimore, it seemed the curveball paired just fine with his heat, and while it’s still there, the changeup replacing its usage may not be the best step forward. You can bet both Lopez and the Twins coaching staff will look to get him right the rest of the way, and the hope would be he finds another gear in 2023 as he returns to early-season form. That said, it may be time to reverse course on the current plan, at least through the duration of the season, to see if better results can be achieved. I don’t think Lopez has reverted to being a bad pitcher as he was in his starting days, but finding the right offerings to unlock his best self has to be a focus from here on out. Would you say that Lopez has been a disappointment in his short time with the Twins? View full article
  10. Derek Falvey and Thad Levine orchestrated a near-flawless trade deadline for the Minnesota Twins. They grabbed a good starter in Tyler Mahle, and netted a bullpen piece in Michael Fulmer. Acquiring an All-Star closer in Jorge Lopez was a great get as well, but it’s hardly gone as planned. Lopez came to the Twins with a 1.68 ERA across 48 1/3 innings. He racked up 19 saves for Baltimore and virtually all of his work came in high leverage. He had a strong 10.1 K/9 and a WHIP below 1.000. If regression was going to hit, it shouldn’t have been expected to be brutal given a solid 3.00 FIP. Fast forward to where we are now and Lopez has made 15 appearances for the Twins totaling 14 1/3 innings. He owns a 4.40 ERA and an awful 11/9 K/BB. He hasn’t allowed a home run but is giving up more than ten hits per nine innings and every appearance is a tightrope act to get through. Before coming to Minnesota, Lopez was allowing just a 19.8% hard-hit rate and was getting whiffs 11.4% of the time. His fastball was being used 55% of the time and clocked in just shy of 98 mph on average. Lopez used the curveball 20% of the time and often twirled it as his out pitch. Since joining the Twins, he has continued using his fastball and the life remains the same. Instead of predominantly going to the curveball as a secondary offering, however, he’s dropped the usage and now is going with his changeup 20% of the time. The hard-hit rate is the same, but the whiff rate has dropped below 9%. It’s not at all abnormal for a pitcher to experience tweaks from a new organization, but it could be that the Twins have tinkered too much here. Although the sample size is small, and Lopez will remain in the organization for the next two seasons, swapping out secondary offerings has not produced positive results to this point. Lopez was hit around plenty as a starter, and reducing his repertoire has been integral in his advancement as a reliever. He’ll need to advocate for himself though if there’s a better belief in a specific secondary offering. When with Baltimore, it seemed the curveball paired just fine with his heat, and while it’s still there, the changeup replacing its usage may not be the best step forward. You can bet both Lopez and the Twins coaching staff will look to get him right the rest of the way, and the hope would be he finds another gear in 2023 as he returns to early-season form. That said, it may be time to reverse course on the current plan, at least through the duration of the season, to see if better results can be achieved. I don’t think Lopez has reverted to being a bad pitcher as he was in his starting days, but finding the right offerings to unlock his best self has to be a focus from here on out. Would you say that Lopez has been a disappointment in his short time with the Twins?
  11. Twins fans have been left frustrated at the end of the last two seasons, but for entirely different reasons. Here are four reasons why the 2022 season is more frustrating than last year. Image courtesy of David Banks-USA TODAY Sports Nearly every baseball fan base will suffer frustration in any given season. Only one team walks away with the World Series title, and even the best clubs go through slides in a 162-game season. Minnesota still has a small window to reach the postseason, but it will take a tremendous turnaround from a very injured roster. So, what makes this season more frustrating than last year? Early-Season Success Most national projections had the Twins as the second-best team in the AL Central going into the season. Minnesota's early success masked the fact that the club was likely heading for a .500 record. Obviously, projections can be taken with a grain of salt, but the Twins' early season success changed the team's outlook. The AL Central was a mess, and it looked like the Twins had an opportunity to capitalize on one of baseball's worst divisions. During the 2021 season, the team was out of playoff contention by the end of the season's first month. While this was frustrating, it was easier for fans not to get wrapped up in the team's poor play for the remainder of the year. Trade Deadline Success and Failure As July ended, the Twins were playing poorly, but they still sat at the top of the AL Central. Even so, the front office went into the trade deadline looking to add pieces to the roster. For the first time under this regime, it felt like the front office was trying to set the Twins up for second-half success and a possible playoff run. On paper, the players acquired at the deadline looked like a success, but it has turned into a failure. Tyler Mahle is injured, and likely won't pitch again in 2022. Jorge Lopez hasn't been a dominant reliever with the Twins while being pushed out of the closer role. Ideally, both players would lead Minnesota to a division title, which adds to fans' frustration when they aren't meeting expectations. Mounting Injuries Last season, it didn't matter if there were injured players because the Twins were out of contention. Every team deals with injuries, but they have been catastrophic for the 2022 Twins. Injuries have become the theme for Minnesota as the club has put more players on the injured list than any other American League team. This has to be frustrating for the coaching staff because it feels like the team is playing without a full deck. It becomes easy to point fingers when a club isn't performing as expected, but the Twins can field a full roster of currently injured players. Not Meeting Injury Timelines Another frustration related to injuries is how frequently the club has been wrong about timelines for players to return. It has been standard practice for teams to provide an injury timeline when a player goes on the IL. Unfortunately, the club has placed numerous players on the IL, but they haven't seemed to be able to get return timelines correct for multiple seasons. Traditionally, Minnesota has been conservative with their provided injury timelines, so one would hope the players could meet those timelines. For fans, this can add to frustration levels because there is an expectation that the team will improve when players get back on the field. Ultimately, the 2022 season has been frustrating for everything involved with the Twins. Fans have every right to be frustrated as the club has squandered an opportunity for a third division title in the last four seasons. Do you think the 2022 season has been more frustrating than 2021? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. View full article
  12. Coming into the season, off of a long lockout, the Minnesota Twins were not seen as favorites. Even after signing a superstar in Carlos Correa, the questions about pitching remained. Yes, Sonny Gray was acquired, but Kenta Maeda was expected to be out most of the year, and a young duo in Joe Ryan and Bailey Ober were expected to carry the load. Bullpen questions remained, and only Joe Smith was brought in to answer them. After a mediocre first month, Rocco Baldelli had his guys clicking through May. Maybe the one period of relative health throughout the whole season, Minnesota’s manager orchestrated an 18-12 record. It’s been .500 or worse each month since then, and despite the initial expectations, it’s hard to suggest they weren’t raised after Derek Falvey and Thad Levine provided reinforcements at the deadline. Whether Minnesota claws back and makes the postseason or not, the manager has plenty to sort through this season. Baldelli has now managed more than 500 games for Minnesota and has accumulated a winning record. His win percentage is .533, well above Ron Gardenhire’s .484, Paul Molitor’s .471, or Tom Kelly’s .478. The Twins have won the division twice during his four-year tenure, and they should be seen as a candidate to do so again in 2023. It’s not fair to chalk 2022 up as a wash entirely because of injuries. Baldelli has consistently operated with half of his deck, but there’s been ample opportunity to provide better results. It’s probably worth wondering how things would have gone if Minnesota had seen even a slightly better outcome in terms of the guys they’ve lost to injury. It’s also not fair to suggest Baldelli has failed given the hurdles he’s had to clear. Ultimately a front office wants a manager to be their representative of process in the clubhouse. I think it’s safe to say that Baldelli is in lockstep with his bosses. It’s also more than evident that Baldelli gets along with his players, and has their respect as well. Both of those realities are integral when deciding to keep someone in the position. Unlike Molitor before him, it seems that Baldelli is able to effectively communicate with the guys on the field, and is able to get buy-in when wanting players to try new things. If the Twins were to change course, it probably would have a ripple effect throughout the clubhouse, and that sort of shakeup may not be beneficial given the youth expected to produce in 2023 and beyond. Consistency among leadership can be viewed as a positive, and Baldelli has already connected with so many that will take on larger roles in the years ahead. Should Minnesota make a move, and I think there's an opportunity for them to do so, it will come throughout the coaching staff as a whole. Maybe there's opportunity to shore up baserunning or generate a secondary voice in the clubhouse. Pete Maki has been fine in Wes Johnson’s position, but a more established pitching coach makes sense as well. At times throughout this season, it’s seemed the clubhouse needed a more vocal leader to beg for accountability or change. While that’s not Baldelli’s demeanor and isn’t really that of Correa or Byron Buxton, it could be that of a performance coach or someone tabbed with the background solely to rise to the occasion. We’ll see changes this offseason, there will be more than a few on the coaching staff, but I think it’s safe to say the front office should and will retain their manager.
  13. It’s hard finding a way to define the Minnesota Twins 2022 season. Expected to compete for the division, but ultimately seen behind the Chicago White Sox, the Twins held first place for much of the year before sputtering at the end. What falls on Rocco Baldelli’s shoulders, and how should we view his future? Image courtesy of Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports Coming into the season, off of a long lockout, the Minnesota Twins were not seen as favorites. Even after signing a superstar in Carlos Correa, the questions about pitching remained. Yes, Sonny Gray was acquired, but Kenta Maeda was expected to be out most of the year, and a young duo in Joe Ryan and Bailey Ober were expected to carry the load. Bullpen questions remained, and only Joe Smith was brought in to answer them. After a mediocre first month, Rocco Baldelli had his guys clicking through May. Maybe the one period of relative health throughout the whole season, Minnesota’s manager orchestrated an 18-12 record. It’s been .500 or worse each month since then, and despite the initial expectations, it’s hard to suggest they weren’t raised after Derek Falvey and Thad Levine provided reinforcements at the deadline. Whether Minnesota claws back and makes the postseason or not, the manager has plenty to sort through this season. Baldelli has now managed more than 500 games for Minnesota and has accumulated a winning record. His win percentage is .533, well above Ron Gardenhire’s .484, Paul Molitor’s .471, or Tom Kelly’s .478. The Twins have won the division twice during his four-year tenure, and they should be seen as a candidate to do so again in 2023. It’s not fair to chalk 2022 up as a wash entirely because of injuries. Baldelli has consistently operated with half of his deck, but there’s been ample opportunity to provide better results. It’s probably worth wondering how things would have gone if Minnesota had seen even a slightly better outcome in terms of the guys they’ve lost to injury. It’s also not fair to suggest Baldelli has failed given the hurdles he’s had to clear. Ultimately a front office wants a manager to be their representative of process in the clubhouse. I think it’s safe to say that Baldelli is in lockstep with his bosses. It’s also more than evident that Baldelli gets along with his players, and has their respect as well. Both of those realities are integral when deciding to keep someone in the position. Unlike Molitor before him, it seems that Baldelli is able to effectively communicate with the guys on the field, and is able to get buy-in when wanting players to try new things. If the Twins were to change course, it probably would have a ripple effect throughout the clubhouse, and that sort of shakeup may not be beneficial given the youth expected to produce in 2023 and beyond. Consistency among leadership can be viewed as a positive, and Baldelli has already connected with so many that will take on larger roles in the years ahead. Should Minnesota make a move, and I think there's an opportunity for them to do so, it will come throughout the coaching staff as a whole. Maybe there's opportunity to shore up baserunning or generate a secondary voice in the clubhouse. Pete Maki has been fine in Wes Johnson’s position, but a more established pitching coach makes sense as well. At times throughout this season, it’s seemed the clubhouse needed a more vocal leader to beg for accountability or change. While that’s not Baldelli’s demeanor and isn’t really that of Correa or Byron Buxton, it could be that of a performance coach or someone tabbed with the background solely to rise to the occasion. We’ll see changes this offseason, there will be more than a few on the coaching staff, but I think it’s safe to say the front office should and will retain their manager. View full article
  14. Nearly every baseball fan base will suffer frustration in any given season. Only one team walks away with the World Series title, and even the best clubs go through slides in a 162-game season. Minnesota still has a small window to reach the postseason, but it will take a tremendous turnaround from a very injured roster. So, what makes this season more frustrating than last year? Early-Season Success Most national projections had the Twins as the second-best team in the AL Central going into the season. Minnesota's early success masked the fact that the club was likely heading for a .500 record. Obviously, projections can be taken with a grain of salt, but the Twins' early season success changed the team's outlook. The AL Central was a mess, and it looked like the Twins had an opportunity to capitalize on one of baseball's worst divisions. During the 2021 season, the team was out of playoff contention by the end of the season's first month. While this was frustrating, it was easier for fans not to get wrapped up in the team's poor play for the remainder of the year. Trade Deadline Success and Failure As July ended, the Twins were playing poorly, but they still sat at the top of the AL Central. Even so, the front office went into the trade deadline looking to add pieces to the roster. For the first time under this regime, it felt like the front office was trying to set the Twins up for second-half success and a possible playoff run. On paper, the players acquired at the deadline looked like a success, but it has turned into a failure. Tyler Mahle is injured, and likely won't pitch again in 2022. Jorge Lopez hasn't been a dominant reliever with the Twins while being pushed out of the closer role. Ideally, both players would lead Minnesota to a division title, which adds to fans' frustration when they aren't meeting expectations. Mounting Injuries Last season, it didn't matter if there were injured players because the Twins were out of contention. Every team deals with injuries, but they have been catastrophic for the 2022 Twins. Injuries have become the theme for Minnesota as the club has put more players on the injured list than any other American League team. This has to be frustrating for the coaching staff because it feels like the team is playing without a full deck. It becomes easy to point fingers when a club isn't performing as expected, but the Twins can field a full roster of currently injured players. Not Meeting Injury Timelines Another frustration related to injuries is how frequently the club has been wrong about timelines for players to return. It has been standard practice for teams to provide an injury timeline when a player goes on the IL. Unfortunately, the club has placed numerous players on the IL, but they haven't seemed to be able to get return timelines correct for multiple seasons. Traditionally, Minnesota has been conservative with their provided injury timelines, so one would hope the players could meet those timelines. For fans, this can add to frustration levels because there is an expectation that the team will improve when players get back on the field. Ultimately, the 2022 season has been frustrating for everything involved with the Twins. Fans have every right to be frustrated as the club has squandered an opportunity for a third division title in the last four seasons. Do you think the 2022 season has been more frustrating than 2021? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  15. The Minnesota Twins postseason hopes are dwindling, and for a team that splurged on the starting lineup this season, no one should be happy with how things went. What happens to the front office when the dust settles, and should they be back? Image courtesy of © Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports First and foremost, yes Derek Falvey and Thad Levine should and will be back for the Twins in 2023. Now that that’s out of the way, there’s absolutely more to dissect here. Coming into 2022, Carlos Correa fell into the Minnesota Twins' lap. He needed a place to play, and the Twins had money to spend. $35.1 million allowed Correa to claim the richest contract by average annual value for an infielder across Major League Baseball history. He’s now produced to a point worth that valuation, and he’s going to get paid this offseason. The Twins structured his contract to allow for the length he sought last year, and the opt-outs allow him to capitalize on timing. Yes, he’s opting out. No, that doesn’t mean Minnesota can’t find a way to bring him back. Just because Correa was on this team didn’t mean that the front office was going all in. Jhoan Duran was not intended to make the Opening Day roster, and Jose Miranda started the year in St. Paul. Despite swinging a trade for Sonny Gray, Minnesota’s pitching depth included Dylan Bundy and Chris Archer rounding out the rotation. Joe Smith, an aging veteran, was the only bullpen addition. In short, there were some big moves made, but this was a rather conservative stance on talent acquisition. The goal from the beginning for this front office has been to create a sustainable winner. While they haven’t necessarily done that, they certainly haven’t failed either. Minnesota has been consistently competitive for the bulk of the past few years, and the farm system has begun to bear fruit. The Twins minor league rankings have dropped in large part due to the graduations. The development of names like Jose Miranda and Joe Ryan has been substantial, and being able to turn prospects like Cade Povich and Spencer Steer into big-league assets is a testament to growth. Falvey and Levine have consistently focused on the future though, and as they barrel towards it, now would be a misguided time to pull the plug. The core of Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, Jorge Polanco, and Miguel Sano was not their group. That talent was a catalyst during the Bomba Squad season, and they remain intact now, but the pairing of what this front office has developed is where they want to go. Royce Lewis, Miranda, and a fast emergence of Brooks Lee, Matt Wallner, Trevor Larnach, and Alex Kirilloff are what Falvey and Levine see in the lineup. They’re hoping to have the likes of Simeon Woods Richardson, Jordan Balazovic, Ronny Henriquez, Blayne Enlow, and Cole Sands give them real starter innings. Everyone mentioned there is close, and they all should provide a higher ceiling than the depth thrust onto the Twins roster this season. Of course, no plans are guaranteed, so maybe this wave flops or fails to develop, but after years of Terry Ryan or his referred successors, there’s just very little reason for ownership to pull the plug now. View full article
  16. First and foremost, yes Derek Falvey and Thad Levine should and will be back for the Twins in 2023. Now that that’s out of the way, there’s absolutely more to dissect here. Coming into 2022, Carlos Correa fell into the Minnesota Twins' lap. He needed a place to play, and the Twins had money to spend. $35.1 million allowed Correa to claim the richest contract by average annual value for an infielder across Major League Baseball history. He’s now produced to a point worth that valuation, and he’s going to get paid this offseason. The Twins structured his contract to allow for the length he sought last year, and the opt-outs allow him to capitalize on timing. Yes, he’s opting out. No, that doesn’t mean Minnesota can’t find a way to bring him back. Just because Correa was on this team didn’t mean that the front office was going all in. Jhoan Duran was not intended to make the Opening Day roster, and Jose Miranda started the year in St. Paul. Despite swinging a trade for Sonny Gray, Minnesota’s pitching depth included Dylan Bundy and Chris Archer rounding out the rotation. Joe Smith, an aging veteran, was the only bullpen addition. In short, there were some big moves made, but this was a rather conservative stance on talent acquisition. The goal from the beginning for this front office has been to create a sustainable winner. While they haven’t necessarily done that, they certainly haven’t failed either. Minnesota has been consistently competitive for the bulk of the past few years, and the farm system has begun to bear fruit. The Twins minor league rankings have dropped in large part due to the graduations. The development of names like Jose Miranda and Joe Ryan has been substantial, and being able to turn prospects like Cade Povich and Spencer Steer into big-league assets is a testament to growth. Falvey and Levine have consistently focused on the future though, and as they barrel towards it, now would be a misguided time to pull the plug. The core of Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, Jorge Polanco, and Miguel Sano was not their group. That talent was a catalyst during the Bomba Squad season, and they remain intact now, but the pairing of what this front office has developed is where they want to go. Royce Lewis, Miranda, and a fast emergence of Brooks Lee, Matt Wallner, Trevor Larnach, and Alex Kirilloff are what Falvey and Levine see in the lineup. They’re hoping to have the likes of Simeon Woods Richardson, Jordan Balazovic, Ronny Henriquez, Blayne Enlow, and Cole Sands give them real starter innings. Everyone mentioned there is close, and they all should provide a higher ceiling than the depth thrust onto the Twins roster this season. Of course, no plans are guaranteed, so maybe this wave flops or fails to develop, but after years of Terry Ryan or his referred successors, there’s just very little reason for ownership to pull the plug now.
  17. On paper, the Twins had a very successful trade deadline, but that might not tell the entire story. Minnesota's young core might have been the most sought-after piece of the roster. Every team's front office enters the trade deadline with a specific focus. Is a team buying or selling? What are the team's current and future needs? Luckily, the Twins could find a balance by adding controllable assets without surrendering multiple prospects from the top of their farm system. However, teams were also calling about some of the younger members of the big-league roster, and the Twins front office had a clear message… "No." One of the players asked about was Jose Miranda, the reigning AL Rookie of the Month. In July, he hit .353/.405/.603 (1.008) with two doubles and five home runs in 20 games. Out of those five home runs, two of them were walk-off winners. Miranda might be one of the most valuable pieces to the current Twins line-up, and the team wanted to keep the young core intact to help with an October run. As the trade deadline approached, Carlos Correa gave feedback to the front office and coaching staff about players the Twins should add. One of Correa's messages was, "Jose Miranda was untouchable, and he needs to be in this franchise for a long time." Miranda is coming off one of the best minor league seasons in franchise history, and he seems to be putting it all together at the big-league level. Another team was likely going to have to overpay to acquire his bat. Twins GM Thad Levine joined KFAN's Paul Allen on Thursday, and Allen explicitly asked about offers for Miranda. Levine didn't get into any specifics about offers for Miranda. Still, he said, "the league will tell you how valuable they are, and it's at these trade deadlines that you realize how valuable and coveted some of your players are." Besides Miranda, Levine also referenced some of the team's young pitching at the big-league level without mentioning specific names. Some of Minnesota's younger pitchers are part of the team's long-term core, including Jhoan Duran and Joe Ryan. Ryan may have been Minnesota's most valuable pitcher according to trade value, but there was no way the team was going to deal him. When healthy, Bailey Ober and Josh Winder are two other young pitchers who have value to the team this season. Minnesota is starting to see value in its pitching pipeline, and other front offices have also noticed this. Minnesota's minor league system might not rank as highly as in recent years, but the team has plenty of young talent at the big-league level. The Twins have used 12 players this season that are 25 years or younger, including Luis Arraez, Trevor Larnach, Ryan Jeffers, Gilberto Celestino, and Alex Kirilloff. In 2022, these players have all been critical to the team's success and will be relied on for crucial situations throughout the season's remainder. Levine said, "the future is bright for this franchise based upon the feedback we got at this trade deadline of how much the industry likes some of our minor league players and certainly some of our young players at the big-league level." Minnesota's front office wants to keep the team's winning window open as long as possible, and this trade deadline might prove that the team is meeting that goal. How do you feel about the Twins young core? Do you feel like any of the players mentioned above are untouchable? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. View full article
  18. Every team's front office enters the trade deadline with a specific focus. Is a team buying or selling? What are the team's current and future needs? Luckily, the Twins could find a balance by adding controllable assets without surrendering multiple prospects from the top of their farm system. However, teams were also calling about some of the younger members of the big-league roster, and the Twins front office had a clear message… "No." One of the players asked about was Jose Miranda, the reigning AL Rookie of the Month. In July, he hit .353/.405/.603 (1.008) with two doubles and five home runs in 20 games. Out of those five home runs, two of them were walk-off winners. Miranda might be one of the most valuable pieces to the current Twins line-up, and the team wanted to keep the young core intact to help with an October run. As the trade deadline approached, Carlos Correa gave feedback to the front office and coaching staff about players the Twins should add. One of Correa's messages was, "Jose Miranda was untouchable, and he needs to be in this franchise for a long time." Miranda is coming off one of the best minor league seasons in franchise history, and he seems to be putting it all together at the big-league level. Another team was likely going to have to overpay to acquire his bat. Twins GM Thad Levine joined KFAN's Paul Allen on Thursday, and Allen explicitly asked about offers for Miranda. Levine didn't get into any specifics about offers for Miranda. Still, he said, "the league will tell you how valuable they are, and it's at these trade deadlines that you realize how valuable and coveted some of your players are." Besides Miranda, Levine also referenced some of the team's young pitching at the big-league level without mentioning specific names. Some of Minnesota's younger pitchers are part of the team's long-term core, including Jhoan Duran and Joe Ryan. Ryan may have been Minnesota's most valuable pitcher according to trade value, but there was no way the team was going to deal him. When healthy, Bailey Ober and Josh Winder are two other young pitchers who have value to the team this season. Minnesota is starting to see value in its pitching pipeline, and other front offices have also noticed this. Minnesota's minor league system might not rank as highly as in recent years, but the team has plenty of young talent at the big-league level. The Twins have used 12 players this season that are 25 years or younger, including Luis Arraez, Trevor Larnach, Ryan Jeffers, Gilberto Celestino, and Alex Kirilloff. In 2022, these players have all been critical to the team's success and will be relied on for crucial situations throughout the season's remainder. Levine said, "the future is bright for this franchise based upon the feedback we got at this trade deadline of how much the industry likes some of our minor league players and certainly some of our young players at the big-league level." Minnesota's front office wants to keep the team's winning window open as long as possible, and this trade deadline might prove that the team is meeting that goal. How do you feel about the Twins young core? Do you feel like any of the players mentioned above are untouchable? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  19. Not so long ago, it appeared as though the Twins might be able to get by with a couple of bullpen pickups at the trade deadline. Not that doing so was going to make them World Series favorites or anything, but when the offense was clicking and supported by a consistently solid rotation? The front office might have believed – or at least publicly advanced – that a few relief upgrades would sufficiently help them secure the division and present a credible postseason threat. Much has changed in a few weeks' time. With the rotation nosediving into the break, and their lineup now missing a key piece in Ryan Jeffers, the Twins have seen their list of needs grow as the deadline approaches. At this point, to position themselves as true contenders, it feels like they need to add a frontline starter for sure, and they could really use a catcher. Meanwhile those pesky bullpen needs have not gone away. Far from it. That makes for a hefty shopping list. To fulfill all of these needs at high-demand positions in a seller's market will be very costly. Facing this harsh reality, the front office is going to have to ask itself: Is it worth it? Acquiring the kind of impact talent needed to put this team in a strong position will mean making painful sacrifices. If they really want to push, the Twins will need to part with a quantity of high-caliber prospect talent and maybe even established young players like José Miranda, Trevor Larnach, or Alex Kirilloff. There's also a strong case to be made that big, splashy deadline moves aren't as impactful as many perceive – not to mention the frequency of costly backfires. (Imagine if the Twins traded Byron Buxton for Noah Syndergaard at the 2019 deadline.) Atlanta's 2021 exemplifies how a more conservative, low-wattage approach to addressing various needs can work. Of course, such thinking won't do much to satiate fans who are hungry for decisive and definitive action. And maybe that's the right attitude. Even if Derek Falvey and Thad Levine always seemed to be setting their gaze more on 2023 and beyond with the latest offseason strategy, they can't take for granted where they're at right now. They can't take for granted they'll have Buxton and Luis Arraez both healthy and playing at an All-Star level next year. They can't take for granted they'll have anything approximating the force that is Carlos Correa on their roster. They can't take for granted they'll be in first place at the break, with a chance to act as a buyer and aspiring champ, because we saw just last year how the best laid plans can go awry. Logical as they are, this front office understands that once you get to the playoffs, anything can happen. (Yes, even for the Twins.) They know that these opportunities don't present themselves every year. And they didn't throw $35 million at Correa for no reason. All of which leads me to believe the Twins will assuredly be active at the trade deadline. They are going to make multiple moves. As to how bold and audacious those additions will be? That's the big question, and we'll find out soon enough. With the deadline now less than two weeks away, we'll be covering every rumor worth sharing here at Twins Daily. And starting today, we're rolling out special trade deadline preview content for those who contribute to the caretaker fund at any tier. Each of the next six weekdays we'll be sending out "Division Dossiers" with breakdowns of buyers and sellers, as well as trade targets who might appeal to the Twins from each team. This is the top-secret intel you need to be ready for anything during Deadline SZN. Check out a preview snippet below, and if you haven't already, sign up as a caretaker now to get the full dossier plus five more in the week ahead.
  20. This front office has an interesting history with the trade deadline – starting with their controversial first go at it in 2017 when they flip-flopped from buyers to sellers in about a week's time, stirring up some angst in the home clubhouse. The 2022 trade deadline has a chance to be this regime's most pivotal and pressure-packed yet. How much are the Twins willing to push – and sacrifice – in order to supplement a flawed, fading first-place team? Not so long ago, it appeared as though the Twins might be able to get by with a couple of bullpen pickups at the trade deadline. Not that doing so was going to make them World Series favorites or anything, but when the offense was clicking and supported by a consistently solid rotation? The front office might have believed – or at least publicly advanced – that a few relief upgrades would sufficiently help them secure the division and present a credible postseason threat. Much has changed in a few weeks' time. With the rotation nosediving into the break, and their lineup now missing a key piece in Ryan Jeffers, the Twins have seen their list of needs grow as the deadline approaches. At this point, to position themselves as true contenders, it feels like they need to add a frontline starter for sure, and they could really use a catcher. Meanwhile those pesky bullpen needs have not gone away. Far from it. That makes for a hefty shopping list. To fulfill all of these needs at high-demand positions in a seller's market will be very costly. Facing this harsh reality, the front office is going to have to ask itself: Is it worth it? Acquiring the kind of impact talent needed to put this team in a strong position will mean making painful sacrifices. If they really want to push, the Twins will need to part with a quantity of high-caliber prospect talent and maybe even established young players like José Miranda, Trevor Larnach, or Alex Kirilloff. There's also a strong case to be made that big, splashy deadline moves aren't as impactful as many perceive – not to mention the frequency of costly backfires. (Imagine if the Twins traded Byron Buxton for Noah Syndergaard at the 2019 deadline.) Atlanta's 2021 exemplifies how a more conservative, low-wattage approach to addressing various needs can work. Of course, such thinking won't do much to satiate fans who are hungry for decisive and definitive action. And maybe that's the right attitude. Even if Derek Falvey and Thad Levine always seemed to be setting their gaze more on 2023 and beyond with the latest offseason strategy, they can't take for granted where they're at right now. They can't take for granted they'll have Buxton and Luis Arraez both healthy and playing at an All-Star level next year. They can't take for granted they'll have anything approximating the force that is Carlos Correa on their roster. They can't take for granted they'll be in first place at the break, with a chance to act as a buyer and aspiring champ, because we saw just last year how the best laid plans can go awry. Logical as they are, this front office understands that once you get to the playoffs, anything can happen. (Yes, even for the Twins.) They know that these opportunities don't present themselves every year. And they didn't throw $35 million at Correa for no reason. All of which leads me to believe the Twins will assuredly be active at the trade deadline. They are going to make multiple moves. As to how bold and audacious those additions will be? That's the big question, and we'll find out soon enough. With the deadline now less than two weeks away, we'll be covering every rumor worth sharing here at Twins Daily. And starting today, we're rolling out special trade deadline preview content for those who contribute to the caretaker fund at any tier. Each of the next six weekdays we'll be sending out "Division Dossiers" with breakdowns of buyers and sellers, as well as trade targets who might appeal to the Twins from each team. This is the top-secret intel you need to be ready for anything during Deadline SZN. Check out a preview snippet below, and if you haven't already, sign up as a caretaker now to get the full dossier plus five more in the week ahead. View full article
  21. The pace of the Twins offseason went from zero to 100 once the lockout ended, with a flurry of moves by Minnesota’s management duo (President of Baseball Ops Derek Falvey and GM Thad Levine) leading to a radically different opening day lineup. And the pace has not slowed down. Shortly after moving closer Taylor Rogers and prospect Brent Rooker to the Padres for pitchers Chris Paddack and Emilio Pagan, the team announced that they traded team mascot TC Bear to the Jacksonville (FL) Zoo and Gardens. In return, they’re receiving a significant number of snakes, reptiles, and other creatures. “I’m just going to come right out and say that I don’t know what we’re going to do with a half-dozen Burmese pythons,” said Falvey. “But we hadn’t made a trade in a good 2-3 hours, and the rush of acquiring and sending away assets is unbeatable. We’re hooked, baby!” Levine, who said he hasn’t slept since Monday afternoon, was equally enthused if unclear about the trade. “Do you know if a monitor lizard is cool with letting relievers ride him out of the bullpen,” said Levine. “I don’t want to get on PETA’s radar, but I’ll be honest, I don’t know where we’re going to put him otherwise. GOD I LOVE TRADING, CAN’T BEAT IT.” Neither Falvey nor Levine would comment on the fact that TC Bear is not a real bear, but in fact a person in a pretend bear costume who is being sent to a zoo to live among real bears that will likely visit mind-bending violence upon him. “He’s dealing with it as best he can,” said a source close to the man who wears the costume. “Is it as bad as when (former Twin) Andrelton Simmons demanded to speak to the mayor of the talking bear village where TC Bear lives about repealing their mask mandate? No. Still, the threat of mauling is one he takes seriously.” The team says there are no further moves in the offing, and rumors that Minnesota is trading an old Metrodome urinal trough for a shoebox of expired prescription drugs are unfounded but they're very open to it and would throw in a gently-used Mike Maksudian.
  22. "The rush of acquiring and sending away assets is unbeatable. We’re hooked, baby,” said a manic Falvey. The pace of the Twins offseason went from zero to 100 once the lockout ended, with a flurry of moves by Minnesota’s management duo (President of Baseball Ops Derek Falvey and GM Thad Levine) leading to a radically different opening day lineup. And the pace has not slowed down. Shortly after moving closer Taylor Rogers and prospect Brent Rooker to the Padres for pitchers Chris Paddack and Emilio Pagan, the team announced that they traded team mascot TC Bear to the Jacksonville (FL) Zoo and Gardens. In return, they’re receiving a significant number of snakes, reptiles, and other creatures. “I’m just going to come right out and say that I don’t know what we’re going to do with a half-dozen Burmese pythons,” said Falvey. “But we hadn’t made a trade in a good 2-3 hours, and the rush of acquiring and sending away assets is unbeatable. We’re hooked, baby!” Levine, who said he hasn’t slept since Monday afternoon, was equally enthused if unclear about the trade. “Do you know if a monitor lizard is cool with letting relievers ride him out of the bullpen,” said Levine. “I don’t want to get on PETA’s radar, but I’ll be honest, I don’t know where we’re going to put him otherwise. GOD I LOVE TRADING, CAN’T BEAT IT.” Neither Falvey nor Levine would comment on the fact that TC Bear is not a real bear, but in fact a person in a pretend bear costume who is being sent to a zoo to live among real bears that will likely visit mind-bending violence upon him. “He’s dealing with it as best he can,” said a source close to the man who wears the costume. “Is it as bad as when (former Twin) Andrelton Simmons demanded to speak to the mayor of the talking bear village where TC Bear lives about repealing their mask mandate? No. Still, the threat of mauling is one he takes seriously.” The team says there are no further moves in the offing, and rumors that Minnesota is trading an old Metrodome urinal trough for a shoebox of expired prescription drugs are unfounded but they're very open to it and would throw in a gently-used Mike Maksudian. View full article
  23. Fort Myers, FL - The Minnesota Twins started their morning in Fort Myers by settling into an auditorium in the Academy. LaTroy Hawkins, Rod Carew, Royce Lewis, and a host of media were present. Scott Boras entered, then did Minnesota’s front office and other dignitaries. Everyone was there for the man of the hour, Carlos Correa. As he put on that #4 jersey, it became official; he’s a Minnesota Twin. If there were two takeaways from this morning’s press conference, Carlos Correa was impressed with Twins leadership and that he’s here to win. Derek Falvey noted his appreciation of the support from ownership in saying, “A momentous day like this, a significant contract like this with a player of Carlos’s stature only happens with the partnership and support of ownership.” Leadership starts at the top, and Correa noted the warmth he felt in an initial Zoom call with Falvey and new manager Rocco Baldelli. “I talked to Rocco, I talked to Derek and Thad, and they made me feel like this was the place for me to be. They made me feel like this was going to be my next home. And when I got off the Zoom call, I told Scott, let’s make it happen. And I told my wife to start packing.” Communication is a big thing for Correa, and in talking through his desires to be in Minnesota, he continued to communicate a desire for winning. Going to a place where he could win was necessary, and there’s no ambiguity as to whether he feels the Twins are a team capable. “I told Rocco, and I told Derek, we’re not seeing this like a one-year thing, we’re seeing this as I want to build a championship culture in this organization, I want to show you guys what I can do, what I can bring to the table, so we can have a long-term relationship at some point.” While there is an opt-out following the first year, Correa’s agent Scott Boras sees this as an opportunity for Carlos to do damage in a place he’s been very successful. “He had told me, 'these are some of the places I see the ball really well.' When he mentioned Minnesota and I went and looked up, and I said, wow, he just has a very small 1.200 OPS over there… I know this, all the AL Central, the Twins have a new explosion weapon, C4.” Correa has played for some great managers in A.J. Hinch and Dusty Baker. Knowing that communication is so vital between the leader of the team and a leader in the clubhouse, it was exciting to hear how glowingly the new shortstop talked of his skipper. “For me, it was just the vibes I got and how they made me feel, especially talking to Rocco and hearing so many great things about him from all the players that played for him. I want to be in a place where I want to feel like I can communicate with my manager, and my manager's going to have my back all the time. That's exactly what I got from Rocco, and he's the guy I'm going to be working closest with. When I feel like I have a manager that I can trust, and I can communicate with, for me, that's a game-changer." A critical focal point remained as the conversation drew on for Correa and the Twins. This was going to be a partnership about winning. Correa has been in situations where the results have taken time, but he’s also experienced the pinnacle of a World Series ring. He said, “The conversations we had were about two and a half hours…it was all about winning. When I get that from them, that makes me excited because I want to take up that challenge. It was not long ago that I was playing for an organization that was last in the big leagues the year before I got there—losing 100-plus games. I know what it takes to build a championship culture within the clubhouse. It starts within the clubhouse and all the way up to the front office. I see that here with the talent that we have, and I see that we can get so much better in order for us to accomplish that goal to ultimately win a championship." Correa was taken the pick before Minnesota Twins Byron Buxton in the 2012 draft. He’s excited to play up the middle with him and has a history of playing alongside him in showcases as they were growing up. He fondly remembers the pre-draft process in Minnesota, “A 17-year-old hitting tanks in Target Field felt pretty cool.” It may be surprising that the Twins are landing such a supreme talent, but Boras thinks that will become more part of the norm. Taking over Correa’s free agency in January after his previous representation went through changes, Boras noted that Minnesota is a place he has young guys like Royce Lewis, Alex Kirilloff, and Austin Martin. Also, in talking about the vast revenues clubs see before the season even starts, he shared a belief talent acquisition will change, saying, “The truth of it is, you’re going to see franchises sign a franchise player, maybe the top franchises will sign two or three. That kind of thing. You’re going to see that with regularity in the game because frankly, it’s a component that is necessary for winning.” At the end of the day, it’s more than apparent that Carlos Correa is extremely excited to be in Minnesota and believes in the ability to lead this organization to a championship and have the leadership in place to supplement him getting there. After a few days focused on public relations, it was back to business for the talented shortstop. He took live at-bats for the first time since the World Series, and he said he hopes to see game action for Minnesota by this weekend. While we may still be pinching ourselves, this is now very much real life. The Twins hauled in a big fish, and it seems like he wants to be here to stay. 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
  24. If there were two takeaways from this morning’s press conference, Carlos Correa was impressed with Twins leadership and that he’s here to win. Derek Falvey noted his appreciation of the support from ownership in saying, “A momentous day like this, a significant contract like this with a player of Carlos’s stature only happens with the partnership and support of ownership.” Leadership starts at the top, and Correa noted the warmth he felt in an initial Zoom call with Falvey and new manager Rocco Baldelli. “I talked to Rocco, I talked to Derek and Thad, and they made me feel like this was the place for me to be. They made me feel like this was going to be my next home. And when I got off the Zoom call, I told Scott, let’s make it happen. And I told my wife to start packing.” Communication is a big thing for Correa, and in talking through his desires to be in Minnesota, he continued to communicate a desire for winning. Going to a place where he could win was necessary, and there’s no ambiguity as to whether he feels the Twins are a team capable. “I told Rocco, and I told Derek, we’re not seeing this like a one-year thing, we’re seeing this as I want to build a championship culture in this organization, I want to show you guys what I can do, what I can bring to the table, so we can have a long-term relationship at some point.” While there is an opt-out following the first year, Correa’s agent Scott Boras sees this as an opportunity for Carlos to do damage in a place he’s been very successful. “He had told me, 'these are some of the places I see the ball really well.' When he mentioned Minnesota and I went and looked up, and I said, wow, he just has a very small 1.200 OPS over there… I know this, all the AL Central, the Twins have a new explosion weapon, C4.” Correa has played for some great managers in A.J. Hinch and Dusty Baker. Knowing that communication is so vital between the leader of the team and a leader in the clubhouse, it was exciting to hear how glowingly the new shortstop talked of his skipper. “For me, it was just the vibes I got and how they made me feel, especially talking to Rocco and hearing so many great things about him from all the players that played for him. I want to be in a place where I want to feel like I can communicate with my manager, and my manager's going to have my back all the time. That's exactly what I got from Rocco, and he's the guy I'm going to be working closest with. When I feel like I have a manager that I can trust, and I can communicate with, for me, that's a game-changer." A critical focal point remained as the conversation drew on for Correa and the Twins. This was going to be a partnership about winning. Correa has been in situations where the results have taken time, but he’s also experienced the pinnacle of a World Series ring. He said, “The conversations we had were about two and a half hours…it was all about winning. When I get that from them, that makes me excited because I want to take up that challenge. It was not long ago that I was playing for an organization that was last in the big leagues the year before I got there—losing 100-plus games. I know what it takes to build a championship culture within the clubhouse. It starts within the clubhouse and all the way up to the front office. I see that here with the talent that we have, and I see that we can get so much better in order for us to accomplish that goal to ultimately win a championship." Correa was taken the pick before Minnesota Twins Byron Buxton in the 2012 draft. He’s excited to play up the middle with him and has a history of playing alongside him in showcases as they were growing up. He fondly remembers the pre-draft process in Minnesota, “A 17-year-old hitting tanks in Target Field felt pretty cool.” It may be surprising that the Twins are landing such a supreme talent, but Boras thinks that will become more part of the norm. Taking over Correa’s free agency in January after his previous representation went through changes, Boras noted that Minnesota is a place he has young guys like Royce Lewis, Alex Kirilloff, and Austin Martin. Also, in talking about the vast revenues clubs see before the season even starts, he shared a belief talent acquisition will change, saying, “The truth of it is, you’re going to see franchises sign a franchise player, maybe the top franchises will sign two or three. That kind of thing. You’re going to see that with regularity in the game because frankly, it’s a component that is necessary for winning.” At the end of the day, it’s more than apparent that Carlos Correa is extremely excited to be in Minnesota and believes in the ability to lead this organization to a championship and have the leadership in place to supplement him getting there. After a few days focused on public relations, it was back to business for the talented shortstop. He took live at-bats for the first time since the World Series, and he said he hopes to see game action for Minnesota by this weekend. While we may still be pinching ourselves, this is now very much real life. The Twins hauled in a big fish, and it seems like he wants to be here to stay. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  25. Fans and journalists alike learned a valuable lesson early Saturday morning — namely that sleep is for the weak of will — as many awoke to the one good piece of news going on at the moment: Carlos Correa is a Minnesota Twin. Correa, who had only been linked to the Twins in the most daydreamy of scenarios (if that), put pen to paper on a 3-year, $105.3 million contract, making him the highest-paid infielder in MLB history. He will immediately slot in as the team’s starting shortstop and help form one of the league’s most dynamic up-the-middle trios alongside Jorge Polanco and Byron Buxton. The 2012 No. 1 overall pick lived up to the hype during his seven seasons with the Houston Astros, slashing .277/.356/.481 and slugging 133 home runs, culminating in a 5.8 fWAR performance last summer that netted him a top five finish in MVP voting. But his excellence isn’t secluded to the plate. He’s also pretty proficient with the glove, registering 12 outs above average in 2021 and 27 since Statcast was implemented in 2016. (He won the American League’s Platinum Glove last summer, joining Buxton as the only Twins to have brought home the award.) To put it bluntly: In a league replete with shortstop talent, Correa is without question among the best, if not the best all around. Baseball is not like other sports in that a supreme individual talent can single-handedly carry a team into World Series contention. One need not look any further than the Los Angeles Angels for proof. However, the signing of Correa lends even further credence to the Twins’ belief that they can compete not only for an American League Central title, but perhaps more this season. Correa’s signing coupled with the trades for Sonny Gray, Gio Urshela, and Gary Sanchez has transformed the Twins from a team with two starting pitchers and no clear plan for the future to one that is perhaps a single piece away from being a true threat in the A.L. And with rumors swirling that they have significant interest in Oakland A’s pitchers Frankie Montas and Sean Manaea — both of whom figure to be very gettable at the moment — that single piece may soon arrive. The Twins now boast a lineup consisting of three players — the aforementioned Buxton, Correa, and Polanco — who registered at least 3.9 fWAR last season, with Sanchez, Urshela, and Max Kepler having accomplished the feat in the past as well. Add in promising youngsters Alex Kirilloff, Ryan Jeffers, and Trevor Larnach as well as the ever-steady Luis Arraez and the Twins could have a lineup on par or greater than 2019’s much-beloved Bomba Squad. However, their offseason remains incomplete. The Twins still need to add at least one more starting pitcher as well as a bullpen arm or two. They could also use another veteran catcher to supplement Jeffers and Sanchez, neither of whom is considered a sure thing at the moment. At this point, there is little reason why the Twins shouldn't open the gates to their farm system to usher in a Montas-caliber pitcher. While they lack elite truly elite prospects — though many have made the argument that Austin Martin is — the overall depth of the Twins' system is undoubtedly enticing to other teams. They could part with multiple of their top 10 prospects and still be full of talent. As such, this is the exact moment in which they should be aggressively shopping their minor league prospects and it would come as a bit of a shock if they weren't. But despite the prolonged nature of the offseason and the periods of wondering what the heck they were up to, the patience of Derek Falvey and Thad Levine once again paid off. The Twins have their shortstop (albeit perhaps for only one season). The Twins have their top-end starting pitcher (and perhaps another on the way). The Twins have had a great offseason. Now all that can be done is to wait to see how they tie a bow on it all. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook, or email — Read more from Lucas here View full article
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