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  1. Derek Falvey and company put all of their eggs in the Carlos Correa basket this offseason. After Correa opted to join the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday night, the Twins are now left scrambling with few options left to choose from. Image courtesy of © Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports Since day one of the offseason, the Minnesota Twins made it abundantly clear that priorities one, two and three were bringing back Carlos Correa. With plenty of payroll room to spend, and a pre-existing relationship with Correa, this seemed like the unique situation where the Twins could spend with the big boys and sign a franchise cornerstone for a long time. Unfortunately for the Twins, it was reported late Tuesday night that Correa was signing with the San Francisco Giants for a 13-year, $350M contract. A contract that the Twins weren’t willing to match. According to our friend Dan Hayes, the Twins’ best offer for Correa was a 10-year, $285M offer. While missing out on Correa was a big bummer for everyone, it was also somewhat understandable. The San Francisco Giants play in one of the biggest markets in America and are used to routinely throwing around this kind of money. The issue for the Twins wasn’t missing out on Correa, it was that they put all of their eggs in the Carlos Correa basket. By zeroing in on Carlos Correa and waiting for him to make a decision, they missed out on nearly every other impact free agent. Shortstops like Xander Bogaerts and Trea Turner, impact pitchers like Chris Bassitt and Tyler Anderson, and big bats like Willson Contreras and José Abreu all signed elsewhere while the Twins were waiting on a decision from Correa. By waiting on Carlos Correa the Twins front office needed to be extremely confident in the power of the offer that they held. They needed to be so sure that the amount of money that they were willing to give to the Gold Glover was so great that he couldn’t possibly turn down his former team. Once Dan Hayes’s report came out that the Twins’ maximum offer was $285M, though, it made the front office’s handling of this offseason all the more troubling. $285M was never going to get a deal done for Carlos Correa. In 2021 Francisco Lindor signed for $341M. Being younger and more decorated than Lindor, and with Scott Boras as his agent, there was no way that Correa would be signing for any less than $300M and there was a good chance that he would exceed Lindor’s number. Then when Trea Turner signed for $300M (and being offered $342 by the Padres), that notion was only cemented more. Now that Carlos Correa has made his decision to sign with the Giants, the Twins are staring at a severely depleted free agency market with few impact players remaining. After Dansby Swanson and Carlos Rodón, no other free agents are projected to amass more than three wins above replacement in 2022. Outside of signing one of those two, the Twins can only acquire an impact player via trade. Dealing from a depleted farm system to improve a 78-win team that is worse than that 78-win team was on the last day of the 2022 season doesn't sound smart either. The Twins are now in an incredibly tough situation because of the front offices misreading of the Carlos Correa situation and they have nobody to blame but themselves. View full article
  2. Since day one of the offseason, the Minnesota Twins made it abundantly clear that priorities one, two and three were bringing back Carlos Correa. With plenty of payroll room to spend, and a pre-existing relationship with Correa, this seemed like the unique situation where the Twins could spend with the big boys and sign a franchise cornerstone for a long time. Unfortunately for the Twins, it was reported late Tuesday night that Correa was signing with the San Francisco Giants for a 13-year, $350M contract. A contract that the Twins weren’t willing to match. According to our friend Dan Hayes, the Twins’ best offer for Correa was a 10-year, $285M offer. While missing out on Correa was a big bummer for everyone, it was also somewhat understandable. The San Francisco Giants play in one of the biggest markets in America and are used to routinely throwing around this kind of money. The issue for the Twins wasn’t missing out on Correa, it was that they put all of their eggs in the Carlos Correa basket. By zeroing in on Carlos Correa and waiting for him to make a decision, they missed out on nearly every other impact free agent. Shortstops like Xander Bogaerts and Trea Turner, impact pitchers like Chris Bassitt and Tyler Anderson, and big bats like Willson Contreras and José Abreu all signed elsewhere while the Twins were waiting on a decision from Correa. By waiting on Carlos Correa the Twins front office needed to be extremely confident in the power of the offer that they held. They needed to be so sure that the amount of money that they were willing to give to the Gold Glover was so great that he couldn’t possibly turn down his former team. Once Dan Hayes’s report came out that the Twins’ maximum offer was $285M, though, it made the front office’s handling of this offseason all the more troubling. $285M was never going to get a deal done for Carlos Correa. In 2021 Francisco Lindor signed for $341M. Being younger and more decorated than Lindor, and with Scott Boras as his agent, there was no way that Correa would be signing for any less than $300M and there was a good chance that he would exceed Lindor’s number. Then when Trea Turner signed for $300M (and being offered $342 by the Padres), that notion was only cemented more. Now that Carlos Correa has made his decision to sign with the Giants, the Twins are staring at a severely depleted free agency market with few impact players remaining. After Dansby Swanson and Carlos Rodón, no other free agents are projected to amass more than three wins above replacement in 2022. Outside of signing one of those two, the Twins can only acquire an impact player via trade. Dealing from a depleted farm system to improve a 78-win team that is worse than that 78-win team was on the last day of the 2022 season doesn't sound smart either. The Twins are now in an incredibly tough situation because of the front offices misreading of the Carlos Correa situation and they have nobody to blame but themselves.
  3. From the moment he signed with the Minnesota Twins, Carlos Correa was going to opt-out of his contract. Now with that having officially happened, the front office must decide whether they can bring him back, or if there’s an alternative that’s more plausible. Enter Xander Bogaerts. Image courtesy of Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports Carlos Correa accomplished his goal of securing the most lucrative average annual value among infielders in major-league history. His $35.1 million last season topped Scott Boras client Anthony Rendon’s guarantee with the Angels. Although the deal was for technically three years, the opt-outs assured us that Correa was always going to hit the market again in hopes of securing a long-term payday. Minnesota certainly could opt to bring Correa back, and they should put a strong foot forward to do so. If he can be had for less than 10 years or under $300 million, it may be a possibility. If he can’t, and that does seem likely, then pivoting to another option makes sense. Despite strong shortstop prospects in the form of Royce Lewis, Brooks Lee, and Austin Martin, it would be preferable to see Minnesota avoid a stopgap shortstop option. A Jose Iglesias type could certainly hold down the position, but that would do little to reinvigorate an offense that needs to replace production. Dansby Swanson is coming off arguably the best year of his career, and Trea Turner is going to land somewhere in the same realm as Correa. That begs the question of whether Xander Bogaerts can be a middle ground, and if he represents enough of a replacement for Minnesota. At 30, Bogaerts is a bit older than Correa. His 117 career OPS+ doesn’t reflect just how good he’s been of late. He owns a 133 OPS+ since 2018 and has three All-Star game appearances along with three Silver Slugger awards. Bogaerts has been a pillar of health as well. He’s never played less than 136 games in a full season and is as reliable as it gets to be on the field. Correa is the superior defender, and that’s noteworthy for a Twins team lacking defense. Rocco Baldelli’s infield was not good a season ago, and removing arguably the best person with the glove doesn’t help change things. The Twins almost certainly won’t have a shortstop that can throw like Correa ever again, but replacing his offensive production could be equally key. Although Bogaerts has hit 30 homers in a season once during his career, you can more realistically bank on him to be in the 15-25 range. He’ll pile up doubles and brings a very good approach to the plate. Boston not being able to get a long-term deal done with him allows the open market to share their feelings, and the Twins should be having conversations with him as well. Like Correa, Bogaerts is represented by Boras Corp. The Twins front office should be seeing where they can place themselves in discussions regarding both players by feeling out the individual markets and expectations. If they determine an inability to play at the higher level, finding out how a match can be created with the Aruba native makes too much sense. I’d imagine the Twins would prefer continuity in the form of Correa. He’s been here, is a known asset, and is already a fan favorite. That said, spending less to get a superstar with similar talent has value too, and the package Bogaerts brings is hardly something to scoff at. What do you think? Is Bogaerts enough of an option to replace Correa on both sides of the ball? View full article
  4. Carlos Correa accomplished his goal of securing the most lucrative average annual value among infielders in major-league history. His $35.1 million last season topped Scott Boras client Anthony Rendon’s guarantee with the Angels. Although the deal was for technically three years, the opt-outs assured us that Correa was always going to hit the market again in hopes of securing a long-term payday. Minnesota certainly could opt to bring Correa back, and they should put a strong foot forward to do so. If he can be had for less than 10 years or under $300 million, it may be a possibility. If he can’t, and that does seem likely, then pivoting to another option makes sense. Despite strong shortstop prospects in the form of Royce Lewis, Brooks Lee, and Austin Martin, it would be preferable to see Minnesota avoid a stopgap shortstop option. A Jose Iglesias type could certainly hold down the position, but that would do little to reinvigorate an offense that needs to replace production. Dansby Swanson is coming off arguably the best year of his career, and Trea Turner is going to land somewhere in the same realm as Correa. That begs the question of whether Xander Bogaerts can be a middle ground, and if he represents enough of a replacement for Minnesota. At 30, Bogaerts is a bit older than Correa. His 117 career OPS+ doesn’t reflect just how good he’s been of late. He owns a 133 OPS+ since 2018 and has three All-Star game appearances along with three Silver Slugger awards. Bogaerts has been a pillar of health as well. He’s never played less than 136 games in a full season and is as reliable as it gets to be on the field. Correa is the superior defender, and that’s noteworthy for a Twins team lacking defense. Rocco Baldelli’s infield was not good a season ago, and removing arguably the best person with the glove doesn’t help change things. The Twins almost certainly won’t have a shortstop that can throw like Correa ever again, but replacing his offensive production could be equally key. Although Bogaerts has hit 30 homers in a season once during his career, you can more realistically bank on him to be in the 15-25 range. He’ll pile up doubles and brings a very good approach to the plate. Boston not being able to get a long-term deal done with him allows the open market to share their feelings, and the Twins should be having conversations with him as well. Like Correa, Bogaerts is represented by Boras Corp. The Twins front office should be seeing where they can place themselves in discussions regarding both players by feeling out the individual markets and expectations. If they determine an inability to play at the higher level, finding out how a match can be created with the Aruba native makes too much sense. I’d imagine the Twins would prefer continuity in the form of Correa. He’s been here, is a known asset, and is already a fan favorite. That said, spending less to get a superstar with similar talent has value too, and the package Bogaerts brings is hardly something to scoff at. What do you think? Is Bogaerts enough of an option to replace Correa on both sides of the ball?
  5. The Minnesota Twins are entering an offseason of extreme uncertainty when it comes to the shortstop position. After watching Carlos Correa fall into their laps this past spring, the Twins will need to decide where they go from here. Will any of the other top options be available to them? Image courtesy of Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports Late in spring training, Derek Falvey and Thad Levine were able to acquire Carlos Correa following a trade of Josh Donaldson and his contract to the New York Yankees. While the deal was technically for three years, it was always seen as a one-year pact given the sequential player options. Minnesota would be best positioned to pay Correa over a long-term agreement, but if that doesn’t work out, they’ll need to explore other options. Jermaine Palacios was probably the most veteran-ready internal candidate to hold the position for Minnesota until the return of Royce Lewis next summer. He was jettisoned off of the 40-man roster and claimed by the Detroit Tigers. That leaves Minnesota in limbo, and there’s a good bet the Opening Day shortstop isn’t currently employed by the organization. After flashing his talent in his brief time with the Twins, there are plenty of reasons to understand why the Twins may opt to wait for Lewis’ return. He’ll be coming off his second ACL surgery, and there were already questions about him sticking at the position, but he definitely looked the part in a limited sample. If the Twins want to sign a long-term answer at the position, and that they can’t find common ground with Correa, is there any reason to believe either Trea Turner or Dansby Swanson would even make it to them? Why wouldn’t their current clubs bring them back? Los Angeles allowed Corey Seager to leave a year ago. He got $325 million from the Texas Rangers after Turner was acquired at the 2021 deadline from the Washington Nationals. Turner has already been invested in when it comes to prospect capital, and paying him to stay for the long haul makes a good deal of sense. He’s much less of a sell to the fan base than a former Houston Astros talent in Correa, and there’s already been an acclimation process. Yes, the Dodgers have an elite farm system, but they don’t have a ready-made shortstop. Allowing Turner to continue manning the position, for an organization that already prints money, seems all too straightforward. There’s an easier argument to make for a team moving on in Swanson. He’s still young, but this is truly his first breakout season. His 115 OPS+ is not otherworldly, and he’s going to command a premium that could very well outweigh his production. Braden Shewmake and his .715 OPS at Triple-A is hardly a lock to replace production, but a top prospect looms for the Braves. Like Turner, if Atlanta wants to pay someone to play shortstop, the guy they already know makes sense. In both scenarios, things benefit the Twins in terms of retaining Correa. If both teams losing star shortstops bring them back, that’s two fewer teams willing to look at the open market. Correa seems unlikely to go to either organization, and both the Cubs and Giants continue to look like possible destinations. No matter what though, if Minnesota isn’t spending on Correa, then spending on anyone else at short makes little sense. Do you agree? View full article
  6. Late in spring training, Derek Falvey and Thad Levine were able to acquire Carlos Correa following a trade of Josh Donaldson and his contract to the New York Yankees. While the deal was technically for three years, it was always seen as a one-year pact given the sequential player options. Minnesota would be best positioned to pay Correa over a long-term agreement, but if that doesn’t work out, they’ll need to explore other options. Jermaine Palacios was probably the most veteran-ready internal candidate to hold the position for Minnesota until the return of Royce Lewis next summer. He was jettisoned off of the 40-man roster and claimed by the Detroit Tigers. That leaves Minnesota in limbo, and there’s a good bet the Opening Day shortstop isn’t currently employed by the organization. After flashing his talent in his brief time with the Twins, there are plenty of reasons to understand why the Twins may opt to wait for Lewis’ return. He’ll be coming off his second ACL surgery, and there were already questions about him sticking at the position, but he definitely looked the part in a limited sample. If the Twins want to sign a long-term answer at the position, and that they can’t find common ground with Correa, is there any reason to believe either Trea Turner or Dansby Swanson would even make it to them? Why wouldn’t their current clubs bring them back? Los Angeles allowed Corey Seager to leave a year ago. He got $325 million from the Texas Rangers after Turner was acquired at the 2021 deadline from the Washington Nationals. Turner has already been invested in when it comes to prospect capital, and paying him to stay for the long haul makes a good deal of sense. He’s much less of a sell to the fan base than a former Houston Astros talent in Correa, and there’s already been an acclimation process. Yes, the Dodgers have an elite farm system, but they don’t have a ready-made shortstop. Allowing Turner to continue manning the position, for an organization that already prints money, seems all too straightforward. There’s an easier argument to make for a team moving on in Swanson. He’s still young, but this is truly his first breakout season. His 115 OPS+ is not otherworldly, and he’s going to command a premium that could very well outweigh his production. Braden Shewmake and his .715 OPS at Triple-A is hardly a lock to replace production, but a top prospect looms for the Braves. Like Turner, if Atlanta wants to pay someone to play shortstop, the guy they already know makes sense. In both scenarios, things benefit the Twins in terms of retaining Correa. If both teams losing star shortstops bring them back, that’s two fewer teams willing to look at the open market. Correa seems unlikely to go to either organization, and both the Cubs and Giants continue to look like possible destinations. No matter what though, if Minnesota isn’t spending on Correa, then spending on anyone else at short makes little sense. Do you agree?
  7. The Minnesota Twins enter the offseason prior to 2023 with a massive question mark at shortstop. Carlos Correa is going to opt out of his three-year deal, as was the expectation from the moment he signed it. Why would the club pay big for anyone but him? Image courtesy of Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports Last offseason, as spring training was already underway, Derek Falvey and Thad Levine found themselves with an opportunity to land superstar Carlos Correa. With the New York Yankees willing to take on Josh Donaldson’s albatross of a contract, the Twins had a hole and money to spend. No longer was this club going to start Isiah Kiner-Falefa at shortstop, and Correa remained on the market. Overlord, err agent Scott Boras, was angling for his client to land the highest average annual value for a Major League infielder. Guaranteeing Correa $100,000 more than Los Angeles Angels third basemen Anthony Rendon, Minnesota accomplished that. The contract was a three-year pact for $105.3 million, but each of the additional years were simply player options. Correa gave himself an opportunity to get paid should he not perform, but his goal has always remained the same, a long-term, big-dollar deal. Prior to the 2021 season, former Cleveland Guardians shortstop Francisco Lindor inked a 10-year, $341 million extension with the New York Mets. Yes, Steve Cohen is a filthy rich owner, but there’s little argument that the shortstop wasn’t worth it. Correa checks in at roughly the same age, and while his health has been a bit more questionable, he’s been the same or better on the field. Looking for his payday this winter, that’s probably the number he’ll target to get above. If you need another comparable when considering Correa, the Texas Rangers also entered the land of crazy spending when they inked former Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager to a ten-year, $325 million deal this winter. That was consummate alongside Marcus Semien’s seven-year, $175 million pact they agree to following a third-place finish in the American League MVP voting. What it boils down to, is that Carlos Correa is going to get paid. Where does this leave the Twins? Probably in no man’s land. I’ve been told from sources that Minnesota will make an offer somewhere in the upper-$200 millions. Whatever that means remains up for discussion, but it’s a far cry from where both Seager and Semien ended up last season. It’s also well below what Lindor got from the Mets. This offseason, both Trea Turner and Dansby Swanson will be available on the open market alongside Correa. I’m not sure you can make an argument that the latter is better than the Twins shortstop, and the former has his warts too. Regardless, Minnesota would seem silly to pay another top shortstop a similar amount of money when one they already know is available. If Falvey and Levine want to create long-term continuity at one of the most impactful positions on the diamond, why would they not stick with the guy they already know? Correa’s 4.4 fWAR was the third highest of his career, and that was achieved despite acclimating to a new club and missing time following a hit by pitch. Of course, Correa has said all of the right things on his own. He loves Minnesota, and his wife does as well. He’s suggested he would be open to staying here, but that decision gets substantially more clouded should the returning employer come up with something like $70 million short of other suitors. At the end of the day it’s as simple as this; how difficult do the Twins want to make the decision? If the offer isn’t competitive, they only have themselves to blame. Either you’re entirely betting on Royce Lewis, Austin Martin, Brooks Lee, and your own youth, or you want to lock up a needed position for the next decade and do what’s necessary to make that happen. View full article
  8. Last offseason, as spring training was already underway, Derek Falvey and Thad Levine found themselves with an opportunity to land superstar Carlos Correa. With the New York Yankees willing to take on Josh Donaldson’s albatross of a contract, the Twins had a hole and money to spend. No longer was this club going to start Isiah Kiner-Falefa at shortstop, and Correa remained on the market. Overlord, err agent Scott Boras, was angling for his client to land the highest average annual value for a Major League infielder. Guaranteeing Correa $100,000 more than Los Angeles Angels third basemen Anthony Rendon, Minnesota accomplished that. The contract was a three-year pact for $105.3 million, but each of the additional years were simply player options. Correa gave himself an opportunity to get paid should he not perform, but his goal has always remained the same, a long-term, big-dollar deal. Prior to the 2021 season, former Cleveland Guardians shortstop Francisco Lindor inked a 10-year, $341 million extension with the New York Mets. Yes, Steve Cohen is a filthy rich owner, but there’s little argument that the shortstop wasn’t worth it. Correa checks in at roughly the same age, and while his health has been a bit more questionable, he’s been the same or better on the field. Looking for his payday this winter, that’s probably the number he’ll target to get above. If you need another comparable when considering Correa, the Texas Rangers also entered the land of crazy spending when they inked former Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager to a ten-year, $325 million deal this winter. That was consummate alongside Marcus Semien’s seven-year, $175 million pact they agree to following a third-place finish in the American League MVP voting. What it boils down to, is that Carlos Correa is going to get paid. Where does this leave the Twins? Probably in no man’s land. I’ve been told from sources that Minnesota will make an offer somewhere in the upper-$200 millions. Whatever that means remains up for discussion, but it’s a far cry from where both Seager and Semien ended up last season. It’s also well below what Lindor got from the Mets. This offseason, both Trea Turner and Dansby Swanson will be available on the open market alongside Correa. I’m not sure you can make an argument that the latter is better than the Twins shortstop, and the former has his warts too. Regardless, Minnesota would seem silly to pay another top shortstop a similar amount of money when one they already know is available. If Falvey and Levine want to create long-term continuity at one of the most impactful positions on the diamond, why would they not stick with the guy they already know? Correa’s 4.4 fWAR was the third highest of his career, and that was achieved despite acclimating to a new club and missing time following a hit by pitch. Of course, Correa has said all of the right things on his own. He loves Minnesota, and his wife does as well. He’s suggested he would be open to staying here, but that decision gets substantially more clouded should the returning employer come up with something like $70 million short of other suitors. At the end of the day it’s as simple as this; how difficult do the Twins want to make the decision? If the offer isn’t competitive, they only have themselves to blame. Either you’re entirely betting on Royce Lewis, Austin Martin, Brooks Lee, and your own youth, or you want to lock up a needed position for the next decade and do what’s necessary to make that happen.
  9. Going into this offseason, the Minnesota Twins are going to face a serious decision at the shortstop position. Carlos Correa can, and will, opt out of his contract following the World Series. It is then on the organization to decide their next move, and they’ve provided some context as to what we should expect from there. Image courtesy of Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports Derek Falvey and Thad Levine made arguably the biggest splash of their tenure leading the Twins when they inked Carlos Correa to a deal last offseason. Ultimately, after pawning Josh Donaldson off on the New York Yankees, Correa fell in their laps. Minnesota had substantial money to spend, and a need that he could fill. This offseason, that same reality remains true, but Correa should have suitors willing to pay him Francisco Lindor money. It’s probably unlikely that the Twins are one of them. So, where does that leave a team waiting on Royce Lewis’ eventual return? It’s a big gamble to believe Lewis, coming off a second ACL surgery, will be the same player. However, his debut provided enough excitement to suggest he can hold down the position. Isiah Kiner-Falefa was who this front office targeted initially, before Correa, and that would have been a defense-only option that ultimately filled the void. Now facing a similar scenario, the front office will need to navigate a path forward. Despite the position being arguably one of the most important on the diamond, there are not a ton of options this winter. That is unless you want to play in the deep end of the pool. Trea Turner, Dansby Swanson, and Correa are going to be the top tier, but from there it’s quite a drop-off. Minnesota would seem an unlikely landing spot for Chicago White Sox Tim Anderson. He’s not a good defender, and a long-term deal there doesn’t make much sense. They could opt for an Ehire Adrianza reunion, but Jermaine Palacios would probably have been a better option before he was DFA’d and claimed by the Tigers. Both Elvis Andrus and Aledmys Diaz check the veteran box with some offensive upside, but it’s hard to envision either being an ideal fit for the Twins. Andrus provided production in just a limited sample, and Diaz hasn’t held down a single position in years. With external options waning and one name still yet to be discussed, things keep coming back to Jose Iglesias. The well-traveled veteran is coming off a one-year deal with the Colorado Rockies. He’s never been more than a league-average hitter, outside of the 2020 outlier with the Baltimore Orioles, but he does hit for a solid average. Defensively Iglesias has rated poorly from a Defensive Runs Saved standpoint, but has been roughly even when it comes to outs above average. As a whole, he’s the ideal type of player to operate in a stopgap role. There should be little reason Minnesota would need to pay handsomely for Iglesias. He made just $5 million last season in Colorado, and likely could be had for a similar amount in his age-33 season. Iglesias has been a reliably healthy option for years now, and could certainly hold down the fort until Lewis is ready to make his return. There’s no reason to suggest that Iglesias would be a big move for Minnesota, and if anything, it’d likely be received somewhat poorly. Coming off Correa though, the only way to lessen the blow is by re-upping on a new deal or swinging big on one of the other top two options. Going the stopgap route at shortstop could allow the Twins more funds to hand out elsewhere, however. Ultimately, there are not a ton of options on the free agent market. It doesn’t make much sense for Minnesota to swing a trade for a shortstop, and if they aren’t paying Correa, it’s odd to think they’d spend on someone else. Iglesias is where I’d put the highest odds at this point, especially considering the lack of internal options. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- See where Jose Iglesias ranks among free-agent shortstops according to Cody's article from yesterday. View full article
  10. The Twins expect Carlos Correa to opt out of his contract, which leaves the team searching for a replacement. Here are the top available shortstops expected to be on the free-agent market. Image courtesy of Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Minnesota is in an interesting situation looking at the 2023 roster. How should the team approach the shortstop position? The Twins expect Royce Lewis to return in the middle of next season, and there’s hope he can be the team’s long-term answer at shortstop. Lewis’ presence leaves the Twins with two options. The team can sign one of the top available shortstops or look for a stop-gap player until Lewis is ready. 5. Elvis Andrus, SS Age: 34 2022 Stats: .249/.303/.404 (.707), 103 OPS+, 32 2B, 17 HR, 18 SB, 3.0 WAR Andrus has a $15 million option that he can exercise since he had more than 550 plate appearances this season, so there is no guarantee that he will hit the open market. He seems like a solid stop-gap option for the Twins if he is available. His OPS improved by 100 points after leaving Oakland last season, and he finished with an above-average OPS+. He may have lost a step defensively, but that’s expected as someone heads into their mid-30s. SABR’s Defensive Index had Andrus ranked as the ninth-best shortstop in the American League. Andrus and his representatives need to gauge the market to decide if he can get more than $15 million in guaranteed money. 4. Dansby Swanson, SS Age: 29 2022 Stats: .277/.329/.447 (.776), 115 OPS+, 32 2B, 25 HR, 18 SB, 5.7 WAR Swanson is hitting the free-agent market at the perfect time. He was a first-time All-Star in 2022 and has a World Series title on his resume. Some of the other players on this list will get more significant deals, but Swanson will be able to cash in on a tremendous 2022 season. Even with his breakout season, Swanson has a career OPS+ (95) that is below average. He makes up for his offensive flaws with tremendous defense, with only two NL shortstops ranking higher than him in SDI. Teams need to decide if the 2022 version of Swanson is real before handing him a blank check. 3. Xander Bogaerts, SS Age: 30 2022 Stats: .307/.377/.456 (.833), 131 OPS+, 38 2B, 15 HR, 8 SB, 5.7 WAR Bogaerts has the resume every team wants from a free agent. He plays a premium position, is a four-time All-Star, has two World Series titles, and has four Silver Sluggers. He does have three years remaining on his current contract, but many expect him to opt-out. The one knock against Bogaerts is that he is older than the other top players on this list. Only two AL shortstops ranked higher than him, according to SDI. He will get paid like a top-tier player by one of the teams in the free-agent shortstop market. 2. Carlos Correa, SS Age: 28 2022 Stats: .291/.366/.467 (.834), 140 OPS+, 24 2B, 22 HR, 0 SB, 5.4 WAR Correa made his opt-out decision clear as the season ended. He is heading back to the free agent market for the second straight offseason in an attempt to sign a long-term deal. Last winter, Corey Seager received the largest free agent shortstop contract at ten years and $325 million. Correa is likely searching for a similar amount. Twins fans may feel underwhelmed by Correa’s performance this season with the Twins, but his season totals were similar to other years in his career. He was a tremendous hitter with plus defense. However, he failed to produce in some clutch situations and his best offensive months were near the season’s end when the team fell out of the race. Minnesota has payroll flexibility to sign Correa, but it would be out of character for the front office to make that type of commitment. 1. Trea Turner, SS Age: 29 2022 Stats: .298/.343/.466 (.809), 121 OPS+, 39 2B, 21 HR, 27 SB, 4.9 WAR Outside of Aaron Judge, Turner is likely to get the biggest free-agent contract. He is a true five-tool talent with skills on both sides of the ball and elite speed. He’s stolen 30 or more bases in five seasons, even in an era when teams are less inclined to run. Plenty of front offices will be willing to throw piles of money at Turner to a top-of-the-order hitter that takes their team to the next level. He’s won a batting title, he’s won a World Series, and he’s a multi-time All-Star. Minnesota isn’t going to sign Turner, but his contract will likely point to how much it will cost to sign Correa long-term. Do you see any of these shortstops as fits for the Twins? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. View full article
  11. Derek Falvey and Thad Levine made arguably the biggest splash of their tenure leading the Twins when they inked Carlos Correa to a deal last offseason. Ultimately, after pawning Josh Donaldson off on the New York Yankees, Correa fell in their laps. Minnesota had substantial money to spend, and a need that he could fill. This offseason, that same reality remains true, but Correa should have suitors willing to pay him Francisco Lindor money. It’s probably unlikely that the Twins are one of them. So, where does that leave a team waiting on Royce Lewis’ eventual return? It’s a big gamble to believe Lewis, coming off a second ACL surgery, will be the same player. However, his debut provided enough excitement to suggest he can hold down the position. Isiah Kiner-Falefa was who this front office targeted initially, before Correa, and that would have been a defense-only option that ultimately filled the void. Now facing a similar scenario, the front office will need to navigate a path forward. Despite the position being arguably one of the most important on the diamond, there are not a ton of options this winter. That is unless you want to play in the deep end of the pool. Trea Turner, Dansby Swanson, and Correa are going to be the top tier, but from there it’s quite a drop-off. Minnesota would seem an unlikely landing spot for Chicago White Sox Tim Anderson. He’s not a good defender, and a long-term deal there doesn’t make much sense. They could opt for an Ehire Adrianza reunion, but Jermaine Palacios would probably have been a better option before he was DFA’d and claimed by the Tigers. Both Elvis Andrus and Aledmys Diaz check the veteran box with some offensive upside, but it’s hard to envision either being an ideal fit for the Twins. Andrus provided production in just a limited sample, and Diaz hasn’t held down a single position in years. With external options waning and one name still yet to be discussed, things keep coming back to Jose Iglesias. The well-traveled veteran is coming off a one-year deal with the Colorado Rockies. He’s never been more than a league-average hitter, outside of the 2020 outlier with the Baltimore Orioles, but he does hit for a solid average. Defensively Iglesias has rated poorly from a Defensive Runs Saved standpoint, but has been roughly even when it comes to outs above average. As a whole, he’s the ideal type of player to operate in a stopgap role. There should be little reason Minnesota would need to pay handsomely for Iglesias. He made just $5 million last season in Colorado, and likely could be had for a similar amount in his age-33 season. Iglesias has been a reliably healthy option for years now, and could certainly hold down the fort until Lewis is ready to make his return. There’s no reason to suggest that Iglesias would be a big move for Minnesota, and if anything, it’d likely be received somewhat poorly. Coming off Correa though, the only way to lessen the blow is by re-upping on a new deal or swinging big on one of the other top two options. Going the stopgap route at shortstop could allow the Twins more funds to hand out elsewhere, however. Ultimately, there are not a ton of options on the free agent market. It doesn’t make much sense for Minnesota to swing a trade for a shortstop, and if they aren’t paying Correa, it’s odd to think they’d spend on someone else. Iglesias is where I’d put the highest odds at this point, especially considering the lack of internal options. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- See where Jose Iglesias ranks among free-agent shortstops according to Cody's article from yesterday.
  12. Minnesota is in an interesting situation looking at the 2023 roster. How should the team approach the shortstop position? The Twins expect Royce Lewis to return in the middle of next season, and there’s hope he can be the team’s long-term answer at shortstop. Lewis’ presence leaves the Twins with two options. The team can sign one of the top available shortstops or look for a stop-gap player until Lewis is ready. 5. Elvis Andrus, SS Age: 34 2022 Stats: .249/.303/.404 (.707), 103 OPS+, 32 2B, 17 HR, 18 SB, 3.0 WAR Andrus has a $15 million option that he can exercise since he had more than 550 plate appearances this season, so there is no guarantee that he will hit the open market. He seems like a solid stop-gap option for the Twins if he is available. His OPS improved by 100 points after leaving Oakland last season, and he finished with an above-average OPS+. He may have lost a step defensively, but that’s expected as someone heads into their mid-30s. SABR’s Defensive Index had Andrus ranked as the ninth-best shortstop in the American League. Andrus and his representatives need to gauge the market to decide if he can get more than $15 million in guaranteed money. 4. Dansby Swanson, SS Age: 29 2022 Stats: .277/.329/.447 (.776), 115 OPS+, 32 2B, 25 HR, 18 SB, 5.7 WAR Swanson is hitting the free-agent market at the perfect time. He was a first-time All-Star in 2022 and has a World Series title on his resume. Some of the other players on this list will get more significant deals, but Swanson will be able to cash in on a tremendous 2022 season. Even with his breakout season, Swanson has a career OPS+ (95) that is below average. He makes up for his offensive flaws with tremendous defense, with only two NL shortstops ranking higher than him in SDI. Teams need to decide if the 2022 version of Swanson is real before handing him a blank check. 3. Xander Bogaerts, SS Age: 30 2022 Stats: .307/.377/.456 (.833), 131 OPS+, 38 2B, 15 HR, 8 SB, 5.7 WAR Bogaerts has the resume every team wants from a free agent. He plays a premium position, is a four-time All-Star, has two World Series titles, and has four Silver Sluggers. He does have three years remaining on his current contract, but many expect him to opt-out. The one knock against Bogaerts is that he is older than the other top players on this list. Only two AL shortstops ranked higher than him, according to SDI. He will get paid like a top-tier player by one of the teams in the free-agent shortstop market. 2. Carlos Correa, SS Age: 28 2022 Stats: .291/.366/.467 (.834), 140 OPS+, 24 2B, 22 HR, 0 SB, 5.4 WAR Correa made his opt-out decision clear as the season ended. He is heading back to the free agent market for the second straight offseason in an attempt to sign a long-term deal. Last winter, Corey Seager received the largest free agent shortstop contract at ten years and $325 million. Correa is likely searching for a similar amount. Twins fans may feel underwhelmed by Correa’s performance this season with the Twins, but his season totals were similar to other years in his career. He was a tremendous hitter with plus defense. However, he failed to produce in some clutch situations and his best offensive months were near the season’s end when the team fell out of the race. Minnesota has payroll flexibility to sign Correa, but it would be out of character for the front office to make that type of commitment. 1. Trea Turner, SS Age: 29 2022 Stats: .298/.343/.466 (.809), 121 OPS+, 39 2B, 21 HR, 27 SB, 4.9 WAR Outside of Aaron Judge, Turner is likely to get the biggest free-agent contract. He is a true five-tool talent with skills on both sides of the ball and elite speed. He’s stolen 30 or more bases in five seasons, even in an era when teams are less inclined to run. Plenty of front offices will be willing to throw piles of money at Turner to a top-of-the-order hitter that takes their team to the next level. He’s won a batting title, he’s won a World Series, and he’s a multi-time All-Star. Minnesota isn’t going to sign Turner, but his contract will likely point to how much it will cost to sign Correa long-term. Do you see any of these shortstops as fits for the Twins? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  13. Carlos Correa was always expected to opt out of his contract with the Twins. Now, the focus turns to if the Twins can re-sign their superstar shortstop. Here are six teams that Minnesota might need to outbid for Correa’s services. Image courtesy of Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Last week, Carlos Correa made it clear that he plans to opt-out of his contract with the Twins. This wasn’t a surprise as he and his representation feel that he is deserving of a long-term deal similar to other top-tier shortstops. Last winter, Corey Seager signed a 10-year, $325 million contract as one of the best shortstops on the market. Seager and Correa are similar ages, so it makes sense for Correa to want a similar contract. Not every team will be looking for a shortstop this winter, but some of baseball’s biggest spenders have a shortstop need. Here are six teams that can potentially be in a bidding war for Correa. Atlanta Braves The Braves surprised many by getting hot last October and going on a World Series run. One of the key cogs in their line-up has been Dansby Swanson, who is heading to free agency this winter. Swanson is having a career year as he has a 116 OPS+ and was a first-time All-Star. Correa is seven months younger than Swanson and has a better track record at the big-league level. If the Braves fail to repeat, will they want to make a change at shortstop? Chicago White Sox Not much went right for the White Sox this season, and now the team will have a new manager for the 2023 campaign. Experts widely projected Chicago to win the AL Central, but injuries and poor play impacted the team throughout the year. Tim Anderson has been one of the team’s regulars in recent seasons, so the team would need to move him to another position to sign Correa. Will the White Sox want to make a big splash for their new manager? Boston Red Sox Boston will be looking to fill a hole at shortstop as Xander Bogaerts will be a free agent this winter. The four-time All-Star is two years older than Swanson and Correa, so his cost will be significantly less. They added Trevor Story on a six-year contract in the spring, so they could just move him back to the position. The Red Sox expected to contend this season, but they finished in last place in a very competitive AL East. Is it time for a rebuild in Boston, or will the front office try to prop open the club’s winning window? Philadelphia Phillies The Phillies backed into the playoffs as the NL’s third Wild Card team without playing very well down the stretch. Bryson Stott has played most of the team’s games at shortstop and has an 80 OPS+ for the season. Considering what Bryce Harper and Correa could do in the middle of Philadelphia’s line-up must be intriguing. Will the Phillies be willing to hand out another monster contract? Los Angeles Dodgers Dodgers fans might implode if Correa signs with the club after the Astros used an elaborate cheating scandal in previous playoff appearances. That being said, LA needs a shortstop for next season as Trea Turner will join Correa on the free agent market. The Dodgers seem more likely to re-sign Turner, especially with how high the club’s payroll has been in recent years. Can the Dodgers look past the cheating scandal from Correa and the Astros? New York Yankees The Yankees dominated the AL for a large portion of the 2022 season, but struggles in the second half might point to some flaws with the team. Isiah Kiner Falefa was the team’s primary shortstop and posted an 85 OPS+ for the season. The Yankees top two prospects are shortstops as well. New York also has to worry about resigning Aaron Judge this winter. If the Yankees fall short of their World Series goal, will the club be willing to hand out two giant contracts to free agents? Will the Twins be able to outbid any of these teams for Correa? Where do you think he signs? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. View full article
  14. Last week, Carlos Correa made it clear that he plans to opt-out of his contract with the Twins. This wasn’t a surprise as he and his representation feel that he is deserving of a long-term deal similar to other top-tier shortstops. Last winter, Corey Seager signed a 10-year, $325 million contract as one of the best shortstops on the market. Seager and Correa are similar ages, so it makes sense for Correa to want a similar contract. Not every team will be looking for a shortstop this winter, but some of baseball’s biggest spenders have a shortstop need. Here are six teams that can potentially be in a bidding war for Correa. Atlanta Braves The Braves surprised many by getting hot last October and going on a World Series run. One of the key cogs in their line-up has been Dansby Swanson, who is heading to free agency this winter. Swanson is having a career year as he has a 116 OPS+ and was a first-time All-Star. Correa is seven months younger than Swanson and has a better track record at the big-league level. If the Braves fail to repeat, will they want to make a change at shortstop? Chicago White Sox Not much went right for the White Sox this season, and now the team will have a new manager for the 2023 campaign. Experts widely projected Chicago to win the AL Central, but injuries and poor play impacted the team throughout the year. Tim Anderson has been one of the team’s regulars in recent seasons, so the team would need to move him to another position to sign Correa. Will the White Sox want to make a big splash for their new manager? Boston Red Sox Boston will be looking to fill a hole at shortstop as Xander Bogaerts will be a free agent this winter. The four-time All-Star is two years older than Swanson and Correa, so his cost will be significantly less. They added Trevor Story on a six-year contract in the spring, so they could just move him back to the position. The Red Sox expected to contend this season, but they finished in last place in a very competitive AL East. Is it time for a rebuild in Boston, or will the front office try to prop open the club’s winning window? Philadelphia Phillies The Phillies backed into the playoffs as the NL’s third Wild Card team without playing very well down the stretch. Bryson Stott has played most of the team’s games at shortstop and has an 80 OPS+ for the season. Considering what Bryce Harper and Correa could do in the middle of Philadelphia’s line-up must be intriguing. Will the Phillies be willing to hand out another monster contract? Los Angeles Dodgers Dodgers fans might implode if Correa signs with the club after the Astros used an elaborate cheating scandal in previous playoff appearances. That being said, LA needs a shortstop for next season as Trea Turner will join Correa on the free agent market. The Dodgers seem more likely to re-sign Turner, especially with how high the club’s payroll has been in recent years. Can the Dodgers look past the cheating scandal from Correa and the Astros? New York Yankees The Yankees dominated the AL for a large portion of the 2022 season, but struggles in the second half might point to some flaws with the team. Isiah Kiner Falefa was the team’s primary shortstop and posted an 85 OPS+ for the season. The Yankees top two prospects are shortstops as well. New York also has to worry about resigning Aaron Judge this winter. If the Yankees fall short of their World Series goal, will the club be willing to hand out two giant contracts to free agents? Will the Twins be able to outbid any of these teams for Correa? Where do you think he signs? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  15. The Minnesota Twins are all but expecting Carlos Correa to opt out, and that should be seen as a near certainty, but is the big payday really there? With another loaded free agent class, the answer isn’t as certain. An immediate note on Carlos Correa opting out should be that it does not mean his time with the Minnesota Twins is done. He’s going to opt out because it makes sense for him to do so from a longevity standpoint. Soon-to-be 28-years-old, Correa would be better off landing a long-term deal as opposed to playing next season at $35.1 million. If he kept this current contract, he’d hit the market again at 30-years-old, making the long-term expectation that much more contentious. This offseason Correa had Scott Boras angle for $35.1 million. That extra $100,000 landed Correa the highest paying deal for a Major League infielder by average annual value. It came in ahead of another Boras client in Anthony Rendon. To a certain extent, Correa has already earned a record deal. Now, what does he want to do from here? Looking at things as they stand currently, Correa would be no better than the 4th best option in terms of 2022 fWAR among 2023 free agents. Dansby Swanson (5.2) leads the position, with Trea Turner (4.7) just behind him and Xander Bogaerts (4.2) coming in third. Correa’s 2.2 fWAR checks in 13th among qualified shortstops. Age wise, Turner is a bit older at 29 while Swanson is less than a year separated from Minnesota’s shortstop. Bogaerts paces the group at nearly 30-years-old, which could provide an interesting case study for Correa should he surprisingly choose to play out the string on his deal now. Making just $20 million through 2024, Bogaerts is all but certain to opt out of his contract with the Boston Red Sox, and it seems there’s been little dialogue regarding an extension. I think you can make the case that Turner is a superior player to Correa, while Swanson’s emergence has been more recent. Bogaerts is probably ahead of the Puerto Rican as well, but again, has a bit of age constraints going against him. Then there’s the understanding that the market would need to shift substantially. Last year Correa was looking for that big $300 million deal. He never found it, and instead signed with the Twins. Sure, the Los Angeles Dodgers could be in play needing to replace Turner, but that’d be pretty awkward given the reality that he’s the fanbase's favorite player to boo. It’s tough to see the New York Yankees getting in after opting for Isiah Kiner-Falefa instead, and having Anthony Volpe as their top prospect near ready to go. With that, you’ve immediately taken out two of the top spenders. Oh, and Steve Cohen already has Francisco Lindor with the New York Mets. So, where does that leave Correa? If last winter was a cold shoulder, maybe this one is even moreso. There’s no denying he’s an elite talent, and he’s going to get paid, but maybe not to the extent he hopes. A five or six year deal may happen, but it will come at a substantially lesser average annual value. A six-year deal at $200 million isn’t much of a drop, still $33.3 million. I don’t know that $150 million gets it done, but over five years that’s still $30 million per season. The decision probably lands on what level of future security is desired, and how much the average annual value matters. Anything close to either of those scenarios would be a record spend for Minnesota, but given the current financial obligations, it’s a pool they could certainly play in. Not having to fight against the biggest markets, Correa opting-out could ultimately result in him choosing to return to a place he’s stated feeling comfortable. Noted as a homebody, maybe weight is placed on not moving again, and this is certainly a fanbase that would embrace him for the long term. Having a left side of the infield that includes Royce Lewis and Correa for something like the next handful of years would be quite the stabilizing force for a team looking to take another step forward. View full article
  16. An immediate note on Carlos Correa opting out should be that it does not mean his time with the Minnesota Twins is done. He’s going to opt out because it makes sense for him to do so from a longevity standpoint. Soon-to-be 28-years-old, Correa would be better off landing a long-term deal as opposed to playing next season at $35.1 million. If he kept this current contract, he’d hit the market again at 30-years-old, making the long-term expectation that much more contentious. This offseason Correa had Scott Boras angle for $35.1 million. That extra $100,000 landed Correa the highest paying deal for a Major League infielder by average annual value. It came in ahead of another Boras client in Anthony Rendon. To a certain extent, Correa has already earned a record deal. Now, what does he want to do from here? Looking at things as they stand currently, Correa would be no better than the 4th best option in terms of 2022 fWAR among 2023 free agents. Dansby Swanson (5.2) leads the position, with Trea Turner (4.7) just behind him and Xander Bogaerts (4.2) coming in third. Correa’s 2.2 fWAR checks in 13th among qualified shortstops. Age wise, Turner is a bit older at 29 while Swanson is less than a year separated from Minnesota’s shortstop. Bogaerts paces the group at nearly 30-years-old, which could provide an interesting case study for Correa should he surprisingly choose to play out the string on his deal now. Making just $20 million through 2024, Bogaerts is all but certain to opt out of his contract with the Boston Red Sox, and it seems there’s been little dialogue regarding an extension. I think you can make the case that Turner is a superior player to Correa, while Swanson’s emergence has been more recent. Bogaerts is probably ahead of the Puerto Rican as well, but again, has a bit of age constraints going against him. Then there’s the understanding that the market would need to shift substantially. Last year Correa was looking for that big $300 million deal. He never found it, and instead signed with the Twins. Sure, the Los Angeles Dodgers could be in play needing to replace Turner, but that’d be pretty awkward given the reality that he’s the fanbase's favorite player to boo. It’s tough to see the New York Yankees getting in after opting for Isiah Kiner-Falefa instead, and having Anthony Volpe as their top prospect near ready to go. With that, you’ve immediately taken out two of the top spenders. Oh, and Steve Cohen already has Francisco Lindor with the New York Mets. So, where does that leave Correa? If last winter was a cold shoulder, maybe this one is even moreso. There’s no denying he’s an elite talent, and he’s going to get paid, but maybe not to the extent he hopes. A five or six year deal may happen, but it will come at a substantially lesser average annual value. A six-year deal at $200 million isn’t much of a drop, still $33.3 million. I don’t know that $150 million gets it done, but over five years that’s still $30 million per season. The decision probably lands on what level of future security is desired, and how much the average annual value matters. Anything close to either of those scenarios would be a record spend for Minnesota, but given the current financial obligations, it’s a pool they could certainly play in. Not having to fight against the biggest markets, Correa opting-out could ultimately result in him choosing to return to a place he’s stated feeling comfortable. Noted as a homebody, maybe weight is placed on not moving again, and this is certainly a fanbase that would embrace him for the long term. Having a left side of the infield that includes Royce Lewis and Correa for something like the next handful of years would be quite the stabilizing force for a team looking to take another step forward.
  17. Even with the Twins in the midst of a division race, it’s never too early to look ahead at plans for this winter. Minnesota’s starting rotation will have plenty of options for the start of 2023, but there are other holes to fill in the roster. Here are the top pending free agents and how they may or may not fit with the Twins. Aaron Judge, OF Judge bet on himself this spring and that bet is paying off. New York offered him a contract north of $215 million but he will make significantly more than that based on his monster 2022 season. He’s the likely front runner for the AL MVP and the Yankees are dominating one of baseball’s best divisions. Back in June, ESPN’s Buster Olney named the Twins as a potential landing spot for Judge. The team has the payroll flexibility to make a deal work, but the Twins also have quite a few options in the outfield. Judge likely gets a contract he is looking for from one of the big market teams. Trea Turner, SS Turner may be a sneaky fit for the Twins if the market plays out in their favor. Judge may be the top player on the market but Turner has skills on both sides of the ball that front offices covet. For the second consecutive offseason, the free agent shortstop class is considered strong. Turner is slightly older than Carlos Correa (see below) so a seven or eight-year deal will lock him up through his late 30s. As he ages, he will need to shift to a different defensive position, but he is currently one of the game’s best overall players. Nolan Arenado, 3B Like Judge, Arenado is in the midst of his best big-league season in a contract year. Arenado is under contract through 2027, but he can opt out of the remaining $144 million he is due after this season. He compares similarly to Anthony Rendon who signed a seven-year, $245 million contract entering the 2020 season. Arenado is in his age-31 season, so he is older than the other players on this list. Even with his age, he is considered one of the game’s premier defensive players, but the bulk of a long-term contract will be outside the prime of his career. For the Twins, Arenado may be slightly cheaper than the other players on this list. Carlos Correa, SS If Correa stays healthy, it is expected that he will opt out of his contract at the season’s end. Correa slumped to start the 2022 season and has struggled over the last couple of months. He is still having an overall good year, but the Twins and Correa were both expecting more during the 2022 campaign. His defensive numbers have declined this season, but there may be some reasons for his decline (see below). Even with his slump, Correa is younger than all of the players on this list which has a chance to result in a 10-year contract that takes him through his age-37 season. It would be out of character for the Twins front office to sign him to this kind of contract, but his first deal with the club was also uncharacteristic. Do you think any of these pending free agents are a good fit for the Twins? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  18. Last winter, the Twins surprised the baseball world by signing one of the best free agents on the market. Do any of this year’s top free agents fit in Minnesota? Even with the Twins in the midst of a division race, it’s never too early to look ahead at plans for this winter. Minnesota’s starting rotation will have plenty of options for the start of 2023, but there are other holes to fill in the roster. Here are the top pending free agents and how they may or may not fit with the Twins. Aaron Judge, OF Judge bet on himself this spring and that bet is paying off. New York offered him a contract north of $215 million but he will make significantly more than that based on his monster 2022 season. He’s the likely front runner for the AL MVP and the Yankees are dominating one of baseball’s best divisions. Back in June, ESPN’s Buster Olney named the Twins as a potential landing spot for Judge. The team has the payroll flexibility to make a deal work, but the Twins also have quite a few options in the outfield. Judge likely gets a contract he is looking for from one of the big market teams. Trea Turner, SS Turner may be a sneaky fit for the Twins if the market plays out in their favor. Judge may be the top player on the market but Turner has skills on both sides of the ball that front offices covet. For the second consecutive offseason, the free agent shortstop class is considered strong. Turner is slightly older than Carlos Correa (see below) so a seven or eight-year deal will lock him up through his late 30s. As he ages, he will need to shift to a different defensive position, but he is currently one of the game’s best overall players. Nolan Arenado, 3B Like Judge, Arenado is in the midst of his best big-league season in a contract year. Arenado is under contract through 2027, but he can opt out of the remaining $144 million he is due after this season. He compares similarly to Anthony Rendon who signed a seven-year, $245 million contract entering the 2020 season. Arenado is in his age-31 season, so he is older than the other players on this list. Even with his age, he is considered one of the game’s premier defensive players, but the bulk of a long-term contract will be outside the prime of his career. For the Twins, Arenado may be slightly cheaper than the other players on this list. Carlos Correa, SS If Correa stays healthy, it is expected that he will opt out of his contract at the season’s end. Correa slumped to start the 2022 season and has struggled over the last couple of months. He is still having an overall good year, but the Twins and Correa were both expecting more during the 2022 campaign. His defensive numbers have declined this season, but there may be some reasons for his decline (see below). Even with his slump, Correa is younger than all of the players on this list which has a chance to result in a 10-year contract that takes him through his age-37 season. It would be out of character for the Twins front office to sign him to this kind of contract, but his first deal with the club was also uncharacteristic. Do you think any of these pending free agents are a good fit for the Twins? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. View full article
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