With the major league baseball offseason now in full swing, the headlines are starting to emerge:
“St. Louis Acquires Jason Heyward in 4 Player Trade.”
“Jon Lester to Meet With Atlanta Braves.”
“Red Sox Target Pablo Sandoval as Free Agent Prize.”
“Oakland A’s Agree to Terms With Billy Butler.”
Wait, the Oakland A’s are even signing free agents now? Sigh.
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There are a lot of drawbacks to being a Minnesota Twins fan these days: 90+ loss seasons, manager upheaval, etc… But one of the biggest downers these days about being a Twins fan? The off-season is truly the off-season. The hot-stove season in Minnesota has gone cold. The wheeling and dealing time of year is more snooze and snore here in Twins Territory. We watch from afar as other teams makes big splashes in free agency. As other teams go for broke with trades, we sit idly by. While much of the league is looking to add that missing piece, we dig through the couches looking for missing change.
When was the last time the Twins were truly in the mix during November and December in regards to a free agent signing or a big trade? Without doing any research, I would say off the top of my head would be 6 years ago and that’s when we were in the news about trading away the top pitcher in baseball to the Mets in 2008 for a bunch of scrap parts and a bucket of balls. I’m still mad at Bill Smith, even writing that last sentence.
It gets tiresome to see other fans be able to get excited for their team before Christmas while we have to wait until early February for the Twins management to see what’s left that can be picked up for a reasonable price. I always feel like the last guy shopping at a Farmer’s Market…everything has been picked over and you have to scramble to get a decent find. I’m not saying you can’t find something great (see Phil Hughes), but much of the time you are left with the rotten leftovers that no one else wanted (see: Kevin Correia, Mike Pelfrey, Jason Marquis, and so many more.)
Look, I’m well aware that this Twins team is not a single player away from greatness requiring a big splash. A single Jon Lester signing or making a Jason Heyward-type trade isn’t going to make the team contenders. I get that. But the team has legitimate needs this offseason it has to address: a front-line starting pitcher, a starting left fielder, and several bullpen spot are absolutely requiring attention. But here we are again in November and December and the Twins aren’t even in the discussion about adding a key free agent or making a big move to improve their team. And because of this, a big part of my fandom goes into hibernation and every year it takes more and more of it to wake up out of it in the spring.
Until next time…