The Minnesota Twins have been linked to Torii Hunter since the onset of the free agency period opening this offseason. While a reunion with his former club and beloved fans would be great in theory, the best thing for the Twins would be to go a different direction. At this point however, it’s puzzling as to why pitching hasn’t been more of a focus.
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It appears as if Torii to the Texas Ranger is gaining some serious momentum. The Twins would be working in their best interest to let that take place. The mentorship Torii would provide would benefit guys currently not on the 25 man roster most. Also, an aging veteran doesn’t exactly fit the bill of what the Twins should be looking for in left field, production aside. In reality, with any other name on the back of his jersey, the Twins wouldn’t be interested in Hunter.
With that being said, they have spent a considerable amount of time being linked to what should be regarded as the lesser of their worries.
The Twins currently have one frontline starter, his name is Phil Hughes. To say that Minnesota hit on the former Yankee in free agency is somewhat shortsighted. Hughes posted good numbers outside of the cracker jack box that is Yankees Stadium, and it could have been expected that he would be better. He was great, and the Twins definitely benefited from that.
Behind Hughes however, the Twins are very thin. Sure, Ricky Nolasco should bounce back, but it’s still not the National League anymore. Guys like Tommy Milone, Trevor May, and Kyle Gibson should all compete for rotation spots, but they are all middle of the road starters at best. Alex Meyer may turn out to be an ace, but the Twins have yet to take off the training wheels.
At this point, the Twins have an abundance of quantity when it comes to starting arms, but they are seriously lacking in the quality department.
Of course a lot of the pitching market hinges on big name starters like James Shields, Jon Lester, and Max Scherzer all signing. Despite my feelings that the Twins should be in on Shields, the notion that they haven’t entertained any names far enough to be in the public eye yet is concerning.
The secondary market is highlighted by names like Ervin Santana and Francisco Liriano. While both of these guys toe the line between more quantity and quality options, it would be nice to hear the Twins have one all but locked up following the decisions of the big three.
Really what it boils down to is that it’s time to move on from Torii Hunter, whether he wants to be here or not. Focus on the starting pitching need and address left field with a more logical option at a later date.
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