Minnesota Twins Offseason Weekly Reaction: Miguel Sano and the Bullpen


Writers Note: A weekly review of the Minnesota Twins offseason transactions, including reaction and opinions from fans and myself. Look for future polls on my Twitter account to share your opinions.

Last week I reacted to the list of Spring Training invites. Since then, the Minnesota Twins offseason has gone as cold as the recent temperatures.

This week I talk about the Twins bullpen. Before that lets tackle a hypothetical question. Would you give Miguel Sano a big contract?

While celebrating the holidays, my family gathered around the table after dinner to discuss many topics. Some asked me about the Twins and what the team has done thus far. However, my cousin raised the future issue of what to do with Sano. Give a big contract similar to Joe Mauer‘s, or let him walk, or even trade him.

Interested to see how fans would vote on Twitter, I started a poll asking about Sano.

Eventually, the Twins will come to a fork in the road about what to do with Sano. My cousin’s logic was simple, give him the money because the Twins would regret letting go a future Miguel Cabrera. I agree, it would be heartbreaking to watch a Hall of Fame career take place some where other than Target Field. Need a reminder? David Ortiz might ring a bell. Too soon, right?

While the memory of Ortiz and what could have been hasn’t faded from the memories of Twins fans, I can’t help but speculate that letting Sano go in the future seems all to similar.

Lets take a step back and realize that Sano is not Ortiz nor is he Cabrera, yet. However, with continued progression Sano could become the next dangerous power hitter in the league, and the power hitter the Twins have not had since Jim Thome in 2010.

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The Twitter poll results are a little surprising. I would think that finishing third in Rookie of the Year in the AL would translate into more support of big contract come the time.

Sano more than proved he was ready last year. With a full season coming in 2016, it is exciting to see what he can do. With continued progression, becoming a Cabrera or Ortiz seems possible.

Without jumping too far ahead, lets ignore what his stats could be. Sano is eligible for arbitration in 2019 and eligible to become a free agent in 2022. Four to five years from now is about how long the Twins have to decide what to do with Sano.

For those that voted no to the Twitter poll, I question the thought process. Was it the mention of Mauer and contract in the same sentence? Was it the fear of Sano’s possible long-term deal turning out to be a sour deal? Or maybe looking that far into the future is unpredictable?

These are all real fears to have. When the time comes, Terry Ryan must answer these and more.

I would absolutely sign Sano to a long-term contract in four years. If he stays fairly healthy, if he continues to pound the baseballs, it is a no brainer. If the Twins hadn’t signed Mauer, he would be somewhere else. The best hitting catcher, at the time, would no longer be on the Twins. He didn’t leave, and fans regret signing him. Would there be more regret had he signed elsewhere? Would there be regret if Sano signed elsewhere? Think about, there is four years to do so.

State of the Bullpen

The Twins added Mason Melotakis to the 40-man roster previous to the Rule 5 draft. Multiple sources cited the Twins added him out of fear that he would be selected in the draft. He is coming off Tommy John surgery, and the recovery sounds promising. MLBTradeRumors.com said the Twins still think highly of Melotakis.

"“We’re not projecting what his stuff might be—we saw it, we know it’s back. He’s going to be a major leaguer very soon,” says Radcliff."

Out of fear, the Twins added him. It may have been a move that was bound to happen, but the Rule 5 draft pushed the Twins to make that move sooner.

Bullpen of Death

Today the Cincinnati Reds dealt the best closer in the game, Aroldis Chapman, to the New York Yankees. The Yankees bullpen has Andrew Miller, Dellin Betances, and now Chapman to close games out. Unbelievable.

Next: Twins Catcher Poll: Round 2

If the current, flame throwing prospects or minor league deals do not work out as planned, the Twins bullpen could be in for a rough year, again. In terms of strike out relief, the Twins are getting left in the dust.