Minnesota Twins Free Agent Possibility: Randy Choate


Could Randy Choate be a possibility for the Minnesota Twins?

More from Puckett's Pond

In the past few days we’ve presented Franklin Morales (here) and Cesar Ramos (here) as potential fits with the Minnesota Twins. We’ve been exploring what cheap (ish) lefty relievers may still be available. Without splurging on an Antonio Bastardo type, the Twins need to invite as many lefty cheap arms/reclamation projects as they can to spring training. Relievers are fickle and unpredictable animals. Huge years often come out of nowhere. Consider 2015 examples like Liam Hendriks, Mark Lowe and Sam Dyson. The Twins need a Hendriks or two to emerge out of the woodwork. Going into 2016 with a bunch of lefties competing for a spot or two increases the likelihood of the Twins finding a diamond in the rough.

We’d prefer Morales or better yet, Ramos but Randy Choate could be a relatively cheap option to throw into the mix. Morales and Ramos can face both lefties and righties whereas Choate is a LOOGY and has been for a while. We’re not at all fans of LOOGYs and their inflexibility but the Twins are in a position where they need to at least consider them.

For his career, Choate is very effective against lefties with a .557 opponents’ OPS and quite terrible against righties with a .807 opponents’ OPS. Choate has the sweeping sidearm motion that lefties despise. In 2015, Choate pitched 71 games but completed just 27.1 innings. He was rarely used for more than one batter. He had a 3.95 ERA and 1.244 WHIP. Just against lefties, those numbers improved to 2.43 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. More strikeouts are a goal for the Twins’ pen and Choate would be a slight improvement in that area.

Choate posted a 0.2 WAR but a 0.62 WPA in 2015.

Next: Greatest Twins Catcher

Choate made $3 million in 2015 and in spite of his low innings count and LOOGY status, might make about that much again next season. Jerry Blevins was able to get a $4 million deal. However, Choate is signing after the frenzy has died down and he is now 40. Spots are filling up and predominately it’s tight-fisted teams that remain looking. He may be looking at the reality of a much cheaper deal—that kind that might be in the Twins’ wheelhouse.