Minnesota Twins Offseason Free Agent Wish List
Starting pitcher targets
The Rockies made their “big splash” in free agency with their lineup, having an abundance of young arms ready to make an impact at the major league level, so they signed Ian Desmond. The Twins lineup is fairly set, but a starting pitcher that would work at the front of the rotation would be ideal. This year’s top free agent candidate that would fit would be Yu Darvish, but he could be financially out of the Minnesota Twins’ reach.
Much like Darvish returning to health in 2017, Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn were both returning to the mound after being off the mound due to injury, and both are excellent options as a guy who worked as a #2/3 starter. Cobb has posted a 3.80 ERA and 1.22 WHIP over 23 starts in 2017. At just 29, he could be signed for 3-4 years and not get too far beyond his peak either. Lynn has bounced back after Tommy John surgery this season, posting a 3.12 ERA and 1.15 WHIP over 24 starts. Just 30 years old, Lynn would also be an excellent target for 3-4 years as a second-tier option below Darvish (and Jake Arrieta, who doesn’t seem a good fit at all for the Twins).
The Twins could choose to go with Ervin Santana and Jose Berrios at the top of their rotation and bring in one guy to eat some innings in the middle of the rotation while filling the back with guys from their own system. Pitchers like Tyler Chatwood, Jaime Garcia, and Trevor Cahill could be excellent short-term contracts that would work in the middle of the rotation to provide league-average innings. Chatwood is likely the most desirable at 27 years old, though his numbers are certainly not great this season, but just like in previous seasons, he’s been considerably better on the road, posting a 3.78 ERA and 1.24 WHIP away from Coors Field. The Twins did have a chance to get to know Garcia for a couple of weeks this July as a mid-rotation piece from the left side. Cahill missed some time due to injury this year, but he had an excellent half season with the Padres in the rotation, and he threw quite well for the Cubs out of the bullpen in 2016, so he could be a target in both capacities.
One target that would be ideal for the Twins plan is Michael Pineda. Pineda will miss 2018 with Tommy John surgery, and he could likely be had for a contract that was heavily loaded into the 2019 and 2020 seasons on a three-year pact. Pineda has struggled in Yankee Stadium with a heavy amount of his home runs allowed being allowed in his home park since he was a full-time starter (oddly, until this season). Pineda could possibly be signed for less than other options and in 2019/2020 could turn out to be an even better pitcher for a lower cost with the right deal.
Next: Bench Targets