Minnesota Twins: Arbitration projections and how they shape the offseason

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 1: Chris Gimenez /

The Minnesota Twins have an offseason to improve on a successful 2017 season. Here is how one step of the offseason may help shape the 2018 roster.

The Minnesota Twins exceeded expectations in 2017. After 103 losses in 2016, the Twins had an incredible turn around winning 26 more games in 2017 and making the playoffs. That all happened with very little in the way of offseason moves by the new front office made up of Derek Falvey and Thad Levine. It does look like this offseason could bring some more movement from the Twins front office to help the teams progression from playoff participant to World Series contenders.

One of the steps to building the 2018 Twins will involve decisions on players who are eligible for arbitration. In case you are not familiar with the arbitration process, it involves primarily players with major league service time between four and six seasons. These players and their agents have the opportunity to increase their salaries based on their performances.

Teams and players can agree on new salaries that both see to be fair, which often happens. If the two parties cannot agree on a new salary, each side will submit numbers and the decision of the players pay will go to an independent arbitrator. With numbers in mind, the arbitrator will look at players who compare to the player in mind in the areas of ability, performance, and service time to help determine a salary for the upcoming season.

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MLBtraderumors.com recently released their projected arbitration salary numbers for 2018. Based on their formula here is how the seven arbitration-eligible Twins look to fair this offseason. In parentheses is their 2017 salary.

Chris Gimenez– $1.0 million ($950,000)

Eduardo Escobar– $4.9 million ($2.6 million)

Kyle Gibson– $5.3 million ($2.9 million)

Ehire Adrianza– $1.0 million ($600,000)

Ryan Pressly– $1.6 million ($1.175 million)

Robbie Grossman– $2.4 million ($552,500)

Trevor May– $600,000 ($555,000)

The Twins do not need to keep all of these players on their roster. There is a chance some of these players could be non-tendered allowing them to become free agents and open up a roster spot for the Twins. For instance, Gimenez could be non-tendered which would open up a place for Mitch Garver to take over the backup catcher role.

With free agents, Matt Belisle, Bartolo Colon, Dillon Gee, and Hector Santiago coming off of the books, depending on what happens with these arbitration-eligible players the Twins could have approximately 15-20 million dollars to spend in free agency. That gives the front office some decent cash to fill in holes at positions like the starting pitching, bullpen, and a right-handed power bat.

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For the right deal, there could even be a little more money available to Falvey and Levine. The Pohlad’s have always appeared willing to spend money if their baseball leadership felt it was the best for the franchise. Out of these arbitration-eligible players, who would you keep around and who would you let loose? Those are decisions that will significantly shape the Twins offseason.