Could the Minnesota Twins sign a former enemy bat?
While the previous mentions are the ones that fit the roster best, the Twins really could pursue other free agent bats as well. However, the team could make some interesting choices if they want to go another direction.
One of the more elite players in the league when he’s healthy typically, Gonzalez had an odd season in 2017, hitting just .262/.339/.423 with the Rockies with just 14 home runs, in spite of playing 136 games. Gonzalez did end the season red-hot, however, hitting .377/.484/.766 with 6 of his 14 home runs in the single month, so that power is still in there, and he could be a big pickup, especially if he’s on the cheap.
Eric Hosmer is another division guy, though he’s going to likely draw a long-term deal as far as contract length at just 28 years old, and he would create some issue with local guy Joe Mauer as to who would play first base as both are excellent defensive first sackers.
Hosmer’s teammate Mike Moustakas could be another big home run bat the Twins could pursue. He has an excellent power bat for sure, but he’s a third baseman, and the one major power guy on the Twins team currently happens to play that position!
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Two first base/DH types really put up big numbers in 2017, but they hadn’t done such previously. Logan Morrison and Lucas Duda both ended up having huge power years and both finished the season playing for the Tampa Bay Rays. Morrison hit .246/.353/.516 with 38 home runs while only hitting 23 home runs at his peak in 7 previous MLB seasons.
Duda has been a guy who has struggled to stay healthy in the National League with the New York Mets. While he hit just .175 with the Rays after he was picked up mid-season, he hit 13 home runs in just 200 plate appearances. Overall, he hit .217/.322/.496 with 30 home runs, hiw second 30 home run season in his career, but he had 100 less plate appearances in 2017 than he had in that previous 30-HR season in 2015.
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Former Twins killer Jose Bautista will also be an interesting guy to follow. He had his option declined by Toronto already, making him a free agent this offseason, and after two tough seasons, he could find himself without a big contract – or even a major league deal. If that happens, the Twins should absolutely take a run at him for a low-cost option with Bautista’s career .324/.410/.794 line over 25 games at Target Field with 15 home runs.