The Minnesota Twins are looking to make some big additions to their roster. Two particular players continue to make sense as new Twins pitchers.
The Minnesota Twins front office has spent a week in Orlando with other front office leaders and rumors continue to churn around the team. The further into the offseason time spins the more steam that gains behind the thought that the Twins will make a splash in the free agent or trade market.
There have been plenty of rumors surrounding a multitude of players, but two players seem to continually be linked in one way or another to the Twins. Those two players are pitcher Yu Darvish and pitcher and slugger Shohei Otani.
The flame on that hot stove was turned up a bit by this tweet from Joe Schmit:
This news already adds to the connections between the two Japanese players and the Twins.
For Darvish, it was Twins GM Thad Levine that helped bring Darvish to the states for a career that includes 131 games and a solid 3.42 ERA. The Twins willingness to spend money on even the most expensive free agents and their need for improved pitching will continue to make a Darvish-Levine reunion a fit.
Otani is still in many ways a mystery. His talent isn’t a mystery as much as how he will arrive in MLB baseball. Teams would love to sign a pitcher who can touch 100 mph on the radar gun and that has a 42-15 record with a 2.52 ERA and 624 strikeouts or a batter that has hit .326/.411/.570. Otani has done both and we hope Otani will be able to do both in the majors if he is really as good as advertised.
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The Twins are still in the top three as far as available international money to spend on signing Otani at $3.245 million. Putting them behind the Texas Rangers ($3.535 million) and New York Yankees ($3.25 million). So just like Darvish, if Otani is posted under the current posting system the Twins have the money and willingness to spend that money.
Another interesting note about Otani as reported by ESPN’s Buster Olney, Otani reportedly would rather join a rebuilding team than one that is already an established winner. As Olney also points out, there is no true way to know what that exactly means and if Otani would truly be willing to pick the Twins over some other established winners. It certainly adds fuel to that hot stove flame.
All of this still only adds up to be rumors and means nothing concrete at this point. What It does do is add to each Twin fan’s ability to dream of a potential rotation that includes Darvish, Otani, Ervin Santana, and Jose Berrios. If one or both were to sign with the Twins it would truly signal a change in offseason strategy from the Terry Ryan era to the Falvey/Levine era.