The Minnesota Twins desperately need help at the back of their bullpen, and Brad Hand could be the guy for the job.
Let’s face it, the bullpen for the Minnesota Twins was downright bad in 2017. They ranked 22nd in the league with an ERA of 4.40. On top of that, they ranked 27th in batting average against at .261. In order to compete with the Indians next season, those numbers have to improve. It is likely that the Twins will need to add an arm or two to the bullpen to do that. One such arm is Brad Hand of the San Diego Padres.
Hand posted a strong 2017 season, with an ERA of 2.16 over 79.1 innings with 104 strikeouts and an All-Star Game appearance. He was thrust into the closer role in July following the departure of Brandon Maurer. Although some relievers find trouble when promoted to the closing pitcher, Hand flourished in the role. He earned 18 saves in 20 chances after being granted the job.
Why Hand is a good fit for the Minnesota Twins.
Brad Hand is the exact type of pitcher the Twins need in the bullpen. He’s a power lefty that can come in and close out games. If the Twins opt to find another closer, he can be used in the firefighter role made famous by Andrew Miller.
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Hand also has a relatively friendly contract. He made just $1.375 million in 2017 and is controllable through arbitration through the 2019 season. Those extra years of control would likely help the Twins overcome the sting of losing prospects in the trade.
What would it take to acquire Hand?
There’s a reason Hand wasn’t moved at the trade deadline, and that’s because the Padres were asking a pretty penny for him. But every team has a price, even if it is a steep one. So what would it take for the Minnesota Twins to get him? The Padres are still a few years from contention, so some young prospects could do the trick. Who they ask for would determine whether or not the Twins pull the trigger.
There are other free agent pitchers on the market, so if the Padres asking price is too high the Twins will still have options.
Who would you like to see in the Minnesota Twins bullpen next season? Let me know in the comments!