Minnesota Twins winter meetings primer – what should fans expect?

benjaminchase
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 27: Rain is captured as it falls with the game between the Minnesota Twins and the Detroit Tigers is postponed due to the rain on April 27, 2014 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 27: Rain is captured as it falls with the game between the Minnesota Twins and the Detroit Tigers is postponed due to the rain on April 27, 2014 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Twins
SAN DIEGO, CA – AUGUST 1: Miguel Sano /

Current roster holes

The Minnesota Twins really entered the offseason with the same three major needs as they still have – reliable starting pitching, reliable bullpen help, and right-handed power that likely would profile in the DH role. Let’s take a look at how they could fill each spot internally if no one else was signed.

Starting pitching
The Twins certainly have depth in their rotation, and they could go with a similar approach to the Colorado Rockies in 2017, using Ervin Santana, Jose Berrios, and Kyle Gibson in the first three spots in the rotation and then using the last two spots to audition a number of their young arms that are either major league ready or knocking at the door in Aaron Slegers, Adalberto Mejia, Dietrich Enns, Stephen Gonsalves, Felix Jorge, Zack Littell, and Fernando Romero. They could also utilize Phil Hughes once Hughes is healthy in the 4/5 spots.

However, outside of the Rockies, that method has not been successful in recent history. Finding a front line starter would be an ideal fit, and that is where the team is focusing its attention in the free agent market.

Right-handed power
The Twins have developed plenty of excellent young hitting, and the lineup performance from August to the end of the season showed just how dynamic that lineup can be.

However, right now the Twins really only have Miguel Sano among their young core that is right-handed with power. Brian Dozier is right handed, but he’s also a free agent after 2018, so relying on his power long-term is not something that would be wise roster construction.

The Twins have given Kennys Vargas many opportunities at this point, and he’s now out of options, so if he isn’t in the starting lineup, he’ll be a pretty inflexible bench piece, which has very little value.

On the other hand, Mitch Garver made his way to the major leagues last season, and his ability to catch and hit well could allow the Twins to technically carry three catchers, but to have the ability to DH Garver or play him at first with some power from the right side.

Bullpen depth
In depth, the Minnesota Twins have it in their bullpen. Many analysts consistently referred to the Twins bullpen as the “no names” as they worked their way to the Wild Card in 2017. While there are plenty of exciting young arms in the bullpen, the team certainly could use an arm or two that they could be sure would give them consistent quality innings.

Internally, there really is not that guy available outside of one of the minor league options, like Tyler Jay or J.T. Chargois really taking off and taking a spot with their high pedigree.

So with those holes, who would the Twins possibly move if they were to trade to fill those spots?

Next: Trade chips

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