Minnesota Twins: The other free agent starting pitchers
Minnesota Twins manager Paul Molitor hinted that the Twins could sign a pitcher other than the top free agent group. Who is available in that group?
The Minnesota Twins have been able to accomplish part of their goal of improving their pitching this offseason with the signings of Fernando Rodney, Zach Duke, and Addison Reed to fill roles in the bullpen. As the whole league seems to stare down Yu Darvish and wait for him to make his decision, Twins Territory is also staring at the Twins and waiting for them to make their first upgrade to the Twins starting rotation.
To this point, we continue to hear that the Twins are in conversations with or at least checking in on basically each of the top four starters available in Darvish, Jake Arrieta, Alex Cobb, and Lance Lynn. It has led many to believe that the Twins will walk away from free agency with at least one of those pitchers, but words from Paul Molitor at TwinsFest this weekend caused at least a slight reason for pause.
It is always good to hear that the Twins are continuing to look to upgrade their roster. What is scary about Molitor’s comments that the Twins starting pitching upgrade may not come from that group of top four pitchers, the level of talent available after those four drops off considerably. The Twins in a sense made a signing already out of this group when they signed Michael Pineda, but that was very different as the Twins hope to see him continue to build himself back up after Tommy John surgery and see if he can regain some top of the rotation form.
Hearing these comments brings up a natural next question, who makes up that next tier of pitchers that the Twins could pursue? Since the starting pitching market has gone widely unsigned through this part of the offseason there are clearly a lot of names to comb through. Some of those names have been linked to the Twins in one way or another already this offseason.
I will be absolutely honest with you. Many of these names have or will make you cringe. Especially after dreaming of Darvish all offseason. In any other Twins offseason, these are the names we would be expecting to be linked to the Twins but we now have a different expectation. Regardless, there is some “hope” in these names and here are those pitchers.