Minnesota Twins: Time to trade for Jake Odorizzi

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 29: Pitcher Jake Odorizzi
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 29: Pitcher Jake Odorizzi /

The Minnesota Twins biggest hole heading into the 2018 season is the pitching staff. The front office has done little to address this issue. However, now is the time to strike.

The first domino in free agency finally fell Saturday night after Yu Darvish signed with the Chicago Cubs. Now is the time for the Minnesota Twins to make a move to bolster the starting rotation. One available option is Jake Odorizzi of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Odorizzi has a proven track record in MLB and is a cheaper option than what else is available. Minnesota is in dire need of starting pitching with Ervin Santana on the shelf to start the year. Odorizzi would slot in nicely behind Santana and Jose Berrios to form a solid top of the rotation.

Why should the Twins trade for Odorizzi?

For one thing, Odorizzi will come at a much lower cost than Chris Archer or Marcus Stroman. A couple of mid-level prospects will probably be enough to entice the Rays so the Twins should at least kick the tires.

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Odorizzi has averaged 30 starts and 167 innings pitched over the last seasons with Tampa. He also had a respectable 3.81 ERA averaging 8.3 K/9 and a solid 3 BB/9 over the same span. His numbers won’t blow you away but he is an effective Major League starting pitcher.

He doesn’t turn 28 until March and still has two years of arbitration before he reaches free agency. However, Odorizzi does come with questions and the Twins will have to do their homework.. He has pitched more than 170 innings only once in his career. Durability isn’t a major concern with Odorizzi, however his rising walk rate should be.

Odorizzi has seen his BB/9 spike from a low of 2.4 in 2015 all the way up to 3.8 in 2017. However, his strikeout numbers have remained relatively the same and his effectiveness is evident in the numbers. Odorizzi would prove to be a huge asset for the Minnesota Twins rotation at a relatively low-cost.

The Twins need to fill the holes in the rotation if they’re going to contend for the playoffs. Odorizzi won’t cover every hole, but it would be one step closer. Pair Odorizzi with a free agent signing in the coming weeks, and this team is on its way. For now, Twins fans will have to wait and hope the front office starts adding pieces.

Next: Who else should the Twins consider?

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