The Minnesota Twins made a trade for starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi. Here is why that deal positions the Twins for the season ahead of them.
The Minnesota Twins completed a trade Saturday night with the Tampa Bay Rays for starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi. After a summer of names like Yu Darvish, Shohei Ohtani, and Chris Archer there was some let down at Odorizzi being the big additions to the Twins rotation, but from a big picture perspective the move looks like an excellent one for the Twins.
Odorizzi certainly has some question marks about his performance after a down year in 2017. If you are interested in some of my thoughts on where he will need to improve going forward take a look at my quick reaction to the deal Saturday night here. Beyond specifics about Odorizzi, there are more reasons to be optimistic about this move.
Similar Tier to Cobb/Lynn
One of the positives of this move is that Odorizzi is really in a similar tier pitcher as two of the most desired free agents available for the Twins among fans, Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb. Below is a comparison of their numbers and they are earily similar in ways.
In addition to the similarities is at Odorizzi’s $6.2 million salary he is much cheaper than Lynn and Cobb as well. And at two years of control for Odorizzi there is less of a worry of being stuck long term on a bad contract. Something there was still plenty of concern with for with Cobb and Lynn as they continue to reestablish themsevles after Tommy John surgery.
Still Money Available
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There is also in theory still money available to make an impactful free agent signing. One idea is to double down and go after another free agent starter like Lynn or Cobb. It seems from all things coming out of the Twins camp that Odorizzi is likely the last starting pitching move the team will make.
There is still room to add a DH or bench power bat. Mike Napoli still may be the most mentioned name that the Twins could go out and sign. There are plenty of bats available that could prove beneficial at this point and with the money the Twins were reportedly willing to offer Darvish it would seem for the right addition the money is available.
Trade Chips Remain
With the price to acquire Odorizzi being as low as it was, the Twins still have plenty of trade chips to make a move at the trade deadline if they need a significant addition. Thinking of some of the proposed Archer deals, all those pieces are still within the Twins system.
An Archer deal still may be impossilbe to pull off, but there are plenty of other players that would be of interest to the Twins potentially around the trade deadline. Other names that have came up as available have been pitchers like Collin McHugh and Patrick Corbin who could make sense at the deadline. Another name that would be a bigger move but potentially available would be a player like Danny Duffy if the Royals decide to try and get value back for him.
The reality is by time the trade deadline comes around there could be a whole new group of names available depending on how the season unfolds for teams. The important thing is that the Twins will have their full slate of players and prospects to offer in potential trades.