Minnesota Twins 2018 positional recap, part 3- Second basemen
By Matt Smith
Ehire Adrianza appears to be all but a lock to be back with the Minnesota Twins in 2019. He won’t cost a whole lot in arbitration, likely no more than $3 million, and he’s a good guy to have around as a utility player. I personally would strongly prefer to keep him as a backup rather than a starter, but it’s not too far out there to consider that the Twins may let him start next year.
As mentioned earlier, Nick Gordon is all but guaranteed to make his major league debut at some point this season. However, he’s shown a lot of struggles for the 2nd half of two consecutive seasons now, and without any real offensive weapons outside of the ability to hit .300, he’s not going to be worth much if he’s not hitting around that mark. I’m all for giving him his shot, but I don’t think it’s worth saving a starter slot for him at this point. I’m going to guess that the Twins have him start the season in AAA after his terrible finish to 2018, and if he plays even just ok for the first month or two, he’ll probably be called up at that point.
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As for the Twins’ next starting 2B, I think it will come down to Jed Lowrie, Asdrubal Cabrera, or Ian Kinsler. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Logan Forsythe come back, but I’d prefer one of the first three listed. I do have to note that I would love to see a reunion with Dozier on a reasonable 2 year contract, but I just feel that both he and the front office will move on from each other. Anyways, Lowrie, Cabrera, or Kinsler would all provide decent at bats while acting as a bridge of sorts until Royce Lewis is ready in 2020 or 2021 and Polanco shifts over to 2B. These veterans wouldn’t be the most exciting signings, but I do think each of the trio would be a quality addition to the lineup that would make sense for the franchise. They could provide decent production in the short term without blocking anyone long term or eating up too much of our payroll. As two which of the three I’d predict signs, it really could be any of them. They’re all pretty comparable at this point and I can’t make too much of a case for why we should sign one over the other.
2018 was a major letdown at second base, as Brian Dozier fell from one of the top three 2Bs in the league to a backup (albeit a backup on the National League’s best team). Logan Forsythe provided a warm body to finish out the season at 2B, but we now have some decisions to make. Adrianza is a better option as a utility player than a starter, and Gordon has shown some major issues each of the past two seasons, so it’s likely the Minnesota Twins turn to a veteran 2B in the free agency market to hold down the fort until Royce Lewis makes his long-awaited debut and Jorge Polanco moves over to 2B.