With the free agent frenzy soon to be underway, one of our contributors shares their thoughts on who the Minnesota Twins should target.
With the Minnesota Twins sitting at under $30 million currently committed to 2019 payroll before arbitration agreements and free agency signings, the Twins will have plenty of salary to work with this offseason. Even after setting aside a pile of money for arbitration and potential extensions to the likes of Jose Berrios and Eddie Rosario, it’s entirely possible the team could have over $50 million available to spend on free agents, if not more. With that big of a chunk of money available, the Twins could make some significant noise this offseason. But where, exactly, should this money go? I’ve picked out 8 players I think the team should make an effort to sign. Here’s what I came up with.
Positions of need
As a brief introduction, let’s establish where the Minnesota Twins could use some help. Positions that I think we can be pretty confident in heading into 2019 without bolstering with a free agent are catcher, shortstop, outfield, and the starting rotation. I include the rotation in that group someone hesitantly as I see it as a place we don’t need to address. Our starters quietly had a pretty good 2018 season. There’s actually not a whole lot of space in the rotation either. Jose Berrios, Kyle Gibson, and Jake Odorizzi are all locks for the rotation, and after those three, there’s plenty of options to round it out. Fernando Romero, Stephen Gonsalves, Kohl Stewart, Michael Pineda, Zack Littell, and Adalberto Mejia have all shown promise as starters and can make a solid argument for why they should get a crack at the rotation. And all that’s before getting into guys like Chase De Jong who are a little less proven but could get a chance to show what they’ve got.
Now, with all that said, in a perfect world, we’d have one more solid arm as a #1 or #2 so everyone from Gibson on could be pushed down a slot in the order. That’d take the rotation from a solid group to a pretty good group. But, as we know all too well, good pitching is hard to come by. Looking at the available options this offseason, I personally don’t see any good matches that the Minnesota Twins should make big attempts to sign. There’s really not many options out there this year. Instead, I would advocate trying to find a pitcher in trade.
Anyways, back to positions of need. Our biggest hole, in my opinion, is in the bullpen. We actually have a solid small group of relievers as-is, but there’s not quite enough quality there for me to feel confident about it right now. With a couple of smart signings, though, I think we could turn our average bullpen into one of the better ones in the league. Beyond the bullpen, the Minnesota Twins have a clear need at second base. Given the uncertainty surrounding Miguel Sano after a tumultuous season, there’s a good argument that the team is in need of a third baseman as well. Finally, while Tyler Austin looks like a good bet to become our next starting first baseman, he’s currently the only 1B on our roster, so the team could use one more decent option there.
Now, let’s get to my ideal free agent targets.