Out of all the needs left for the Twins, the starting rotation is an area I would be OK not making an addition to this offseason. Instead the Twins could wait until the trade deadline to see what may be available if they are competing for a playoff spot. If they are going to add to the rotation of the remaining pitchers they should pursue Yusei Kikuchi.
Kikuchi was posted earlier this month by his Japanese club the Seibu Lions. The left-hander will turn 28 during this next baseball season making it very possible that he will just be hitting his prime years as he enters the MLB. While the Twins may be at a disadvantage as Japanese players tend to prefer west coast clubs or big clubs like the Yankees, they need to pursue Kikuchi.
This past season in Japan Kikuchi started 23 games and logged 163.2 innings. He also finished the season with a 3.08 ERA and a 153/45 strikeout to walk ratio. He is also just a season removed from his career best 217/49 K/BB. There are always questions around how players will perform as they jump leagues but Kikuchi seems like a player that is worth taking a run at even with that question looming large.
Of course, the other pitcher the Twins could pursue who has top-end potential is Dallas Keuchel. Keuchel’s tendency to produce grounders off of batters could be a good fit in the long term as the Twins infield will hopefully only continue to improve defensively. Kikuchi’s age and handedness causes me to prefer him as an option for the Twins.