Minnesota Twins 3 Up, 3 Down: Nelson Cruz’s return sparks Twins
By Chris Schad
DOWN: The pursuit of free agent pitching
In another off the field development, it was a tough week for the front office as they failed in their pursuit of free agent pitchers Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel.
Kimbrel may have been the more important of the two as the Twins showed more interest in the closer with some even suggesting he was a top priority once he was no longer tied to draft compensation. According to Dan Hayes of The Athletic, the Twins made Kimbrel an offer on a two-year deal, but he decided to go with the Chicago Cubs, who offered a third year in a situation eerilly similar to when the Twins were spurned by Yu Darvish back in the winter of 2018. Time will tell if the Twins will have a similar break with Kimbrel.
Meanwhile, the Twins also made a push for Keuchel, but the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s La Velle E. Neal claimed it wasn’t as aggressive as the one for Kimbrel. When the smoke cleared from negotiations, it would be the Atlanta Braves who would step up and sign the lefty for a one year, $13 million deal. While Keuchel did have his share of baggage entering free agency, it’s curious that the Twins didn’t step up their offer when the 32-year old only signed a one year deal.
In any event, with both marquee holdouts off the board, the Twins will have to look elsewhere if they want to make improvements to their squad. Some early names to remember during the trade process could be Toronto’s Ken Giles, Detroit’s Shane Greene, San Francisco’s Madison Bumgarner and Toronto’s Marcus Stroman.