Minnesota Twins Free Agency: Ranking the Twins potential starting pitching targets
By Chris Schad
The pitchers in the top tier are names that the Twins probably won’t go after, but if they did, it would be a massive upgrade and add an ace to the top of the rotation. The issue with going after these names is that it may cost too much money and could take away from the Twins budget (which has been rumored to be about $70 million per Twins Daily) to add another pitcher (or two) for the back half of the rotation.
We already wrote a piece on the prospects of Cole coming to the Twins and although it’s unlikely, it’s fun to imagine getting the top prize on the free-agent market coming to Minnesota. Where most free-agent arms are on the verge of having their arms explode (remember Yu Darvish?), Cole is entering his prime after turning 29 in September and striking out a ridiculous 326 batters in 212 1/3 innings last season.
Cole should have all 30 teams in Major League Baseball (outside of the ones that are tanking) interested in his services and that could have him holding the rest of the market in the palm of his hands. According to SNY’s Andy Martino, Cole isn’t expected to sign until January (a report that his agent, Scott Boras, shot down), but once he does it should set the top of the market with a deal that could approach over $300 million.
It appeared for a while that Cole would be the lone name at the top of the free-agent class, but then Strasburg decided to put the Washington Nationals on his back in the postseason run. The 31-year old has been as advertised after being selected with the first pick in the 2009 MLB Draft compiling a career ERA of 3.17 and never losing more than seven games in a season.
However, it was his performance this past October (5-0, 1.98 ERA) that raised Strasburg’s value and led him to opt-out of his contract to cash in on his postseason success. While Cole coming to Minnesota seems like it’s something out of MLB The Show, there might be an outside chance the Twins can land Strasburg since he’ll be a little cheaper (MLB Trade Rumors projected a six-year, $180 million deal), but that still might be out of Minnesota’s price range.