The Minnesota Twins’ focus has been on upgrading their starting rotation, but they’ve reportedly been interested in upgrading their bullpen as well.
The Minnesota Twins’ pursuit to upgrade their starting rotation has generated all the headlines this offseason, but the truth is that the entire pitching staff is what helped lead a wonderful 2019 season to waste. As the New York Yankees teed off on the Twins bullpen in the ALDS, the unit was a sneaky need for Minnesota and it appears they’re intending to do something about it.
After being linked to a reunion with Sergio Romo this offseason, KSTP-TV’s Darren Wolfson reports that the Twins are also looking to dive into some of the higher tier relievers on the market. Among the names tossed out as potential targets are Daniel Hudson, Steve Cishek and Will Harris although other names could come into play as the offseason rolls along.
All three are right-handers with late-inning experience and according to FanGraphs’ top 50 free agents list, all three are expected to command a contract with two years and roughly $10 million. While Cishek has the best stats of the group, all three would represent an upgrade on a bullpen that relied heavily on young arms such and mid-tier veterans in September and October.
In addition to the three pitchers mentioned, the Twins are also looking at a pair of reclamation projects as well. Blake Treinen struggled with the Oakland Athletics last season but has a strong market with several teams hoping he can put together a bounce-back performance.
Another name to remember could be Dellin Betances, who was an integral part of the New York Yankees’ bullpen the past couple of years, but battled with an Achilles’ injury in 2019. The NY Daily News’ Kristie Ackert first made the connection with Wolfson also reporting that the Twins have had discussions of adding the right-hander, who has posted a 14.6 K/9 rate during his career thanks to a fastball that averages 97.3 MPH when healthy.
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Whatever the Twins may decide, the bullpen is another area that must be upgraded prior to the 2020 season. If they can also add starting pitching, the production the pitching staff posted in the first half of 2019 might be sustainable throughout the entire season.