Minnesota Twins: Four ways for the Twins to add Utility Men this offseason
The Minnesota Twins enter 2020 Free Agency down two utility guys. We break down their best options this offseason.
The utility player has found a lot more value across Major League Baseball over the last decade, and the Minnesota Twins are no strangers to assuring they have more than one to fill the role each season since Thad Levine and Derek Falvey took over the Twins front office.
Over the last two years, Ehire Adrianza and Marwin Gonzalez have been the two main utility players the Minnesota Twins have counted on every game. Whenever they’ve needed a position filled, those two have been there.
Unfortunately for the Twins, both Adrianza and Gonzalez have entered free agency for the 2021 offseason, leaving the role of utility player(s) open on the Minnesota Twins roster, unless you count Willians Astudillo (you shouldn’t).
This brings about the question for Twins Territory: What will the Twins do about their lack of a utility guy? Will they re-sign one (or both) of their now former utility men or will they pursue a new face to join the ranks of the Bomba Squad? We break down the four options the team has.
Minnesota Twins Utility Option One: Re-signing Adrianza and/or Gonzalez
The Minnesota Twins are not strangers to resigning fan favorite or clubhouse favorite players if the players fit the script of their future plans. It is likely either Adrianza or Gonzalez will at least receive an offer from the Twins to re-sign with the team for next season. With that being said, it’s unlikely that both will resign with the Minnesota Twins for 2021.
All teams are facing obvious financial set-backs due to the 2020 pandemic season, but some obscure offers have already happened in this early off season such as the Atlanta Braves signing Drew Smyly for an overwhelming $11 million for one year. This could lead to some money flowing at least a little bit.
Even taking money out of the equation, the likelihood of one of the two former Minnesota Twins utility men being resigned this offseason is high. As we’ve made the case for before, the Twins are more likely to resign Adrianza over Gonzalez.
Although both had less than stellar plate performances during the 2020 season, Gonzalez still generates more interest from other teams on the free agent market than Adrianza does, and Adrianza is more well-liked by the organization and fans. If one of the two is re-signed, it will likely be Adrianza on a one-year deal for around $1 million.
Minnesota Twins Utility Option Two: Bringing in a New Face from Free Agency
The 2020-21 MLB Free Agent market has no shortage of utility players available for teams. The Minnesota Twins do like reunions, but still can go after one of the many utility players on the market, probably grabbing them for cheap too.
Some suitors for the Twins utility man role that could play most, if not all of the four infield positions include Brad Miller, Daniel Descalso, Chris Owings, Jedd Gyorko, J.T. Riddle, or even the likes of top free agent utility man Enrique Hernandez.
Hernandez’s value is even higher than Gonzalez’s was when he entered free agency after the 2018 MLB season. The Los Angeles Dodgers may not be re-signing Hernandez, but there are certainly more teams with more money that would be willing to sign him, even for a starting role. This makes him a bit of an unlikely target for the Minnesota Twins.
One of the other free agents certainly could match Gonzalez’s utility role in terms of positions he can play is Brad Miller. Miller has played all the positions over his career except pitcher and catcher.
He doesn’t play a lot of outfield, but Miller has 43 career starts out there to show his versatility. Miller’s bat is also something that can fit in nicely with the Minnesota Twins. Miller has shown he can hit for useful and hit for power as well, although he has not been able to reach his career high 30 HR mark he set in 2016 with the Tampa Bay Rays.
All of the free agents named are good options for the Minnesota Twins to pursue in the offseason, but if they are looking for someone to fill Gonzalez’s shoes at a cheaper price. Twins fans should certainly keep their eyes on Brad Miller this offseason, hoping he can make the team on a 1-year contract.
Minnesota Twins Utility Option Three: Finding One in the Trade Market
It’s hard to say how the Minnesota Twins will operate in trades this offseason, as the market is always slow to develop. Rumors haven’t been confirmed on who the Twins front office will be listening to trade offers for yet.
Still, a utility man can be found through trade, and one team stacked with utility players is the Miami Marlins. It’s unclear whether Miami would be willing to part with the likes of Jon Berti or Miguel Rojas, but they are a team who could move one of these players in a trade with the Minnesota Twins for the right price.
Minnesota Twins Utility Option Four: Work from Within the Organization
This may be the most likely path the Twins choose. The Minnesota Twins as an organization still have several guys in the minor leagues that can be called up and inserted right into the utility-man role.
This list of potential call-ups includes two decent prospects in Nick Gordon and Travis Blankenhorn. Both have spent a fair amount of time in the minor leagues, and look to be ready for their MLB call ups in 2021.
Most teams will likely not be spending as much as they would like to in free agency this year, so don’t be surprised if they try to find the cheapest options available to fill the roles they need. In the Minnesota Twins case, hopefully that’s is a new utility man.