Minnesota Twins: Grading the Twins’ First Signing of the Offseason
By Otto Johnson
The Minnesota Twins made their first move of the 2020-21 Offseason, and it’s just what you expected: A minor league deal for a relief pitcher.
The 2020-21 Offseason is underway in the MLB and the Minnesota Twins have made their first signing of the year, bringing in RHP Derek Law. For Twins fans hoping for Trevor Bauer, Kike Hernandez, or George Springer, this news will surely come as a disappointment, but this may be a good move for the Twins.
As Darren Wolfson breaks down here, the deal is a minor league deal worth $750k with an invite to training camp and an opt-out for Law to seek another deal if he so chooses. As far as money goes, this is a good deal for both parties.
Law last pitched in the majors in 2019 for Toronto, struggling a bit to the tune of a 4.90 ERA and a 1.665 WHIP. In terms of your typical numbers, he isn’t the greatest pitcher in the whole world, failing to put together a strong season since 2016. In 2016 (with the the Giants), Law had an excellent 2.13 ERA and 50 strikeouts over 55 IP.
Now that we’ve gone over why he’s not an elite arm, it’s time to go over why the Twins signed him. Law may have played strictly in the Rangers’ alternate camp in 2020, but he has a lot of skills the Twins like.
For starters, he’s got a very good slider. According to Baseball Savant, Law has a 42% Whiff Percentage with the pitch, 32 strikeouts, and a .208 batting average against it. He also had a 9.9 SO/9 rate. Those are really good underlying numbers.
As I said earlier this month, the Twins need relief pitching badly, especially if they don’t plan on bringing back Trevor May or Sergio Romo (and probably even then still). This deal feels a lot like the Twins claiming Matt Wisler off of waivers, as both have one really good pitch and not much else.
With that being said, the Wisler move worked out extremely well. If Law can have anywhere near a similar season to the one Wisler had in 2020, this deal is a win. To top it all off, it’s a very cheap deal that won’t hurt the Twins at all either way. This is an excellent low-risk, high reward move, which helps it earn a passing grade. Grade: A-.