Minnesota Twins: 3 New Year’s Resolutions for the Twins in 2021
By Otto Johnson
Minnesota Twins Resolution No. 1: Add some Pitching Help
We’ve stressed it so many times. The Minnesota Twins need some pitching help, both for starting pitching and for relief pitching. The team has watched Rich Hill, Homer Bailey, and Jake Odorizzi, all head to free agency from their rotation, while Trevor May, Matt Wisler, Sergio Romo, Tyler Clippard, and Zack Littell all are gone from the bullpen.
That’s a lot of gaps that the team has to fill. May and Wisler are for sure gone, and the team could use this new cap space to make real upgrades on nearly all of the other free agents. With so many good options on the market, the Twins have an opportunity to get significantly better.
The minor league signings the team has made have been decent so far, including a few relievers (Derek Law, Glen Sparkman, and Luke Farrell) that have a chance to be really helpful in 2021. They also added former Angels closer Hansel Robles, to a cheap major league deal, but the team can do even better.
On the relief side of things, the Twins need a real lockdown closer. Taylor Rogers is a fantastic reliever, but he is best suited for a set-up man role. With Kirby Yates, Liam Hendriks, Roberto Osuna, and most importantly, Brad Hand, on the market, the Minnesota Twins have lots of options.
With Robles in the fold, the Twins have another option who will do well with Wes Johnson, but Hand should be the real prize here. Brad Hand is a native of Chaska, Minnesota, and while he’s not going to be cheap, he wants to come back home:
Adding an elite bullpen arm like that would go a long way towards strengthening the relief corps, while also allowing the Twins to go after more wild card guys more comfortably. Plus, with May and Romo gone, the team needs more pitchers to take high-leverage innings. The wild cards can’t do it, but Hand can.
For the starting rotation, the Twins added an ace last year in Kenta Maeda, have a pair of good second/third starters in Jose Berrios and Michael Pineda. That’s a good basis for a rotation, but there needs to be a two more starters involved, one at closer to the front and one at the end.
For the back end slot, there are tons of solid options. There are a lot of older veterans that could fill that fifth role, but the one that makes the most sense is Jake Odorizzi. I’ve talked about this one a lot, but an Odorizzi reunion just makes sense. He likes it here, and if the Twins are willing to spend $11-15 million, the team will be able to keep him around.
For that front end spot, it’s harder. Trevor Bauer, James Paxton, and Jose Quintana are the top three still available, and Bauer isn’t coming here (whether for price or location). The Twins need to swing some money their way and add another top starter behind Maeda.
This is a pretty easy opportunity for the Minnesota Twins to make their first step towards a World Series championship. The Twins need to stick to this resolution badly, because without that pitching, they won’t make it very far.