The White Sox have now officially made their move, bringing in Liam Hendriks. It’s time for the Minnesota Twins to stop waiting it out and do the same.
The shoe has finally dropped, and the moves are beginning to come. Two days ago, Cleveland announced their trade sending Francico Lindor away to the New York Mets. This prompted one of our contributors, Theodore Tollefson, to name the White Sox as the main threat to the Twins. If that’s the case, the Minnesota Twins should be even more concerned now.
The White Sox, aided by being in the third largest market in the country, went out and dropped $54 million dollars over four years on reliever Liam Hendriks. Hendriks, who started his career as a Twin, has turned his career around over the past two seasons, posting a 1.79 ERA and earning 39 saves in 99 games.
Hendriks has also struck out 13.1 batters per nine innings over that span, helping him earn an incredible 161/24 strikeout-to-walk ratio. To top it all off, last year he finished ninth in Cy Young voting and thirteenth in MVP voting. That’s the guy who the Twins have to try and hit off of in 2021.
This is a clear sign that the White Sox aren’t going anywhere, and that the Minnesota Twins need to respond to compete. As Theodore already addressed, the White Sox also signed Adam Eaton and traded for Lance Lynn, so this team is clearly trying to make the jump over the Twins in the standings.
This move makes things clearer for the Twins. It’s time to make a big move. Now. The signings of Hansel Robles and multiple players to minor league deals are helpful for depth, but the team has now seen the White Sox move past them in terms of talent.
Lucas Giolito, Dallas Keuchel, Dylan Cease, Michael Kopech, and now Lynn is a better rotation than Kenta Maeda, Jose Berrios, Michael Pineda, Randy Dobnak, and Devin Smeltzer. Smeltzer and Dobnak will likely be moved out, but the Twins need to make a deal first to hop back in front.
The Twins bullpen was also an advantage, but now Hendriks, Aaron Bummer, Garrett Crochet, and Matt Foster are a better back end then Taylor Rogers, Tyler Duffey, Caleb Thielbar, and Jorge Alcala, simply because the Twins pen has no depth and lacks a closer.
The lineups are very close, but with the White Sox one hitter away from a full lineup and the Twins with two big question marks, the White Sox are currently at a disadvantage in that area as well. There’s a lot to be done.
Let me be clear. It’s not time to go into panic mode yet. The Minnesota Twins are still the back-to-back reigning division champs, and there’s nearly three months before Spring Training is expected to start. If the Twins make moves in those three areas, the team will still be comfortably right with the White Sox.
That doesn’t mean the team should keep waiting though. The White Sox are having the third best offseason of any team in the Majors (San Diego and the New York Mets are ON FIRE), and the Twins don’t want to let free agency get going without them involved. The best time to get involved is right now.