Minnesota Twins: Is the Team Just one Million Dollar Arm Away?
By Billy Porter
At one point in time, the Million Dollar Arm would have been considered very expensive. In today’s age it’s considered a cheaper commodity. Could the Minnesota Twins be a Million Dollar Arm away from the last piece of the puzzle?
As the Twins are settling in on their spring training roster. A glance at the current needs of the team points to 2 unsolved questions: Who takes the 5th spot in the rotation and does the team add another 1 or 2 more bullpen arms?
Will the Twins look to their youngsters to fill these roles? Shaun Anderson, Ian Gibaut, Brandon Waddell and Ian Hamilton have all been brought in off waivers to compete. Do they do enough to hold down a spot? Or is a veteran free agent or 2 brought in to lock it up?
If the Minnesota Twins plan to spend like normal, any last minute addition needs to be cheap.
The payroll is now bumping up against the $125M ceiling (An estimate of what the team can afford to pay). Any name that would cost above $3M, like relievers Justin Wilson, Shane Greene, Trevor Rosenthal or starters Taijuan Walker or Jake Odorizzi seem wishful.
With that being said, it’s not the best year to be a free agent, with teams cutting back for pandemic payrolls. As we get closer to spring training, these players’ leverage is running out. This will undoubtedly force some players to settle for less than the ideal amount they would wish to play for. This is where the Twins swoop in, just like they always have.
I’d look for the Twins to offer spring training invites to older free agents to compete and add depth for the remaining pitching roles. Relievers like Jose Alvarez and Tyler Clippard along with starters such as Gio Gonzalez, Matt Shoemaker or Trevor Cahill are all names you could see being added for cheap as spring training begins.
Be assured the Twins are still scouring the market of unsigned free agents. The signing of someone that sports that “Million Dollar Arm” may bring the Twins’ roster to a more set place headed into the regular season.
Minnesota Twins: Odds and ends
- It is extremely exciting to think of Alex Kirilloff and/or Brent Rooker starting on the Opening Day roster for 2021. We do have to be ready for the Twins to manipulate their roster service time to gain another year of control over them, but I expect both will be key figures with the Twins this season.
- This paves opportunities for Jake Cave, Kyle Garlick and Keon Broxton to try and earn the position as a possible starter while the Twins closely monitor the duos’ service time clocks throughout the year.
- It’s time to fully embrace fan favorite Willians “La Tortuga” Astudillo. The benefit of having the Triple-A affiliate over in St Paul gives Twins fans the opportunity to embrace La Tortuga. We don’t know what the future holds, but Willians certainly is a joy to watch in his style of play.
- Lastly, plenty of eyes should be on Bailey Ober, Jordan Balazovic and Jhoan Duran to see how close they are to MLB ready. With the fifth spot in the rotation up for grabs, these young arms are looking to prove they can help out in the chase for the team’s first World Series since 1991.