Minnesota Twins Class No. 2: Do the Major League additions meet all of the needs the club has?
Coming into the offseason, the Minnesota Twins saw some pretty key players disappear off their roster. Starting left fielder Eddie Rosario, key bench utility players Ehire Adrianza and Marwin Gonzalez, starting pitchers Rich Hill and Jake Odorizzi, and key relievers Trevor May, Matt Wisler, Sergio Romo, and Tyler Clippard all were either let go or not re-signed.
This meant that the Twins would have to fill a lot of innings to fill for 2021. To replace Rosario, they had already planned on using a combination of top prospects and Jake Cave to fill in, while bolstered roles meant more innings for a few current bullpen members. That helped, but free agency needed to fill the rest of the gaps.
The Twins added Andrelton Simmons to bolster the team’s defense and allow for Luis Arraez to play a super utility role. This improved the team and found a player to eat into the massive number of innings lost from Gonzalez’s absence. That was a great move.
The Twins signed Alex Colomé and Hansel Robles as relievers for the back of the pen. Both pitchers have a lot of late inning experience, and the Twins got both for relatively cheap. That eases the loss of the May, Wisler, Romo, and Clippard quartet.
Matt Shoemaker and J.A. Happ will go for roughly forty starts and outperform what Hill and Odo did last year. Re-signing Nelson Cruz was also a smart move, as it ensured the team had a settled designated hitter grouping.
Seems like all of the holes are filled, right? Well, mostly. The four relievers missing will be a lot to replace, given that they were four of the Twins’ six most used relievers. Colome and Robles can ease that, but the team will have to rely a lot on the minor-league and waiver-wire relievers. That’s not ideal.
In the outfield, what if Alex Kirilloff and Trevor Larnach aren’t really ready? What if Brent Rooker’s seven game stretch was just a lucky week? What if injuries strike? The Twins have a solid plan, but it could go wrong.
Luis Arraez as your backup is an ideal scenario, but what if the Simmons deal doesn’t pan out? Are Happ and Shoemaker really the best options? When you address the situation that way, The Twins did a solid job of bringing in guys to fix weak spots. It’s just not the best it could be.
Jake Odorizzi is younger and would be relatively cheap compared to some of the bigger deals. Kiké Hernandez cost less than Simmons and has more playoff experience. But the Twins valued financial freedom in 2021, and they kept it intact. This was a smart offseason Grade: B+.