Minnesota Twins Front Office Reality Check: Better Will not be Enough
By Billy Porter
It’s July 2021, and the Minnesota Twins are officially out of the playoff hunt. The two-time reigning division champs won’t earn a three-peat. With the power of hindsight, last year was the peak of the current Twins era.
Last year, when the Minnesota Twins were far better than this year, now-former Twin Nelson Cruz was leading a lineup that was slugging and pitching that was solid. All the pieces were in place, but the team still laid an egg against Houston.
Fast forward a year and the pitching staff and bullpen has completely collapsed. I hate to beat a dead horse here, but pitching wins championships. The gamble the front office took on boneyard pitchers nearing the end of their careers has been disastrous. The bullpen sits near the bottom of the AL in ERA, and even a part-time baseball writer saw the warning signs.
2021 has been a clear reality check to the Minnesota Twins front office: Maintining the course isn’t enough.
This year’s woes fall on the front office as much as any year past. Their arrogance caused them to gamble and lose mightily on Alex Colome, Hansel Robles, Matt Shoemaker and J.A. Happ. I don’t even blame the players, as they were asked to perform at a level they weren’t necessarily suited for.
To take a chance like that with a lineup that is championship ready was a calculated gamble at best and an absolute disservice to the fans at worst To be only a $40 million pitching investment away from a championship season and opting for $16 million bargain bin moves is beyond logic when you have the money.
The front office has to get some clear direction. This team has more than enough offensive tools and depth to compete next year if it invests in pitching. If they’re ready to make an investment in that for 2022, hold strong on Berrios, Buxton, Kepler and Polanco. If they plan to play cheap moneyball again, than we may be forced to suffer through another long rebuild.
They have to commit to bringing in significant pitching upgrades, specifically in the bullpen, something that can be accomplished via free agency and this years trade deadline (through young arms with talent). This is a must for contention.
If the Twins make themselves better for next season, it must be an investment to greatness. Commit to having a great bullpen and bringing in a top of the rotation starter to compete in 2022 or it will be case of deja vu all over again next season.