Minnesota Twins: Three options for shortstop in 2022

(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Twins are in the final stretch of a disappointing season, and one area of the team that hasn’t worked out well is the shortstop position. The Twins signed 31-year-old defensive wizard Andrelton Simmons to a one-year deal before the season started, and as Twins fans know, he’s had a disappointing season to say the least.

While Simmons’s defensive metrics still are solid — he’s posted a 1.1 defensive Wins Above Replacement — his AVG/OBP/SLG slash line of .223/.285/.277 is far below what the team was expecting. While he’s known mainly for his defense, Simmons was far from an automatic out during his days with the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Angels.

It’s pretty safe to say that Simmons will not be back next season. So, what should the Twins do at shortstop for 2022? There are three main directions the team can go in for next season

Minnesota Twins: What to do at shortstop for 2022

Option 1: Sign a big name. Especially when we consider how badly the team needs pitching for next season, this one doesn’t make much sense for the organization. Among the potential shortstops coming onto the free agent market this offseason are Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Javier Baez, Trevor Story, and Marcus Semien.

However, the Twins likely won’t be in on any of these names, as they still consider former number one overall pick Royce Lewis to be their shortstop of the future. They also have Austin Martin, newly acquired at the trade deadline from the Toronto Blue Jays in the Jose Berrios deal, but he’s only reached AA ball so far. Unless they plan on trading one of those two to fill a bigger hole somewhere else — which doesn’t seem likely — none of the big names mentioned above are likely to come to Minnesota.

Option 2: Sign a smaller name to be a stopgap. Among the lesser names that are available via free agency this offseason are Miguel Rojas, Freddy Galvis, and Jose Iglesias. Perhaps it would make more sense to sign one of these players in case Lewis isn’t ready to start the 2022 season.

Option 3: Go internal. Lewis has missed the 2021 season due to injury, which means there’s a strong chance he won’t be ready for the big leagues to start the 2022 season. Martin, meanwhile, has a .750 OPS at AA Wichita; again, he’s not likely going to get a call up until at least part of the way through the 2022 season.

The team could temporarily move Jorge Polanco, who is having a banner season, back to shortstop until either Lewis or Martin are ready. That would allow Luis Arraez to play second base, but would you want to mess with the success that Polanco is having? Nick Gordon would also be an internal candidate.

In any case, on the offensive side of things, what the Twins will do at shortstop is one of the most interesting questions as we head into the offseason.

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