Minnesota Twins Step No. 1: Move on from Several Players that have to Go
The Minnesota Twins had an absolutely dreadful offseason last year, with just about every signing ending up as a tremendous bust. Luckily for the team, most of these guys were already moved at the deadline or sooner (See ya never, Matt Shoemaker, J.A. Happ, and Hansel Robles).
There are a couple still on the roster, and there time should be limited here too. Andrelton Simmons put together the worst season by a Twins shortstop since Danny Santana in 2015 and despite a lack of a succession plan will be gone sooner rather than later.
In the outfield, Kyle Garlick, Tzu-Wei Lin, and Rob Refsnyder should all be cleared out rather quickly. Brent Rooker probably gets one more year, but Jake Cave should finally get the boot he deserves as well. Nick Gordon and Max Kepler are capable enough that they can play center field, and with Gilberto Celestino just about done in Triple-AAA, Cave shouldn’t be on next year’s roster if they want to compete.
Willians Astudillo is also likely done here. Some people will be sad to see him go, but his limited versatility (primarily only a first and third baseman) combined with continually declining numbers mean that it’s time to move on from the aptly-nicknamed Turtle.
On the pitching side, Kyle Barraclough, Nick Vincent, Andrew Albers, and a few more minor-league pitchers will be released. There will be some more movement in the bullpen, but we’ll get to that later. There’s only one really tough call the Twins have to make: Alex Colomé.
Colomé started off the season as one of the worst pitchers in baseball history, but he rebounded to post a solid 4.15 ERA (4.23 FIP). His strikeout numbers didn’t change much and his walk numbers actually improved, so there is an argument to bring him back.
With that being said though, the Twins could save $4.25 million by buying him out a year early. There are several more pressing needs elsewhere and because cash at a premium, the Twins should cut their losses. The bullpen is surprisingly stable, so losing Colomé won’t hurt too much.
The last player to look at moving here is Josh Donaldson. Donaldson was productive in 2021, posting an .827 OPS and 26 homers, but he certainly wasn’t worth $22 million. Unfortunately, trading him won’t bring back much value and the Twins would still have to pay a huge chunk of his salary. It doesn’t make sense to trade him just yet.