Minnesota Twins Step No. 2: Extend a Couple Key Contributors
With several players out of the way and a clearer picture of the team’s needs, the Minnesota Twins can move to re-sign several key contributors from the 2021 season that are either free agents or nearing free agency.
The first name is a rather obvious one. Giving Byron Buxton a new deal should be priority number one in the offseason. Despite injuries, Buxton provides more value when he plays than any Twins player since Joe Mauer, and with his defense and power, it might even be more so over a full season.
Over the past three seasons, Buck’s value has been proven time and time again, and when he’s in the lineup, the Twins are significantly better than without him. To trade him away or let him walk in free agency would be a disaster that would set the team back years. If he’s asking for anything under $20 million per year (even before incentives), he’s earned it.
In free agency, Michael Pineda is the Twins’ only pending free agent who should be brought back. For a team in desperate need of starting pitching, bringing back the 32-year-old who is one of the Twins’ longest tenured players is just a smart move.
He’s remarkably consistent, stays fairly healthy, and wouldn’t cost much more than the $9.33 million AAV that the Twins have paid him over the past two years. Offering him a new, 2 year, $20 million dollar deal would mean the Twins wouldn’t be giving up too much and they’d have a very solid back of the rotation (Pineda, Ryan, Ober) while not sacrificing future space for future studs.
The last thing that the Twins should work on is extensions for Taylor Rogers and Tyler Duffey. Both pitchers are entering their final years of arbitration, and while neither are closers, both are regarded as two of the best setup men in the league. If the Twins want to contend in 2022 and beyond, extending both would be a solid move for security.