Minnesota Twins Free Agent Target No. 2: 1B/3B/OF Kris Bryant
The Minnesota Twins offensive struggles were probably overstated as the team is projected to have five players in the starting lineup next year who posted a wRC+ of 110 or better in 2021, and that doesn’t even include Luis Arraez (who had a mark of 103). However, injuries to Byron Buxton, Mitch Garver, and Josh Donaldson, as well as the deadline deal of Nelson Cruz, gave too many at-bats to replacement-level hitters.
Additionally, one of Alex Kirilloff or Trevor Larnach could very possibly take a step forward next season and secure left field. Still, with Cruz not on the roster (No, sorry, I’m not including him on this list), there’s a hole in the middle of the lineup.
That hole can be filled with the help of former MVP Kris Bryant. He may not be the player he was his first few seasons in the league, but he still handles the bat well, posting a .835 OPS and 123 wRC+ in 144 games split between the Cubs and Giants last year.
In addition, the 29-year old has only one season with a sub-.834 OPS- a .644 OPS during the odd 60-game 2020 season. Plus, he can play all over the diamond, seeing time at every position except catcher and second base last year.
Bryant would give manager Rocco Baldelli a bat capable of hitting in the heart of the order and could help get the ageing Josh Donaldson or shaky first baseman Miguel Sano more reps at designated hitter.
It would be great to sign a shortstop like Carlos Correa or Corey Seager, but frankly, I don’t think giving away that kind of money is the best plan. I’d rather see someone hold down the position internally, like Jorge Polanco or Nick Gordon. Bryant won’t be cheap either, but would give the Twins much more flexibility to concentrate on other needs.