Minnesota Twins: 5 Reasons to be Thankful this Thanksgiving

Minnesota Twins second baseman Jorge Polanco bats against the Kansas City Royals. (Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports)
Minnesota Twins second baseman Jorge Polanco bats against the Kansas City Royals. (Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports) /

Happy Thanksgiving Minnesota Twins fans! It’s been an exciting offseason for fans of other teams, and while the Twins have been slow moving, there is still plenty for the team to be thankful for as we prepare for a looming lockout and a potential trade of our franchise player.

With all this negativity, we thought it best to focus on the good the franchise has to look forward to in both this offseason and moving forward. Let’s get started with a couple of arms that the team can be proud of.

There’s a lot for the Minnesota Twins to be thankful for this year.

Reason No. 1 for the Minnesota Twins Fans to be Thankful: Joe Ryan and Bailey Ober taking rotation spots

The Twins enter this offseason with three open spots in the rotation, an extremely tough spot to be in. With that being said, it could be worse, save for two young rotation arms that made their major league debuts last year: Joe Ryan and Bailey Ober.

Ryan pitched to a 3.43 FIP (4.05 ERA) over 26.2 innings and 5 starts after coming over from the Nelson Cruz trade. Ober wasn’t quite as good as Ryan was, but he still managed to put up solid rookie numbers over 20 starts last year.

Neither pitcher looks like they’ll be an ace for the team, but both should be very good back of the rotation guys for years to come, with the potential upside to be even more. For a rotation in desperate need of starters, we should be very grateful.

Reason No. 2 for the Minnesota Twins Fans to be Thankful: Jorge Polanco looking more like himself

While Jorge Polanco didn’t have the best season of his career in 2021, he certainly looked like he was back on the track to becoming an elite middle infielder the team hoped he would be after struggling the season before.

He’s on one of the best contracts in baseball and should compete for an All-Star bid after slashing .269/.323/.588 and hitting 33 homers with 98 RBI. If the Twins plan on contending again any time soon, Polanco is a big piece of those plans.

Reason No. 3 for the Minnesota Twins Fans to be Thankful: Byron Buxton is still on the team, and if he doesn’t last much longer, the Twins will add more prospects for his ability

As we mentioned earlier, the Twins are weighing the possibility of one of the most physically gifted players in franchise history in Byron Buxton. Buxton is an elite fielder AND hitter now, and his numbers would have been the best in baseball if he stayed healthy. Unfortunately, he didn’t.

This has led the Twins to question if extending his contract is the right move or if trading him for a decent haul of prospects would be better. While Twins fans hope he is retained, he might still be traded, which would also help the franchise accelerate a rebuild. Either way, he gives the team a lot of value.

Reason No. 4 for the Minnesota Twins Fans to be Thankful: Cash to Burn

While a lot of Twins fans (myself included) are worried the Twins won’t properly use their payroll properly in 2022, the team does have a lot of money that was freshly freed up after 2021. Andrelton Simmons, Michael Pineda, Nelson Cruz, and more deals are now off the books, giving the team over $30 million to work with. Let’s hope they spend it.

Reason No. 5 for the Minnesota Twins Fans to be Thankful: Top Prospects that are Almost Here

Most MLB fans have a multiple prospects that are still extremely far from reaching the big leagues. Lucky for the Twins, 9 of the Twins Top 10 prospects and 15 of the Twins Top 30 prospects are all expected to make the majors or be MLB-ready by the end of 2022.

Visions of Royce Lewis, Jordan Balazovic, and Austin Martin in Minnesota Twins uniforms are fun to dream about and it seems like they may be a reality sooner rather than later. Twins fans can hardly wait.

While there’s lots that Minnesota Twins fans can be unhappy about, we have to remember the positives the team still has going for it. Let’s enjoy what we can and hope for a fun offseason. Happy Thanksgiving!

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