Minnesota Twins: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly in the 2022 Offseason
After finishing 73-89 last year in a division where 4 out of the 5 teams finished under .500, it seems that there is not much to be excited about for the Minnesota Twins fans going into 2022. The Twins traded away Jose Berrios to the Toronto Blue Jays this season, Buxton looked good while on the field but was not on the field that often and the free agents seemed to underperform.
It has been 19 years now since the Twins have won a playoff series and even though things have been spiraling recently, there is some good to be hopeful about. Unfortunately, there is also some ugly.
The Good for the Minnesota Twins
To start off, the Twins payroll for next year is something that should be noted as a positive for the team. No one other than Josh Donaldson is going to make more than $10M next year and the other 5 players on guaranteed contracts are locked into very friendly team contracts for the Twins.
Another positive to look forward to is Mitch Garver. While only playing 68 games this year, Garver provided the Twins with the third highest OPS on the team (.875) and third highest OPS+ on the team (139) only behind Cruz (who is no longer on the team) and Buxton.
On the pitching side, two starts had an above average ERA+ in Pineda and Ober and the entire bullpen aside from Robles also had above-average ERA+. With a few more pieces this offseason, the Minnesota Twins staff could be in a great spot to compete in the AL Central.
The Bad for the Minnesota Twins
For the money that he is making, Max Kepler is posting very underwhelming statistics. Batting .211 is his worst mark of his career so far and has only batter over .250 one year. His 162 game average comes out to 86 R, 27 HR, 80 RBI, 7 SB and a .233 AVG. To me, someone with these types of numbers should not be locked up for 5 years making about 7 million a year.
On the pitching side, most of the rotation is pretty bad. The free agent signings wildly underperformed this year and Randy Dobnak could not follow up his big 2019 season and got battered almost every start. Dobnak is young and has time to turn things around, but hopefully the Twins are more successful with free agent pitchers this year.
The Ugly for the Minnesota Twins
I am putting Byron Buxton in this category because depending what happens, this can either be good or bad, but right now it is just plain ugly. Buxton looked like he had MVP potential in the first half of the year and to close the year out, but the middle part saw him miss even more time due to injuries.
Buxton has played over 100 games once in his 7 year career, and while he posted his best average this year with .306, he has hit over .260 only twice in his career. I’m not saying that Buxton is a bad player (because he’s clearly not), but what I am saying is that doing anything other than signing him to a 1 year deal this offseason and letting him become a free agent after next year is the wrong thing to do.
The best option in my opinion is to take one more shot with Buxton, get 60-80 games out of him and then let him go after that. This offseason as a whole will be a big one for the Twins, especially since Levine has stated that Twins are not sellers. Let’s see if they can fix some of this ugly and move back to being contenders.