It’s officially the 2021-2022 offseason Minnesota Twins fans! The CBA lockout is upon us and teams frozen with any activity until the players union and owners can become friends again. Before the December 1st deadline, teams decided to act much quicker than in previous offseasons.
Free agent contracts and trades were happening left and right, as none of us could refresh our Twitter feeds fast enough. One question has remained though: What are the Minnesota Twins doing?
The Minnesota Twins could make a big addition, and it’s fun to think about.
Welcome to my new series Brain Fog, where I will be making outlandish takes about the Minnesota Twins and trying to back them up with reasoning and logic. Anything can happen in baseball, so why not make that approach with fun scenarios that no one will entertain? Let me take the time to entertain you.
First, the Setup for the Minnesota Twins
The Twins are currently in a weird limbo stage. Are they competing for a World Series in 2022? Are are they trying to do a quick reboot? Is it a full rebuild? So far the roster has been a stalemate. The extension for Byron Buxton was exciting and provides a star to build around for seven years, but the next step is to build around the star player, and that has not crossed the Front Office’s mind.
The only moves the organization has made outside of Buxton is subtraction, with one exception. Willians Astudillo, Andrelton Simmons, and Alex Colomé are gone. The team added Dylan Bundy, but that’s hardly a huge addition. What’s the direction of the organization?
The starting lineup looks solid on paper for 2022. The outfield is loaded with young talent, Mitch Garver has thump in his bat again, Josh Donaldson can finally become a DH and only focus on hitting, and the future in Jose Miranda and Royce Lewis might finally be here to fill the question marks for the team at third base and shortstop.
The pitching could use an upgrade but most of the elite pitching is gone now. Trade options are available (OAK, CIN, MIA) but does the team want to give up the farm system to do so? I have a solution. This team can look a whole lot different after this scenario, which will finally give the team an identify on who they are moving forward:
Like mentioned earlier, the lineup looks very solid for the Minnesota Twins. Twins fans are beyond excited to see the talents of Jose Miranda, Royce Lewis, and Austin Martin make their way onto Target Field. Their talent is clearly there.
The pessimistic part of me views them as prospects, not established Major Leaguers. I find more value in relevant production than future production. This is why I am about to take you down some crazy paths.
Minnesota Twins make a big move: Carlos Correa heads to the Twin Cities
At age 27, this investment guarantees you four to five years of prime production. He has established himself as the best overall shortstop in the game and will be paid handsomely for that distinction. This is the perfect star to build around if you have the resources to make it happen. The funny thing is, the Minnesota Twins do.
After the flurry of signings in late November, the market is down to two premier shortstops in Correa and Trevor Story. All of the potential suitors for Correa have locked up their new players and he is left without an obvious pick.
The Dodgers and Yankees might tap in but they probably don’t want to spend the money that Correa will be asking for. Story will sign next and his bidding war will be a bloodbath. This is a great chance for the Twins to step in.
This leads to the Minnesota Twins making another move, a Prospect Swap with the Marlins
In order for this to work, the team needs to evaluate how this can benefit the future and also allow them to compete in 2022. The dark cloud hovering over the team is pitching, but this signing would also raise the issue of a spot for Royce Lewis to play when he’s ready. The answer is in Miami, Florida.
Trading Royce Lewis and Emmanuel Rodriguez for Jesus Luzardo and Pablo Lopez would get the job done. This deal works for both parties. Miami is missing the star of the future. Jazz Chisholm could be it, but he is going to have to prove it. Lewis would be their guy to lock up and build around. The biggest question for them is their outfield, and that’s where Rodriguez fills that gap.
With an overabundance of pitching, they can spare to move some pieces and still have one of the most promising staffs in baseball. Sixto Sanchez will be coming back after battling a shoulder injury in 2021, and with him, Sandy Alcantara, and Trevor Rogers, this staff is ready to dominate.
The Minnesota Twins adding Luzardo and Lopez will help bandage up a weak starting rotation in a hurry. Coming off of the twenty-sixth worst team era in the MLB in 2021 (4.84), the team is needing effective arms ASAP.
This trade provides that but also sets up a future pitching core that can erase the memory of the Jose Berrios trade. The hole being left behind by Royce Lewis can easily be filled by Austin Martin and Keoni Cavaco. They are young enough to supplement a potential bust in the Correa tenure.
Would the Minnesota Twins offer that kind of money?
Twins fans will look at this take and immediately state: What about the money? This team will not offer that kind of deal. Here’s the thing: the team has done it before. Joe Mauer signed for eight years, $184 million with a full no-trade clause. That contract is cursed in hindsight but the team still did it.
Correa is younger than Mauer was, does not play as demanding of a position (though it’s close), and can always rotate to third base or DH down the road. The team has a salary payroll of eighty million for 2022, but adding him would only tighten the cap a bit this year, but the team has big money coming off the books in each of the next two years. Money isn’t a real excuse. The biggest problem is injuries.
The Risk for the Minnesota Twins
Signing Carlos Correa up for a decade is beyond risky. Correa has an extensive history with back issues which is near crippling to athletes. You are promised elite levels of production, but at the cost of half a season and for near half a billion dollars.
David Wright is a good comparison to make. He agreed to a seven year, $122 million extension that was full of frustrations and disappointment, all due to a back injury that Wright never was the same player after. I am afraid the same can happen to Carlos Correa.
The Final Minnesota Twins Fog Thought
A superstar talent is available for the taking. This opportunity does not come often for mid-market teams who are making the push to a World Series. What plagues these franchises is relying too heavily on prospects to become cornerstone players for the franchise.
Their futures are not guaranteed, so their values are imaginary. All it takes is one move to turn a franchise completely around and establish a new identity. That time is now for the Minnesota Twins.