Minnesota Twins: Breaking Down the 2022 AL Central Rivals-Chicago
By Otto Johnson
The Minnesota Twins enter 2022, and the team is looking to compete in a much-improved American League Central. The team has made some big moves in the offseason, but the other teams in their division did as well.
To get ready for the season, we’re taking a look around at the other division rivals; their lineups, their rotations, bullpens and their offseasons. To do this, I enlisted the help of the other FanSided network experts to help break down their team, starting out with the Kansas City Royals and Cleveland Guardians.
We’re continuing today with the Twin’s main competition in the Chicago White Sox, last year’s Division winner and a trendy World Series pick for some analysts. I talked with Vincent Parise over at Southside Showdown.
We’re breaking down the Minnesota Twins American League Central rivals, continuing with the Chicago White Sox.
We may disagree about our favorite teams and just how far the team will go, but we broke down the roster, how we expect the team to perform, and we start the same area as we did yesterday: the team’s offseason.
Minnesota Twins: AL Central Rival Important Offseason Moves
Key Chicago White Sox Additions: LF A.J. Pollock (trade with Dodgers), 2B/3B/LF Josh Harrison, (1 year, $5.5M), C Reese McGuire (trade with Blue Jays), RP Kendall Graveman (3 years, $24M), RP Joe Kelly (2 years, $19M), SP Vince Velasquez (1 year, $3M), SP Johnny Cueto (1 year, $3M)
Key Chicago White Sox Departures: Craig Kimbrel, Carlos Rodon, Cesar Hernandez, Zack Collins, Ryan Tepera
Twins fans are super concerned about the team’s rotation, and the fans feel the team didn’t do enough. The Chicago White Sox didn’t do enough either, but they still did a lot to address some of their major concerns.
The team sent out Kimbrel and Ryan Tepera and replaced him with Kendall Graveman and Joe Kelly (who’s currently injured). Reese McGuire is a major upgrade at backup catcher over Zack Collins. A.J. Pollock and Josh Harrison are HUGE upgrades over Cesar Hernandez and Yermin Mercedes (Andrew Vaughn will move to designated hitter and out of left field).
Those were all good moves, but the big issue is now the rotation. Replacing Carlos Rodon with Velasquez and Cueto is a massive drop off, and with Lance Lynn out for a while, one of baseball’s best groups last year is suddenly very thin. The team expects internal development in the rotation though, and the other moves were actually really strong.
Parise thought the offseason was okay, but he also really liked several of their moves:
"My favorite move was the trade a few days ago when the White Sox acquired AJ Pollock for Craig Kimbrel. He will add some necessary depth and experience to the outfield. I also enjoyed shoring up the bullpen with Joe Kelly and Kendall Graveman."