The Minnesota Twins find themselves in a very good position going into the 2022 MLB All Star Break. They have a comfortable lead over the Cleveland Guardians and the Chicago White Sox and do not seem to be slowing down.
Week in and week out the Twins are in the top 10 power rankings across all of MLB. Every good team has a weakness though, and the Twins is very prevalent: they’re missing a closer. If the Twins want to finally make a run in the postseason, it is time they add a weapon to get themselves there. The Twins will be getting Aroldis Chapman.
The Minnesota Twins need some bullpen help, so why not make a major splash?
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.
Chapman’s still got it…kinda.
Aroldis Chapman has been a lost cause in New York in 2022. He has lost his role as closer on the best team in baseball. His ERA is above 4.00, his K% is nearly double less than his career average, and has the highest walk% of his entire career. This all seems bad, like we are seeing the end of an era. But what does Chapman bring?
His velocity is still in the top 95 percentile in baseball and his spin rate is in the top 71 percentile. So the arm still has some life. The attractive thing about this is Chapman has one of the lower hard hit rates of his career sitting at 31.3%. So if he is still throwing hard with low hard hit rates, location seems to be the issue.
The statcast pitch arsenal shows a lot of misses around the strike zone for Chapman this season, especially with the fastball. With the continuous choking during the big moment with the Yankees and his dethronement in New York this season, maybe a change of scenery and a new light on his importance to a team’s bullpen can turn this around.
The current situation for the Minnesota Twins
Jhoan Duran has taken over the role as closer with Emilio Pagan being atrocious this season. Duran is catching up on total saves and is rocking a 2.54 ERA in nearly 40 innings pitched. He is slowly winning over the team trust in the 9th and deserves the opportunity to proceed. But does he have the track record to continue this output?
What if he took over the role of Taylor Rogers which has been voided and missed all season? A strong bullpen always needs a reliable set up arm to bring in the thumper to end the game. This can also open up more innings for Pagan to pitch in where it is not high leveraged. Quantity can overcome the quality which can bring confidence to Pagan to get himself back on track.
What will it cost the Minnesota Twins?
To get this trade done, what will it cost the Twins? Not much is the answer. Chapman is in the final year of his contract and is owed $18 million on the year. Given his performance this season, the Yankees would love to shed $18 million to use towards acquiring a starting pitcher.
The Twins only long term commitments of any significance with money are Buxton and Correa which are relatively smaller mega deals compared to other markets. The Twins can financially take on this contract for the remainder of the season with no issue.
The Yankees would settle with 2 prospects and for the Twins to take on all of the remaining contracts. In this case, the pieces being sent Blayne Enlow and Jovani Moran.
Final thought on the Minnesota Twins Brain Fog
This is a trade that makes way too much since for both sides. There is a need for both teams here that can push each other over their division rivals to secure their division titles. Given the Twins playoff history over the last decade, they need all the help they can get to finally escape the wild card and division series rounds.
The biggest mountain to climb is finally slaying the beast which is the Yankees. WIll it take the Yankee’s hammer himself to achieve that? It sure seems to make the most sense for a Twins upgrade.