Minnesota Twins End of Season Checklist Item No. 3: Make the Tough Decisions on the Bats
On offense, there’s a clear distinction who stays and goes. Byron Buxton, Trevor Larnach, Alex Kirilloff, Luis Arraez, Jorge Polanco, Royce Lewis form a monstrous lineup when everyone is healthy. Ryan Jeffers, Nick Gordon, Kyle Garlick, and Max Kepler, make a very strong bench. Matt Wallner will be added to that group next year (more on him later). But what about the rest?
Billy Hamilton, Sandy Leon, and Caleb Hamilton will all be gone very quickly, with Hamilton possibly remaining as organizational depth. Jake Cave, like him or not deserves to return on an MiLB deal, but shouldn’t be on the MLB roster. Jermaine Palacios, Mark Contreras, and Gilberto Celestino should be back in AAA, but are decent organizational depth.
Miguel Sano and Gary Sanchez should also be out the door, which leaves Gio Urshela and Carlos Correa as the only uncertainties. Everyone should want Correa back, as his torrid September has made him indispensable. If he opts to leave, the Twins will have 35+ million to spend on a shortstop and pitching upgrades. Either way, the Twins are in a good spot.
Gio Urshela is a bigger question. Urshela is under contract for 2023, and trading him wouldn’t net a large return, but the Twins can only carry thirteen fielders. Here’s my current roster prediction for 2023:
Catchers (2): Ryan Jeffers, (FA Addition-Omar Narvaez)
Infielders (6): Luis Arraez, Jorge Polanco, Carlos Correa (or FA Addition), Nick Gordon, Jose Miranda, Alex Kirilloff
Outfielders (5): Byron Buxton, Trevor Larnach, Max Kepler, Kyle Garlick, Matt Wallner
That doesn’t leave a spot for Gio Urshela. The Twins need more outfielders, as the group is injury prone. The infield will likely get Royce Lewis back during mid-May, and that means Urshela’s playing time is even thinner. It makes the most sense to try and move him, especially with several prospects who could come up with more versatility and potential. Speaking of potential…