Minnesota Twins Top Free Agent Outfielders: No. 8-No. 1
- No. 8: J.D. Martinez
- No. 7: Michael Conforto
- No. 6: Andrew Benintendi
- No. 5: Mitch Haniger
- No. 4: Michael Brantley
- No. 3: Joc Pederson
- No. 2: Brandon Nimmo
- No. 1: Aaron Judge
Each and every one of these signings would be a massive addition to the offense, a player that you expect to play every single day. Sure, a few of them would likely command the largest free agent deal in team history, but the ones at the top are worth it.
J.D. Martinez and Michael Brantley are separated by five spots on this list, but both are designated hitters at this point in their respective careers. Martinez still has plenty of power, Brantley has great contact skills, so their bats would both be huge in a lineup that needs more hitting.
Michael Conforto is one of the offseason’s biggest unknowns coming off a major shoulder surgery, but if he comes back healthy, he’s an absolute stud. Andrew Benintendi is an extremely reliable corner outfielder, but his left-handed bat wouldn’t be as useful as player like Mitch Haniger.
Haniger has certainly had a down year in 2021, posting his lowest OPS (.736) since his rookie season, but the right-handed batter would still be a great fit with the Minnesota Twins, as the right fielder typically mashes lefties and would give the team more lineup flexibility.
Joc Pederson was a legitimate star in 2022, posting a monstrous .874 OPS (144 OPS+) and playing all three outfield spots and mashing 23 homers. He’s likely do for a slight regression, but he still would be an All-Star level outfielder.
One spot above him is Brandon Nimmo, whose down year (by his standards) still resulted in a 130 OPS+ and a 5.1 bWAR. He’s a legitimate star center fielder who is pretty strong defensively and could man the corners if Buck was healthy. He’ll likely command a monstrous deal, but if the Twins can be in the conversation or would have interest, he’d solidify the outfield for a long time to come.
Lastly, the top spot on this list is Aaron Judge. Judge’s historic 2022 season saw him lead the American League in RBI, walks, OBP, slugging percentage, OPS, OPS+, runs, total bases, and set the AL record for homers with 62. If that weren’t enough, the near-lock for AL MVP missed the Triple Crown by .005 in the batting average category, an incredible feat.
Judge will almost certainly earn the largest free agent deal in MLB history (and certainly in this class), and while the going assumption is he will land back in New York, at least a couple different websites suggest that the Minnesota Twins could be a very dark horse (a guy can dream).
Today’s 40-man roster deadline and Friday’s non-tender deadline will bring more clarity to the outfield position, but the team could definitely use some real help to make the outfield a definitive strength, rather than a very large, injury-plagued question mark.