Minnesota Twins: Ranking the Top 25 Free Agent Starters Available

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Carlos Rodon delivers against the Chicago Cubs. (Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports)
San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Carlos Rodon delivers against the Chicago Cubs. (Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Minnesota Twins
San Diego Padres pitcher Mike Clevinger throws in the first inning of game one of the NLDS. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) /

Minnesota Twins Top Free Agent Starting Pitchers: No. 14-No. 3

  • No. 14: Zach Davies
  • No. 13: Zach Eflin
  • No. 12: Ross Stripling
  • No. 11: Noah Syndergaard
  • No. 10: Sean Manaea
  • No. 9: Taijuan Walker
  • No. 8: Jameson Taillon
  • No. 7: Mike Clevinger
  • No. 6: Andrew Heaney

Zach Davies and Zach Eflin fit into a slightly different category. Both are under 30, have a history of solid success, and while unspectacular, are exactly the type of pitchers you want to add to the back of your rotation for a couple of years. Neither are great, but with Gray, Maeda, and Mahle’s contracts set to expire after 2023, the team could add either to a cheap multi-year deal.

Ross Stripling is in a very unique situation. Last season with the Toronto Blue Jays, Stripling was simply excellent, looking a lot more like the pitcher from 2016-2019 (with a 2018 All-Star bid). Stripling also worked a bit as a long reliever, which might make him a great fit in Minnesota. If he comes here as the sixth starter/long reliever, he could be very valuable when injuries occur.

Taijuan Walker is in a similar position to Eflin, as he’s freshly 30 but has a long history of success. If the team wanted to offer him a good deal with a couple of years and a little more money involved, they could have a pitcher with a 3.69 ERA (4.13 FIP) and 8.1 K/9 ratio over the past six years.

Sean Manaea and Mike Clevinger would have been considered two of the top pitchers available in 2019, but after a brutal 2022, both pitchers aren’t seen as top options. If the Minnesota Twins can sign either option to a multi-year deal for cheap, that’s a good option with a solid floor and rotation changing potential.

Jameson Taillon and Noah Syndergaard are both pitchers who had solid seasons in 2022, but with each overcoming a long history of injuries, it doesn’t make sense to add either to a rotation that desperately needs stability and reliability in 2023.

The last pitcher outside of the top options is Andrew Heaney. Heaney was stellar last season, posting some of the best numbers in the MLB with analytics that back it up. With that being said, he’s never posted a season even a quarter as good as 2022. He falls to sixth because no one is sure how good he will be next season.