Winter meetings are officially in the rearview mirror, and despite a lot of chatter involving the Minnesota Twins and despite a lot of talk of a potential reunion with Carlos Correa, the team has officially signed zero free agents.
The team’s strategy over the past few years has been to wait patiently while the major players are swept up by big market teams, allowing for the team to pick up some bargains to help fill out the roster. It hasn’t worked.
This year seemed to be different though. The team was engaged, talking to big money free agents, and really pushing the envelope. Now just a day after expressing so much optimism, it’s time to address the other side of the coin: the Minnesota Twins might very well end up big losers in Free Agency again.
Could the Minnesota Twins end up on the outside looking in of Free Agency’s big spending spree?
Let’s be honest: the Twins are far from the richest team in baseball. Everyone knows, that with a disinterested fanbase and no major television deal, the team can’t afford to be going toe-to-toe with the Boston and New York markets. The team has to get good value most years and develop young talent. We understand that. This year was a unique situation though.
After 2022 fell apart due to injuries and an inability to prepare properly, the Twins wasted what could have been an easy opportunity for winning the division. They entered the offseason knowing improvements were needed, and after the season cleared out space to make those improvements. Over $50 million worth of space. Sign a superstar space.
The thought process of “Try to sign Correa and pivot to another option if prices don’t line up” was a sound one, but Free Agency moves too fast. Potential backup plans like Xander Bogaerts, Brandon Nimmo, Jose Abreu, and Mitch Haniger have already signed, leaving Carlos Correa, Carlos Rodon, and Dansby Swanson as the only major players left unsigned.
To the Twins’ credit, they’ve been involved with all three, but as I mentioned in my last article, the Twins need to be more than involved; they need to add one of these guys. They need to spend all of the money that they have, and they need to spend it quickly.
If the team misses on the big three remaining free agents, offseason additions of Tucker Barnhart, Jose Iglesias, Wil Myers, and an aging Will Smith will meet the team’s four big needs, but it won’t bring them any closer to building a division contender.
I’ve said it multiple times. I like this roster. Sonny Gray, Tyler Mahle, Joe Ryan, Kenta Maeda, and Bailey Ober make a sneaky good rotation, and there’s more depth behind it this year. Buxton, Miranda, Polanco, Arraez (if he’s not traded) can form a solid lineup when everyone (Kirilloff and Larnach included is healthy). But the group isn’t a title contender.
They needed to boost the roster, and thus far in free agency, they haven’t. As I wrote yesterday, the team’s only competition for Correa right now is the Giants, so if the Twins bring him back (or add Rodon/Swanson), all is forgiven. If not, then the offseason is a complete failure once again, and changes need to start being discussed.