Minnesota Twins Offseason Option No. 1: Go all-in and spend big on All-Stars
This first option is very unlikely, but it remains a possible one because of the available cash that the Minnesota Twins have. The team spent $158 million on payroll in 2022, but after a good chunk of cash was freed up, the team now has an estimated $107 million in money committed (including Christan Vázquez’s new $30 million deal).
That’s $51 million available to get back to 2022’s spending levels, and if the team were to trade Max Kepler ($8.5 million) and spend an extra $10 million (a reasonable jump), they’d have nearly seventy million to drop on the rest of the class.
With all this cash, the team could easily afford to dole out a 7 year, $210 million deal to Carlos Rodon (meeting his asking price), encouraging him to lose his trepidation and become the new ace. With $40 million remaining, they could also offer up a massive, 7 year, $175 million deal to Dansby Swanson, locking down their other major question mark at shortstop (with $15 million left over).
Even if the team only secures one of the two (a much more likely path), they still will have addressed a big need while continuing to show the fanbase that they are trying to win. We’ll say for the purposes of this that the team does make Rodon an offer he can’t refuse, setting up a rotation of Rodon, Sonny Gray, Tyler Mahle, Joe Ryan, and Kenta Maeda, one of the best groups in baseball.
On top of that, Bailey Ober, Josh Winder, Simeon Woods Richardson, and Louie Varland would make this pen one of the deepest in the game too. The team would likely add another reliever (we’ll say Taylor Rogers), making pitching an overall strength that it wasn’t a year ago.
After failing to add a star shortstop, the team picks up Elvis Andrus as a stopgap until Lewis returns and in the deal for Kepler they pick up a right-handed outfielder. Securing all these major holes makes the team a major success, and the team runs away with the division title.
If the team were to add Swanson instead, they’d follow a similar path, but with the lineup and defense being the major strength (and Royce Lewis emerging as a do-it-all utility-man) while the still-solid rotation helps the team find similar success. Neither option is especially likely, but after the soul-crushing departure of Correa, a guy can dream.