An important offseason lies ahead for the Minnesota Twins, one that will require the front office to get creative in how it crafts a World Series contender.
For the first time in what seems like forever, the Twins can legitimately contend for a title next year. The roster has a mixture of superstar veterans like Byron Buxton and Carlos Correa alongside young talent like Royce Lewis and Edouard Julien. Pitching is also a strength of the Twins, which is not something fans are used to.
Despite ending a 19-year postseason losing streak, the Twins are slashing the payroll this winter by about $20 million.
Even if the Twins had blank checks to spend, the team has a history of trying to find free agent bargains in the form of veterans looking to revive their careers. It hasn't always worked out, but the list of players Minnesota has brought in -- Phil Hughes, Nelson Cruz, Josh Willingham, Kenta Maeda -- hoping they'll tap back into what made them big names in the first place is not a short one.
This winter is a perfect scenario for the Twins to once again go bargain shopping, and there are some intriguing pitchers on the market who fit the formula.
Lucas Giolito, RHP
One name that has popped up pretty consistently over the last year or so is former White Sox ace Lucas Giolito.
It wasn't that long ago that the idea of him jumping ship to Minnesota seemed like wishful thinking, but he's pitched himself into the kind of deep hole that the Twins just love to excavate. Much like Dallas Kuechel, Giolito is a guy who was once one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball but has quite literally lost a bit off his fastball.
His run from 2019-2021 was incredible, as he finished with Cy Young votes in each of those seasons and made an All-Star Game to boot. The stretch since then has been a bit rougher, as Giolito's ERA has ballooned over the last two years and he was a complete disaster for the Angels and Guardians this past year.
A former Cy Young candidate who has been on three teams in two years and would only cost around $11M -- how many more boxes does Giolito need to check before the Twins are obligated to offer him a contract?