Perhaps the biggest domino of the offseason has fallen, with Shohei Ohtani signing a historic deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. His $700 million contract has a wider impact than just what it means for the Dodgers, as a market that seemed to be waiting for him to make a decision is expected to start moving.
That means the Minnesota Twins might get active in ways fans have been waiting all winter for.
So far the only moves the Twins have made have been to let free agents walk away. Kenta Meada, Sonny Gray, and Emilio Pagán all signed deals elsewhere this offseason with other players like Donovan Solano and Michael A. Taylor looking like prime candidates to find work next.
While there are a handful of moves the Twins need to make, a few stand out above the rest as things that need to be addressed now that Ohtani has signed and the hot stove is about to heat up.
3 moves Twins need to make after Shohei Ohtani signs with Dodgers
Acquire a replacement for Sonny Gray
There are a ton of areas the Twins should probably address this offseason but none is more important than starting pitching. For the first time in what feels like forever, the rotation was a strength that carried the team to its first playoff victory since 2004, with two pitchers getting Cy Young votes.
Sonny Gray was the runner-up to Gerrit Cole, and finally delivered on the promise the Twins saw when they traded for him back in 2022. If he makes another run at a Cy Young it will be in St. Louis, though, as he parlayed his incredible season into a $75 million deal with the Cardinals. Gray leaves a sizable hole in the Twins rotation, with Pablo Lopez the only true ace the team has and major questions behind him. Joe Ryan struggled last year year and looks like a No. 3 starter more than a sidekick to Lopez, and guys like Bailey Ober and Louie Varland still need to prove themselves over the course of a full season.
It's unlikely that the Twins will find a replacement for Gray internally, which is why there's been so much made over the trade value of Jorge Polanco and Max Kepler. With a a reduced payroll, the Twins will probably need to find a trade partner to land a front-line starter -- which seems to be the goal.
Who that ends up being is the mystery. Could the Twins find a way to land Tyler Glasnow from the Rays or trade for Logan Gilbert up in Seattle? Perhaps the Twins don't let the payroll challenge hold them back and sign someone like Marcus Stroman, or a make-good free agent like Lucas Giolito or Jack Flahrety.
What the Twins can't afford to do is let the budget box them out of replenishing the rotation. Twins fans got a taste of the good life and turning back now would be borderline malpractice.