3 Twins players we’ll be glad are gone in 2024 and 2 we wish stayed

It's not all bad.

Minnesota Twins v Texas Rangers
Minnesota Twins v Texas Rangers / Tim Heitman/GettyImages
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2 Twins players we wish stayed in 2024

Sonny Gray

This one was pretty obvious, right? The Twins lost their ace and near-2023 Cy Young winner Sonny Gray, to the Cardinals during their early offseason strike, easily the best get out of the "Gray, Lance Lynn, Kyle Gibson" signing spree. After rejecting the Twins' qualifying offer and taking $75 million from St. Louis, Gray rubbed salt into Minnesota fans' wounds by saying in his introductory press conference that he'd always wanted to be a Cardinal.

Still, the innings Gray was able to give the Twins (not to mention the quality of those innings) have proven to be impossible to replace. Minnesota did pick up Anthony DeSclafani in a trade with the Giants, but it just isn't the same (and his buildup has been slow due to elbow concerns). Gray was probably never going to come back to the Twins, especially not with the money the Cardinals were willing to give him, but it's still incredibly disappointing that we had to watch him go.

Kenta Maeda

Maeda was also always going to be easier to replace than Gray, but when he left for the Tigers in free agency, the Twins lost their most experienced pitcher and another near-Cy Young winner. His production since 2020 hadn't been ideal, and he missed all of 2022 after undergoing Tommy John, but if the Twins were always going to lose him, it would've at least felt a little better if it wasn't to an AL Central rival. Throw in the fact that Detroit was just willing to give him more money than Minnesota was, and it all gets a little sadder.

DeSclafani is the team's clear replacement for Maeda — another veteran, back-end starter who's battled injury and had a 4.00-something ERA in 2023 — and luckily, both Louie Varland and Bailey Ober, who the Twins were eyeing to move to the rotation, have both looked good over a few innings in spring training this year. Still, Maeda, his splitters, and his clubhouse presence will be missed in Minnesota.

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