Other than trading Jorge Polanco to the Seattle Mariners, it's been a painfully quiet offseason for the Minnesota Twins. Frustrations have been bubbling to the surface the longer fans are forced to sit and watch their team do nothing to improve a roster that made its deepest playoff run in two decades.
The Twins lost Sonny Gray in free agency, which created a need to replace his production and find a solid No. 2 starter next to Pablo Lopez. Rather than go out and spend on a free agent, the belief was that Polanco would be used as a trade chip to help fill the void.
After months of waiting out the market, Minnesota ended up flipping Polanco for four players including starter Anthony DeSclafani. Rather than replacing Gray, the Twins acquired a replacement for Kenta Maeda at the back of the rotation, and yet another in a long line of players carrying the caveat of how great they'll be if they can stay healthy.
Lame corporate reasons are to blame for the lack of activity. Diamond Sports Group went bankrupt and as a result the Twins lost a large chunk of revenue, which forced the team to reduce its payroll this winter. It's a brutal look for a team that has long squeezed value out of every penny in its pocket, and the optics are bothersome to more than just fans in Minnesota.
A.J. Pierzynski calls out Twins ownership after Jorge Polanco trade
On Tuesday's episode of Foul Territory, former catcher A.J. Pierzynski blasted the Twins for how they've handled the offseason so far.
"What are the Twins doing? It seems like they're getting rid of a lot of good players," Pierzynski said. "Polanco was a really good player for those guys, and he got some huge hits for them over the years. So it's a little surprising that they got rid of him."
Pierzynski specifically called out the Pohlads for not spending at a time when the Twins could become 'head and shoulders' better than the rest of the AL Central, but seem content with living on the margins.
"[The Twins] got money back in the trade so you know what that does for the Pohlads? 'Yay, I've got more money to sleep on at night'," Pierzynski said, mockingly. "It's just interesting to me because the Twins could take this division easily if they just spent a little bit of money. It's like nobody in the Central wants to win the division."
The tone of his message is probably going to rub fans who already dislike him the wrong way, but Pierzynski's frustrations are both understandable and not entirely incorrect. He was traded in the middle of the 2000s, but he lived through plenty of Twins teams that felt competitive enough to spend but never seemed to do so.
"They're so broke. The Pohlads are worth billions and billions of dollars," Pierzynski scoffed.
That sounds like it's coming from a place of deep personal distain, but it's also sentiment that aligns with how Twins fans have been feeling for decades. This winter has been particularly bad, even by the franchise's frugal standards, but it's also not like we don't know why things have been so painfully slow.
We are less than two months away from Opening Day and the Twins don't have a TV deal in place. That's expected to change soon, but the concerns over lost revenue has handcuffed the front office's ability to spend. It's a frustrating -- and lame -- reason for the team to clutch the pocketbook but the lack of activity isn't a total shock.
Still, it doesn't feel great to see the Twins stuck in a cycle of having a team good enough to seriously compete and standing pat at that.