How are members of the 2023 Twins doing with their new teams?

Let’s check in on some old friends to see how things are going.
St. Louis Cardinals v Milwaukee Brewers
St. Louis Cardinals v Milwaukee Brewers / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

It was a pretty disappointing offseason for the Minnesota Twins, one that saw the team subtract more than it added. 

That was a frustrating outcome of the team cowering in the face of the Bally Sports North drama we all saw coming a mile away. For whatever reason the Twins decided to drag their feet, and slashing the payroll by $30 million was how ownership decided the situation was best navigated. 

Minnesota’s winning ways have turned down the volume on how frustrated fans were, but the fact still remains that the team lost more talent than it added. The Twins let six notable players from last year’s team go — five in free agency and one via trade. 

Now that we’re a month into the season, it’s worth checking the pulse to see how those decisions have aged. 

How are members of the 2023 Twins doing with their new teams?

Joey Gallo, Washington Nationals 

Nationals fans are getting the Joey Gallo experience in record time this year, just like how Twins fans watched the slugger tumble last season.

Gallo’s time in Minnesota peaked with a revenge series against the Yankees at Target Field, one that was cathartic for all involved (aside from New York). Just like how we forget about movies in a franchise that aren’t good, that series against the Yankees is where Twins fans want to believe Gallo’s time with the team ended.

It wasn’t, though, and we’re seeing similar struggles in Washington.

Gallo was placed on the IL at the end of April while hitting an abysmal .122/.286/.311 and a 47.3 percent strikeout rate that ranks near the bottom of the league. All of that comes after Gallo started the season looking to turn a corner after showing some power, but like he did last year it seems he had already fallen back into a slump that he’s going to struggle to get out of.

Michael A. Taylor, Pittsburgh Pirates

Of all the players Minnesota lost from last year, Michael A. Taylor might be the one that cuts the deepest. It’s not that Taylor is having an MVP season for the Pirates, rather it’s that he’s doing so much better than the guy Minnesota replaced him with.

Manuel Margot has been a disaster this season, from bunting with the bases loaded and two outs to slumping to new lows at the plate. He’s even watched his defensive rating go down, all of which is juxtaposed against Taylor remaining consistent in Pittsburgh.

Offensive power is what the tiebreaker was between trading for Margot and bringing Taylor back, and it’s been lopsided in the wrong direction. While Margot is hitting .171, Taylor is batting .232 and has remained on par with the output he had last season — production the Twins could very much use.

Sonny Gray, St. Louis Cardinals

So far this year Sonny Gray has looked exactly like the type of pitcher he was for the Twins in 2023. He owns a 4-2 record and a 2.29 ERA that would look pretty nice next to Pablo Lopez, and he has yet to pitch fewer than six innings in all but one of his starts.

His only game under six innings is also his only bad start of the year, as the Brewers lit him up for six runs on seven hits in a 7-1 loss for Gray. Since then he’s settled into the guy Twins fans watched carry the team last year, with a 12 strikeout revenge game against the Brewers suggesting he’s fully settled into another year of being special.

Too bad the Cardinals are horrible. Gray chose to go to St. Louis in free agency with the idea of contending in his final years but so far that’s the only part of his gamble that hasn’t paid off. He looks great on the mound but has once again found himself in a situation where he simply can’t get the type of support he deserves.

Kenta Maeda, Detroit Tigers

Things haven’t gone as well for Kenta Maeda, who was the other big loss the Twins pitching staff endured this winter. He left to sign a deal in Detroit that paid $12 million AAV, which was a little rich for Minnesota’s anemic financial blood.

Maeda hasn’t been a disaster, but he’s been rougher than anyone would like. Through the first month and a half of the season he has a 6.75 ERA and -0.7 WAR in seven starts. Another cause for concern is how early Maeda has been getting chased, as he has three games where he’s failed to make it out of the third inning.

Twins fans saw some rocky starts with Meada last year but he seems to be the weakest link in the Tigers’ starting rotation.

Nick Gordon, Miami Marlins

Few Twins fans wanted to see Nick Gordon go, but he was traded to the Miami Marlins before the season started rather than getting DFA’d. Minnesota got Steven Okert back, which has been a nice addition, while Gordon has seemingly worked his way into being a near-everyday player in Miami.

The Marlins are a terrible team this year, which stinks for Gordon because he’s been rather decent when he plays. Gordon is slashing .235/.262/.412 in 37 games and has filled a familiar utility role defensively.

Gordon might be able to play his way into a better situation if this keeps up. He hasn’t been lights out but he’s a guy who is hitting pretty decently and can play all over the field, which means the Marlins could dangle him in a trade as part of a fire sale that definitely feels like it’s coming soon.

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