Twins ace Pablo Lopez is being picked to win Cy Young Award next season

Division Series - Minnesota Twins v Houston Astros - Game Two
Division Series - Minnesota Twins v Houston Astros - Game Two / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages
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The temprature isn't the only thing freezing in Minnesota right now, as the Twins are doing their part to leave fans out in the cold. A reduced payroll will do that, as the front office has yet to make a meaingful move this offseason despite the successful note the season ended on.

Losing the ALDS would be a blow to just about any other club than the Twins, as it meant the 19-year postseason losing streak had mercifully come to an end. Rather than ride the wave of momentum, the Twins took their foot off the gas thanks to uncertainty around television revenue, which has been a cloud hanging over everything so far.

Minnesota needs to add pieces to the roster to repeat its success from last year, there's no way around that. Derek Falvey has noted that moves are coming in the near future, but it also feels like the lack of urgency is rooted in how talented the pieces Minnesota already has are.

At the top of the list is ace Pablo Lopez. He came over in a trade from the Miami Marlins almost a year ago and has already left a mark that has captured the attention of the national media.

Pablo Lopez is an early favorite to win AL Cy Young next season

MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince recently buzzed through some way-too-early predictions for next season's awards cycle, and thinks López can turn a sequel season that tops his original in Minnesota. Castrovince thinks López is the early favorite to win the AL Cy Young award next year, which isn't as lofty as it might have sounded a year ago.

"He might have only scratched the surface, because now that he’s added a sweeper that held opponents to a .173 average and .287 slugging percentage, he has a genuine five-pitch mix that could even improve in effectiveness as he gets more comfortable utilizing it. López has the command to do so. If he does, he’s a Cy winner waiting to happen," Castrovince wrote.

Last year López was picked as a potential dark horse candidate to win the Cy Young, something he sort of made good on. While he didn't win the award, he received votes

Lopez was everything the Twins needed him to be and more last season, finishing the year with a 3.66 ERA while striking out 234 batters in 194.0 innings. He was the workhorse Minnesota needed to gobble up innings -- one of the reasons they traded for him -- and he also helped secure the team's first postseason victory since 2004.

Ending the 19-year losing streak was worth the trade alone, but Lopez has positioned himself to be the Twins ace for years to come. For the first time in a while the team is navigating the offseason looking for a Robin to López's Batman, and it wouldn't be a shock to see him build on the success he had last season to Cy Young-worthy levels.

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