Was the Minnesota Twins offseason actually sort of a success?

Things didn't end up as badly as they initially seemed.

Division Series - Minnesota Twins v Houston Astros - Game Two
Division Series - Minnesota Twins v Houston Astros - Game Two / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages

For most of the winter, Minnesota Twins fans were warmed by the heat of their own rage. For the first time since 2002 the team finally won a postseason series but followed it up with such severe frugalness that it bordered on parody.

Concerns over lost future revenue stemming from Bally Sports North's parent company going bankrupt forced the Twins to slash the payroll and reduce spending. It's the most boring way for a team to stamp out its own momentum, but it's exactly what happened in Minnesota.

Frustration over the team failing to spend this offseason colored our perspective for most of the winter, but now that the dust has settled -- and the team made some moves -- it's worth re-evaluating.

Given all that happened, and didn't, what the Twins ended up doing sort of feels like a success on both levels.

Was the Minnesota Twins offseason actually sort of a success?

Perhaps a bit of Stockholm Syndrome is skewing things, but the Twins seemingly managed to slash the team's payroll while also adding some potentially key pieces.

Last year Minnesota had a payroll around $156 million on Opening Day, and will head into this season at around $123 million. That's a $33 million reduction but it didn't stop the team from adding seven players who are expected to be on the 26-man roster.

Minnesota traded for Anthony DeSclafani to replace Kenta Maeda at the back of the rotation and later traded for Manuel Margot to serve as depth behind Byron Buxton. Both of those incoming contracts were worth a combined $22 million, but the Twins will only pay $4 million for each player thanks to money that came back in those deals.

Part of the money the Twins freed up in trading Jorge Polanco to the Seattle Mariners allowed them to sign Carlos Santana, who already projects to be the Opening Day starter at first base while Alex Kirilloff gets healthy.

Those thee moves are the sweet spot the Twins love to exist in. It was a money saving move that still added potential impact players at minimal cost. If all goes well, DeSclafani, Margot, and Santana will only count for $13 million against the payroll.

Perhaps the most exciting player Minnesota added was reliever Justin Topa, who also came over from Seattle in the Polanco trade. He projects to be a key member of the bullpen, who last year posted a 2.61 ERA and 3.55 xFIP over 69 innings pitched. He's already looking like the best big league part of the trade, and someone who become a valuable middle innings monster for Minnesota.

Lest we forget that the Twins also got Gabriel Gonzalez from the Mariners, who projects as the team's fourth Top 100 prospect heading into the season.

Free agents Jay Jackson and Josh Staumont were also added to the bullpen and are already locked into 26-man roster spots. So is Steven Okert, who the Twins acquired from the Marlins in a swap for Nick Gordon. All three pitchers are new additions to the bullpen but are part of the reason why FanGraphs already has the unit ranked among the best in the league.

It's still frustrating that the Twins didn't take any big swings in a relatively depressed free agent market. Cody Bellinger waited the entire offseason only to settle for far less than his $300 million asking price, and Blake Snell still hasn't signed with a team. It would have been nice to see the Twins try to rope one of those guys in -- or try more actively to replace Sonny Gray -- but the offseason wasn't a total disaster.

In the end, Minnesota added $31.4 million in contracts but is only paying around $17 million thanks to getting some money back. All of this is against the backdrop of slashing the payroll by over $30 million, something that ended up not preventing the team from making some potential key additions.

The optics are still tough to handle, but using the standards that the team is holding itself too it's hard to not deem what happened a surprising success given how badly things could have gone.

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