After pushing deeper into October than they have in two decades, the biggest thing that's happened so far this winter for the Minnesota Twins is a Hall of Fame announcement.
Joe Mauer got the call to Cooperstown as a first ballot Hall of Famer, which would have been the biggest thing no matter what the team did. The fact that it's the only thing to get excited about is beyond disappointing.
A reduced payroll has been used as a crutch by the team for not spending in free agency. The market being slow is another excuse being used as to why a trade hasn't happened, and it's to the point where Jorge Polanco might still be on the team when Opening Day rolls around despite being the most valuable currency the team has to try and make roster improvements with.
The Twins are a historically frugal franchise, but this winter has been extreme even by their standards.
Only two players have been added to the roster -- Josh Staumont and Bubba Thompson -- and both to low-risk, high-upside deals. They're intriguing gambles to take, but they don't solve any of the glaring needs Minnesota has.
With pitchers and catchers due to report in around three weeks, the clock is ticking for the Twins to do something. Manager Rocco Baldelli wants fans to know that the time for that might finally be near.
Rocco Baldelli teases 'significant' Twins move after a winter of inactivity
Rocco sat down with Dan Barreiro on KFAN to discuss the Twins offseason so far and did his best to calm frustrations over the team having not done anything so far. Barreiro asked him if there were any big moves on the horizon to which Rocco said 'bet on it'.
"I would bet on it, because we've always done something," Baldelli said. "Almost every year between this point in the offseason and the first Spring Training game we've made sigifincant moves virtually every year."
He's not wrong, the Twins have always been a patient franchise when it comes to getting involved in the offseason and it's usually worked out wonderfully.
Pablo Lopez was acquired in January, Kenta Maeda was acquired in February, and Sonny Gray was acquired in March -- all in different years but all after waiting out the market. Rocco invoked deals for Marwin Gonzalez and Donovan Solano as proof that waiting might be the hardest part but it's often times worth it in terms of the Twins finding the right time to make a move.
Even Carlos Correa, who was a top free agent on the market, didn't sign with the Twins until a few months after free agency started (although we all know why, but still). Minnesota also waited until closer to Spring Training to trade for Michael A. Taylor, a deal that was absolutely worth the wait.
The only difference is the Twins weren't trending hard toward being legit World Series contenders in any of those years. They traded for Gray and Maeda as part of an endless search for pitching help, and signing Correa was a make-or-break deal. Seeing the team so close to being a top contender yet watching them sit on their hands is why this winter has been more frustrating than others, but it does seem like only a matter of time before the patience pays off.