3 free agents Minnesota Twins must target to bolster bullpen
If there are two obvious areas for improvement for the Minnesota Twins this year, it's in the clubhouse and out in the bullpen.
One of those two things is largely out of the Twins control at the moment, as Rocco Baldelli is not going to be replaced until either his contract runs out at the end of this upcoming season or he crashes and burns during the season.
For the record, it's going to take a massive implosion for Minnesota to move off Rocco, and to be fair it's hard to see such a drastic collapse happening. The worst-case scenario is that the Twins drag themselves way through another mediocre season. But a season of a healthy Byron Buxton and Carlos Correa in the same lineup is something that should be hard to screw up too badly.
More immediately the team can bolster the bullpen, something that is also much more controllable.
Outside of the incredible season Jhoan Duran had, the Twins bullpen left a lot to be desired and not much was done to shore it up this offseason. Despite this, FanGraphs listed Minnesota's bullpen as its best positional group heading into the 2023 season, which either says a lot about the upside of that unit or is a massive indictment of the rest of Rocco's roster.
To be fair there's a ton of upside that could see the Twins bullpen turn in a bounce-back season. Griffin Jax showed some flare, Caleb Thielbar and Jovani Moran project to be top arms, and there's hope that Jorge Lopez can turn back into his All-Star self.
Minnesota's starters averaging more than 5.2 innings per game will go a long way in easing some of stress as well, which very well could be the case with guys like Pablo Lopez, Tyler Mahle, Sonny Gray, and Kenta Maeda joining Joe Ryan in carrying most of the game before handing it over to the bullpen.
But when that inevitably happens -- or if the Twins are serious about making a deep run in the postseason -- the bullpen cannot become a liability, which means potentially adding another arm in free agency to bolster the unit.