It took almost three months but the Minnesota Twins finally arrived to the hot stove party. The Twins traded Jorge Polanco to the Seattle Mariners on Monday, cashing in their biggest and most obvious trade chip of the offseason.
Trading Polanco wasn't a surprise, as it's seemed inevitable for a while. What the Twins got back is where the division among fans seems to be.
What this boils down to is that the Twins essentially traded Polanco for reliever Justin Topa and top prospect Gabriel Gonzalez, with Darren Bowen and Anthony DeSclafani tossed in as a bonus. Topa will go to the bullpen and project to be a huge piece of the puzzle, while DeSclafani will be a back-end rotation guy whose real value is in the money he helped free up for Minnesota to make another move.
MLB insider Robert Murray is among those keeping a watchful eye on Minnesota and thinks the Twins will be a team to watch over the next few weeks.
"They're a team to possibly watch," Murray said on the latest episode ofBaseball Insiders. "It's something to watch in the next week or two, or maybe until the start of the regular season. The Twins now have some money to play with and I'd expect them to add."
How will the Twins spend money freed up in Jorge Polanco trade?
The Twins got back around $6 million in the deal thanks to the Mariners and Giants picking up the tab on Anthony DeSclafani's contract. San Francisco agreed to pay part of it when it traded him to Seattle earlier this winter and the Mariners are sending cash to the Twins to offset the cost.
It basically means that the Polanco trade has a loose end the Twins are going to tie up at some point. Whoever they add won't come straight from Seattle but we'll have to include their value when assessing the totality of the deal.
Who that ends up being is the now big question.
After the trade, Derek Falvey indicated that the addition will be a position player, which seems to suggest the team is done adding pitching depth. DeSclafani will effectively replace Kenta Maeda at the back of the rotation, and it sounds like the team is fine with Joe Ryan being the No. 2 guy behind Pablo Lopez. Chris Paddack, assuming he stays healthy, will eat up a lot of the innings the Twins need to replace after losing Sonny Gray.
Infield depth isn't needed either, as the glut of players coming up is partially why Polanco was expendable. Edouard Julien makes sense as the new everyday second baseman but Brooks Lee is expected to get called up this year with Austin Martin and Kyle Farmer also able to play there as well.
The most logical area the Twins could add is at first base. Alex Kirilloff is coming off an injury -- again -- and his status for Opening Day is up in the air. It's almost exactly the same situation the team was in last year, a situation that saw them sign Donovan Solano.
Signing Solano worked out swimmingly, and it's possible that he returns to fill the same role.
Farmer has been floated as a potential option and there's also a chance that Julien could move over when Lee gets called up. There are also free agent options like Carlos Santana, C.J. Cron, and Joey Votto who the Twins could use some of this newfound money on.
The bottom line is that Minnesota doesn't seem like it's done making moves, even if they won't be as outwardly seismic as we were. hoping.