Spring Training is almost here, which means now is as good a time as any to start thinking about the future. How far into the future the Minnesota Twins look is the real question, because things on the horizon look awfully bright.
The Twins are hoping to build off the late-season success the team had last year, punching through a 19-year postseason losing streak to win a playoff series for the first time since 2002. Minnesota didn't exactly chase that momentum with a ton of enthusiasm, but moves are finally starting to be made despite fans having to wait almost the entire offseason.
Key players like Sonny Gray, Kenta Maeda, and Jorge Polanco are all gone with the Twins having added marginally by signing Carlos Santana, Josh Staumont, and Jay Jackson while acquiring Justin Topa and Anthony DeSclafani. Those are the guys expected to have an impact this season, but the future seems to be much brighter down on the farm.
Twins land four prospects in Keith Law's updated Top 100 ranking
Keith Law put together his Top 100 prospects list for this season and the Twins made out like bandits, landing four players in the ranking. Much like the official MLB Pipeline ranking, three of Minnesota's prospects ended up in the Top 50.
Minnesota already had its three top prospects ranked in almost every list that has been released, but Gabriel Gonzalez further boosts the Twins prospect portfolio. Seeing him round out the team's list of Top 100 prospects takes some of the sting off losing Polanco, and forces an eye toward the future in terms of the overall impact that deal might have.
The question becomes what do the Twins do with Gonzalez. Minnesota has no shortage of young outfielders which could make him expendable in a trade. Corbin Burnes was acquired by Milwaukee without Baltimore needing to part with any of its Top 50 prospects, which could be an indication of how nice of a sweetener Gonzalez could be in a deal.
He'd be the one prospect out of this group to get moved, as Walker Jenkins and Brooks Lee feel about as close to untouchable as it gets. Jenkins is still a few years away from being MLB-ready, but the expectation for Lee is that he'll get the call at some point this season.
Lee playing second base is part of the reasoning behind trading Polanco, so it's unlikely that the Twins would flip them both in the same offseason.
There's an outside chance that Emmanuel Rodriguez gets called up this season, although he's more likely to be in the plans for 2025. He's a fringe trade candidate if the Twins wanted to make a splashy deal, but he also projects to be a piece of the core beyond what Minnesota has right now.
It's unclear what exactly the future holds, but the only squinting Twins fans will be doing is a result of how bright the future looks rather than trying to see how everything works out in the end.