Twins miss out on affordable Anthony DeSclafani replacement

Even though the price seemed to be right, the Twins decided to pass.

Philadelphia Phillies v Minnesota Twins
Philadelphia Phillies v Minnesota Twins / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages

It took less than a few months for the Minnesota Twins hastily constructed house of pitching cards to fall. The fact that Opening Day is still a week away makes matters even more concerning to fans, but it seems the front office isn't feeling the sam way about things.

On Monday the Twins learned that Anthony DeSclafani is likely out for the season, which instantly created the need to find a new fifth starter to replace him. DeSclafani had been penciled into the role ever sine Minnesota acquired him as part of the Jorge Polanco trade, and it seemed like a decent gamble to take.

DeSclafani is just a few years removed from pitching 167.2 innings while posting a 3.17 ERA and 152 strikeouts, which is the stuff Minnesota was hoping he'd tap back into. He was never going to replace Sonny Gray, but that sort of production went a long way in soothing the loss of Kenta Meada.

Like most gambles the Twins take on pitchers, DeSclafani came with the caveat that he needed to stay healthy, which he already hasn't been able to do. Rather than take a look at the free agent market, Minnesota appears to be relying on internal options.

That much was seemingly confirmed on Thursday when the Twins passed on a relatively affordable deal for Michael Lorenzen.

Twins miss out on potential Anthony DeSclafani replacement

Lorenzen has been linked to the Twins for a while, and he made sense as a potential target even before DeSclafani got injured. He's a former All-Star who fell into a pit of bad luck late last season, making him a textbook lottery ticket Minnesota usually likes to buy.

That won't be happening, though.

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Texas Rangers swooped in and signed Lorenzen. It's not the fact that Texas signed him, rather the affordable deal they handed out that should annoy Twins fans that a move wasn't made.

The Rangers were another team, like the Twins, that declared it was done spending after a winter of frugalness. A major difference here is that Texas is coming off a World Series victory and already have a pretty robust payroll, but none of that stopped the team from getting in on Lorenzen.

He wasn't a slam dunk to fix everything, but there was upside and he was affordable. Lorenzen's deal also mirrors what DeSclafani was on the books for, which makes it all even more frustrating.

What this confirms is that Minnesota is comfortable moving forward with Louie Varland as the fifth starter. Despite a rough outing against the Tigers on Wednesday, Varland has put together an impressive spring and has earned the chance to prove himself as part of the rotation.

Minnesota leaning on an internal option on a deal worth less than $1 million is almost so cliche it hurts, but it's not the first time something like this has happened and it clearly won't be the last.

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