TwinsFest has reignited some positivity throughout Minnesota, but the fact of the matter remains there’s some big time business that still needs to be done this winter.
Minnesota has yet to make a meaningful addition, and fans are still waiting to hear how Sonny Gray will be replaced in the starting rotation. With a reduced payroll and fear of lost future revenue due to the TV rights drama, it seems the best way the Twins will make additions is by subtracting one of its trade chips.
Trading Jorge Polanco has long been viewed as the Big Move the team is expected to make. Rocco Baldelli mentioned this past week that we’re right at the point in time where the Twins historically have jumped into the market, and he expects something to happen soon.
What makes the lack of activity agonizing is that we know what the move is going to be, we just don’t know where Polanco is going to be traded. The longer we wait, the more space there is for speculation to get tossed around.
Twins rumors: Jorge Polanco is ‘a good fit’ for Brewers and Mariners
MLB Network Radio host Mike Ferrin was musing about potential fits for Jorge Polanco and mentioned both the Brewers and Mariners as destinations.
Specifically, the Mariners were talked about as a fit due to how well Polanco solves their infield issues while expensing what some see as a glut of pitching depth.
“Jorge Polanco would solve a lot of problems for the Mariners. If the Mariners were willing to deal from one of those Bryce Miller, Bryan Woo, Emerson Hancock group – and Hancock probably a little farther back because of the injury history – they might be able to add Jorge Polanco to the mix,” Ferrin speculated.
Take this for what it’s worth, because it’s not a report or anything concrete, rather it’s simply a speculative conversation. Truthfully, with how little the Twins have given us this offseason, that’s about as good as it gets right now.
Of those three pitchers, Miller seems to be the most intruiging candidate to replace Sonny Gray thanks to the 131 innings he pitched last season. He finished the year with a 4.32 ERA, throwing 119 strikeouts to 26 walks. Woo has a similar trend in production, although he managed less than 100 innings on the mound.
Hancock is mentioned as being a bit further behind beacuse of injury. He was placed on the 60-day injured list with a right shoulder strain after just his third start — the type of pitcher we’ve seen the Twins add before in hopes they’ve found a diamond in the rough.
It wouldn’t be a small price paid, though. Polanco has been a key part of the Twins lineup for years and is one of the most productive infielders in the league. Logan Gilbert should be the pitcher Minnesota is after but he’ll cost more than just Polanco and some spare parts.
Minnesota’s logjam of second baseman might be working against them, as teams see he’s being phased out. That being said, Polanco’s .255/.355/.454 with 14 home runs, 48 RBIs and 88 strikeouts in 80 games last season is the type of production a team would love to add to its lineup for a whole season, and the price of doing business might outweigh other circumstances.
Milwaukee’s mention is interesting as the Twins have been tangentially linked to Corbin Burnes for a while. It’s mostly been fan speculation, but Burnes makes sense in Minnesota and packaging a deal around Polanco and other pieces could make things interesting.
Of course, none of this matters until the Twins start actually moving pieces on their offseason board. Perhaps things are already in motion, but until then this is all just speculation.