Kevin Kiermaier played his last game of the season at Target Field, and it sounds like he might play his first game of nex season there as well.
The Toronto Blue Jays center fielder is hitting free agency this winter hot off of a pretty decent season that is sure to secure him some suitors. There's a chance he returns to Toronto, but it's appears more likely that he's going end up somewhere else helping a contender try to get over the top and win a World Series.
One of those teams could be the Minnesota Twins.
According to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, the Twins are expected to enter the Kiermaier sweepstakes once free agency officially begins.
Twins Rumors: How would Kevin Kiermaier fit in Minnesota?
He isn't the first name that has been tossed out of the rumor mill at the Twins, and he certainly won't be the last, but Kiermaier makes perfect sense for what Minnesota's plans are this winter.
Byron Buxton is expected to return to form next season, but Twins fans have been sold that bill of goods in the past only to see it get lost in transit. Last year was perhaps the worst letdown fans have been subjected to, as Buxton didn't play the field at all and was relegated to the DH role -- one in which he struggled mightily.
A healthy Buxton is an MVP-caliber player, but the Twins were forced to work around his injuries last year and might have to prep for the worst again. Michael A. Taylor was a blessing in disguise, essentially becoming Minnesota's everyday center fielder, but he's not expected to return in 2024.
That's where Kiermaier comes into play, as he's a perfect replacement for Taylor while providing high-end replacement potential for Buxton. It also creates a best-case scenario where Buxton returns fully healthy and the Twins get to use a guy who is coming off the second-best year of his career at the plate.
For as much as the Twins offense struggled, that's not a bad sales pitch.
At the very least, Kiermaier provides Minnesota with valuable insurance in the event Buxton hits a setback. The Twins won't be the only team vying for hs services, but it's clear the front office is already getting to work on what will be a crucial offseason.