Twins expected pursue acquiring 'front-line starter' in trade or free agency

It turns out the Twins might not be settling for rotational depth this winter.
Tampa Bay Rays v Minnesota Twins
Tampa Bay Rays v Minnesota Twins / David Berding/GettyImages

Over the last week, as the hot stove starts to heat up, the Minnesota Twins have lost three productive pitchers from last season to other teams on multi-year deals.

No loss was bigger than Cy Young runner-up Sonny Gray, who signed a $75 million deal with the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday. Kenta Maeda preceded him in leaving by signing a $24 million deal with the Detroit Tigers, while reliever Emilio Pagan left for Cincinnati to sign a $16 million deal with the Reds.

All of those players were key in some way to the Twins success and all will need to be properly replaced this winter. Gray will be the most difficult, but Maeda's value at the back of the rotation and the way Pagan ate up innings in the bullpen shouldn't be overlooked.

One thing complicating matters is the reduced payroll Minnesota's front office is working with. Uncertainty over television revenue has caused some financial hiccups, but it's not something that will stop the Twins from trying to do all it can to put together a World Series roster this offseason.

Twins could make big move with starting rotation for 2024

While free agecny is a complicated matter, many believe the Twins will parlay a wealth of positional depth into a trade for a starting pitcher. There's been some debate over what that might look like, with recent rumblings suggesting the Twins will add depth to the rotation rather than trying to find a top-end starter.

It turns out that might have been a bit misguided.

According to Twins beat writer Bobby Nightengale, the goal of the team this winter will be to acquire a top starting pitcher rather than trying to find depth to replace the loss of Gray and Maeda.

"Acquiring a front-line starter is a goal, but there are a lot of pitching-needy teams battling for the same guys on the trade market," Nightengale wrote.

Again, it's unclear exactly what this looks like but the concept absolutely rules. All offseason we've heard about how valuable some of the Twins trade chips are and flipping them into a deal for Tyler Glasnow or Corbin Burnes would be a good way to soothe the pain of losing fan favorites like Jorge Polanco and Max Kepler.

It's a move the Twins made last winter, trading Luis Arraez for Pablo Lopez in a deal that worked out better than anyone could have dreamed. Not the front office is in a position to go back for seconds and it sounds like settling for less isn't in the cards.

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