After making as deep a run in October as we've seen the Minnesota Twins go on since 2002, the expectation this winter is that the team will make moves to continue that success.
That's a little more complicated with news that the payroll will be shrinking by about $20 million, but it's not stopping the team from eyeing some potential moves. Still, moves must be made and the front office will simply need to get creative in how deals are made.
Sonny Gray received a qualifying offer but the expectation is he will decline it, and guys like Kenta Maeda and Michael A. Taylor will likely end up somewhere else as well. While some positions are about to have an influx of talent, others will need to be addressed this winter to avoid a situation where depth runs thin and lineups get thrown out of whack.
First base is one of those positions, as the Twins are encountering a bit of Groundhog Day syndrome in dealing with it. Last year Alex Kirilloff was coming off an injury and there were questions about how healthy he'd be when Opening Day rolled around.
This winter Kirilloff is coming off an injury again, and while the timeline seems to be better than it initially appeared, it's a position the Twins once again need to address -- and seemingly will.
Twins will look at adding first base help through trade or free agency
According to Star Tribune's Bobby Nightengale, first base might be a position the team reinforces this offseason. The idea comes directly from Derek Falvey, who specifically mentioned potentially upgrading the talent alongside Alex Kirilloff.
“With [Alex Kirilloff] and with potential external additions, it’ll probably be an area we do spend some time this offseason from free agent or trade perspective,” Falvey said.
Kirilloff is expected to go through his normal offseason conditioning routine, which indicates he'll be ready to go on Opening Day. Even if he's 100 percent healthy, the Twins lack depth behind him which seems to be what will be addressed this winter.
Last year the Twins waited until Spring Training to sign Donovan Solano to add depth, a move that paid off great. Joey Gallo was also signed in December, a move that didn't work out so well. This time around the team might dip its toe in early, taking advantage of an intriguing free agent market that includes guys like Rhys Hoskins, Wil Myers, and C.J. Cron -- all players who make sense for the Twins.
There's also the aging veteran market that Minnesota loves to get into, which this year includes guys like Joey Votto and Brandon Belt.
Making a trade seems like a real possibility too, especially with Jorge Polanco and Max Kepler potentially serving as valuable trade chips. The indication has been that those players might be moved to replenish pitching depth, but things can always change based on the market.