All the talk this off season has been about the players that the Twins might be adding via trade or free agency, The season has been very slow, and there has been an exhausting amount of speculation about who might be coming, and as is often the case, there hasn’t been much discussion about what Minnesota already has.
I’ve discussed all of the in house prospect talent that may be able to flesh out the rotation in the event the team is unable to add a new front of the rotation starter, but I think it’s also important to keep in mind that, with no other changes, their offense is going to be much better next year, and as a base, will be competitive for the next several years.
The Twins should be encouraged that the young core of the team improved significantly as the season progressed, and the vague directive of “seeing what they have” has been achieved. The front office can now look at a couple of seasons of work, including one in their charge, of players like Byron Buxton, Eddie Rosario and Miguel Sano, including rapid improvement under Falvey/Levine appointed coaches, and know what they can build around for the next few years.
Perhaps the top target will always remain a premier, top of the line starter, but they can rest assured that they will have a couple of above average defensive outfielders for years to come, as well as a solid middle to the lineup. This will help them fill in long term weak spots with some well placed long term contracts. Certainly, there is a level of contentment when looking at the position players, at least for the next couple of years. Why not add pitchers that work to the strengths of the rest of the team?
High strikeout guys are going to be valuable no matter the environment they join, but the Twins would be well served to take advantage of their superior defense. The Twins saw Ervin Santana’s skills play better than his peripheral numbers would suggest they should. Fly ball pitchers with lower strikeout rates might not be the most attractive pitchers, but in Minnesota, they will be fairly effective. In this category of pitcher, a name like Jason Vargas might represent an economical option, for example.
It’s important to remember when the free agency period eventually opens up that any players signed aren’t added in a vacuum, but will be added to the Twins, and those Twins will already have some good players on the roster.