There will likely be a few moves that make headlines for the Twins this year, either in free agency or on the trade market. We’ve already gone over the big moves that I would like to see done (signing Marwin Gonzalez and trading for Noah Syndegaard) though the latter seems impractical given statements from the new Mets GM Brodie van Wagenen. Most of the moves the Twins (and most of baseball) will make will fly well under the radar, however.
For an example of low key moves making an impact, one needs only look to last offseason. The Twins saw Daniel Palka and Randy Rosario get snatched up by the White Sox and Cubs, only to become regulars in the outfield and bullpen for their new teams. The Twins also signed Willians Astudillo, and he looks like he could be a long term piece of the puzzle. That’s to say nothing of previous offseason moves that added disproportionate value, like the Rule 5 pick of Johan Santana, or the additions of Eduardo Nunez or Fernando Abad more recently.
As the Twins and the rest of baseball tried to settle in on their 40 man rosters, they needed to remove players from the existing 40 man group, exposing them to waivers. In the process, the Twins lost Johnny Field to the Cubs and Oliver Drake to the Rays. Also during that process, the Twins did pick up Michael Reed from the Braves.
Field came over to the Twins late in the season from Tampa, by way of Cleveland. He debuted with the Rays just this year before coming to Minnesota to fill in the gaps for a while. With the emergence of Jake Cave and the continuing presence of Byron Buxton, Max Kepler and Eddie Rosario, it made sense he was sent off the roster. Perhaps he will find a home with the Cubs.
Oliver Drake pitched for 5 different teams last season, but did no better than he did with the Twins. A guy that’s been dropped that many times likely isn’t in anyone’s plans, and he was claimed by the Rays. With any luck, the journeyman can recapture his late season Twins magic, or at the very least reimburse his airline miles.
Coming back to Minnesota is Michael Reed, an outfielder who hasn’t spent a lot of time in the Majors, but broke out as an on base machine in the high minors of the Atlanta Braves’ system last year. The Braves are full of emerging young outfielders like the Twins, but they were a playoff team, and not in a position to take a flyer on a young guy. Especially if Joe Mauer retires, it will be nice to have a guy with an OBP of .450 in the high minors waiting in the wings.
There iwll be some big moves this offseason, but it’s moves like these that will fill out the roster for 2019.