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28 teams are already starting their offseason machinations while we wait for the Astros and Nationals to wrap up what has been a fairly peculiar World Series, with the road team winning every game. The Minnesota Twins have seen hitting coach move on to Miami where he is the new bench coach, and they could still see their bench coach Derek Shelton become a manager somewhere else.
The Twins have already pared down their roster, electing to designate Ryan LaMarre, Ian Miller and Ronald Torreyes for assignment, while at the same time claiming Matt Wisler, a pitcher and former top prospect from the Mariners. Most notably, the Twins exercised their option on Nelson Cruz for next year.
That still leaves a lot of work for the team this offseason. I’ve seen sites start making some predictions for their team, including the Twins, that I wanted to jump in. I have no insights, and anything I get right, I will brag about for years, but here we go.
The Twins will see Michael Pineda return, but Jake Odorizzi, in a direct shot across the bow, will end up signing with the White Sox. The Twins other free agent pitcher will be Jordan Lyles, added from the Milwaukee Brewers. The Twins will make their biggest splash on the trade market.
The Twins want a long term solution on the mound, and for them, that will require an investment, even if it isn’t the kind they expected. The Twins match up really well with the Padres, in that the Pads have several young pitchers dotting their rotation, and a need for outfield talent. They have also recently sunk a lot of money into free agents, and at this point regret the money given to Wil Myers, a 1b/OF and formerly a top prospect. The Twins don’t have any big, scary contracts and can absorb someone like Myers’, especially since he is only 28 and actually produced a higher WAR than CJ Cron last year.
With that said, the Padres send SP Dinelson Lamet, RP Kirby Yates and OF Wil Myers and to the Twins for OF Trevor Larnach. More cash? Then the Pads get Kiriloff. Less cash? Brett Rooker. The Twins would then non-tender Cron to make roster space, and the pending outfield logjam is eased slightly. Myers would default to first base with a healthy outfield, and could play a corner when Buxton gets hurt next year. Yates would be a set up reliever and Lamet is a high volume strikeout guy that the Twins have been without for a very long time.
As always, and trade ideas I have are subject to minor tweaks. Just keep in mind the main ideas: The Twins take on a contract in order to upgrade with another position. It’s like what the Mets did poorly in order to get Edwin Diaz last year, but there is far more upside with this trade. The Twins would also, therefore, likely be asked to give up a pretty good prospect. Toy with the valuations however you like.
With a rotation of righties Jose Berrios, Michael Pineda, Jordan Lyles and Dinelson Lamet, Devin Smeltzer will have the inside track on the final spot in the rotation thanks to his left handedness. Minnesota’s bullpen would have Taylor Rogers, Kirby Yates, Tyler Duffey, Trevor May and Zach Littell. It seems apparent that the team would like to bring back Sergio Romo, and I imagine, if a big name is still available late in free agency, they will sign him as well, otherwise Cody Stashak or Matt Wisler could claim the final spots in the pen.
There is some call for the addition of another outfielder, but with the addition of Myers, that gap should be bridged, all with the roster remaining open for Jake Cave or whomever the team didn’t deal in their blockbuster with the Padres. Instead, the offensive free agent the Twins add will be a back up catcher. With Mitch Garver taking the bulk of the workload, the team can look to a veteran who won’t expect much playing time, like Bryan Holaday from the Marlins.
So what do you think? What kind of moves do you see the Twins making this winter?