I understand what everyone might be thinking. How could now, after every big target the Twins had in mind has signed, be a big changing point in the offseason? There are two big ways things will change today, so long as you operate under one particular premise: Minnesota is never a player for major free agent, no matter how much they would like to be.
In order to get to where the Twins want to be in 2020, they had to do two things, even if they didn’t necessarily expect tangible results. They had to engage in the free agent market, looking at the top names, those that could truly impact their team in a positive manner. Second, they had to wait it out, and see how everything transpired.
The first reason that today is an inflection is because of the big trade yesterday, between the Cardinals and Rays. The Rays sent one of their top prospects in Matt Liberatore to the Cards in exchange for a couple of outfielders. In conjunction with the data they had on the free agent market, the trade market is now taking shape as well.
The other reason today is so important to the rest of the Twins’ plans is that today is the arbitration deadline. Most teams will have a more crystallized view of their 2020 payroll after today, and will be more versed in what they will be capable of doing in the trade market. The fixing of prices will go towards determining the cost of doing business on the trade market as well.
The internet has inflated the value of the Winter Meetings, and many fans still cling to that stretch in December as the most important period for roster overhauls. The Twins have historically waited to pounce later in the offseason. The current administration has tended to do so when looking for free agent deals in February and March, but this year, it seems as though a trade or two will be in order. There is still nearly a month until the team reports to spring training. That should be enough time to swing a deal, thanks to the information gleaned today.