MLB Offseason Preview: Minnesota Twinsby John Lepore November 19, 2020 0 comments
The Minnesota Twins ran their postseason losing streak to 18 games after getting swept in the best-of-three opening series this year against the Houston Astros. What do the Twins need to do this offseason to get themselves a win in October? Let’s take a look at the offseason preview for the Minnesota Twins.
The Twins couldn’t hit against the Astros aside from Nelson Cruz. He drove in both runs they scored and had two of the seven hits the team had, both being the only extra-base hits for Minnesota. To anyone evaluating this team, they need hitting. That may sound strange to say after they set the MLB record for HRs in a season in 2019. Nevertheless, they need to get it done against good pitching. Some bullpen help would go a long way as well. Although Jose Berrios and Kenta Maeda were very good in their starts, it was the bullpen that allowed the winning runs to Houston. With the way Rocco Baldelli uses his pen, they need to have enough arms available during the season to have them fresh for October.
Keys to the Offseason
The best hitter on the team is Nellie. At 40 years old, he can still get it done. There is absolutely no reason the Twins shouldn’t bring him back on another one-year deal with a little bump in pay.
Add Bullpen Depth
Trevor May and Sergio Romo are free agents. Neither will be back and it is time for the Twins to look for a couple of upgrades to fill their spots. Another pitcher who can close games would be great and there are plenty out there on the market. The Twins have finally started to spend a little money and should definitely pony up some cash to fill the bullpen with guys who get tough outs.
Rich Hill and Jake Odorizzi are also likely moving on. With Maeda and Berrios at the top of the rotation, Minnesota should concentrate on bringing in an arm or two to fill out the rotation. If they want to get bold and go after Trevor Bauer, that would be fine, but there are quite a few solid threes and fours on the market the Twins could have.
Nelson Cruz, 40, DH
As mentioned earlier, the Twins should bring back the Boomstick. In his 173 games over the last two seasons with Minnesota, Nellie has a 1.020 OPS, has hit 57 HRs, and driven in 141 runs. He has also finished in the top 10 in MVP voting the past two seasons. After making $12 million last year, Cruz could be brought back for a raise at around $13-$15 million.
Chris Archer, 32, SP
He actually sat out 2020 which may help have helped him both physically and mentally. Despite going 9-17 with a 4.70 ERA in 2018-2019, his peripherals show a different story. In that same time, his xFIP was 3.94 and SIERA was 4.04. Are there some things to work on? Certainly. The Twins would be foolish not to kick the tires and see if Archer can come back strong for them at around a three-year deal and $40-$45 million.
Liam Hendriks, 31, RP
Why not bring back Liam to his first MLB team. When he debuted for the Twins in 2011, it was as a starter. Minnesota stuck with him in that role but it never worked out. The Australia native has bounced around a little but found a home in Oakland the past five seasons. The past two have been great for Hendriks as he has turned himself into a premier reliever. Since 2019, the righty has faced 424 batters and struck out 161 of them (38%), and only walked 24 (5.7%). He has also only allowed six HRs in that time. He checks all of the boxes the Twins should be looking for in a bullpen arm. He has closer experience, has been in the playoffs, and is right-handed. Did I mention Hendriks has been dominant? Minnesota can bring him back for a three-year deal at around $10-$12 per year.
Follow Johnnie Black on Twitter @jball0202
Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images