Minnesota Twins 2022 Season Previewby John Lepore April 5, 2022 0 comments
The Minnesota Twins had a disappointing season in 2021. They finished in last place in the American League Central with just 73 wins. They made a bunch of surprising moves this offseason though to improve their roster. Time will tell if it translates into a division crown with the Chicago White Sox and the upstart Detroit Tigers battling as well. Either way, the Twins faithful have something to look forward to this season.
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While Minnesota doesn’t often spend too much money, they splurged a bit for the best shortstop in baseball this season. They also were savvy in a couple of trades to bring in some pieces to help not only ease the financial load but also get the team more wins this season.
Carlos Correa, SS, Three Years/$105.3 Million (Player opt-outs after 2022 and 2023)
This came as a shock to everyone including Twins fans. At 27 years old, it seemed Correa was going to go the route of fellow shortstops Corey Seager and Javier Baez in taking the long-term deal. However, Correa took the large AAV and also allowed himself an out while guaranteeing himself at least three years of top pay. As for on the field, Correa was great last year. He won his first Gold Glove and finished fifth in MVP voting. Health has been an issue in the past, but Correa has played injury-free for the past two seasons. A player of his caliber makes the Twins immediate contenders in the AL Central.
Sonny Gray, RHP, Acquired from Cincinnati Reds
Minnesota gave up first-round pick Chase Petty for Gray and reliever Francis Peguero. With Jose Berrios in the Great White North and Kenta Maeda on the shelf until at least September, the Twins needed an ace. While Gray isn’t going to turn into Jacob deGrom or Gerrit Cole, he is a good pitcher. In his three seasons in Cincinnati, Gray had a 3.49 ERA and struck out 28.5 percent of the batters he faced. With better defense behind him in Minnesota, Gray could be in line for a very good year.
Gary Sanchez, C, Gio Urshela, 3B, Acquired from New York Yankees
In the “trade heard ’round the world” the Twins got a power hitting catcher, I use that word lightly, and a third baseman. Sanchez has undeniable pop in his bat. How much he can handle behind the plate duties is left to be seen, but Ryan Jeffers can deal with the day-to-day defensive stuff while Sanchez DHs. Urshela moves into third base action and will more than likely be a part-time player.
Josh Donaldson, 3B, New York Yankees
The Yankees took on Donaldson which, in turn, allowed the Twins to spend on Correa. That doesn’t erase the fact that the Yankees are getting a serious upgrade at the hot corner. People, especially Yankee fans, seem to forget that JD had 26 homers and an .827 OPS last season in 135 games. New York doesn’t lose anything defensively as he is still good there. What they do get is a superior hitter to plug in a lineup with good ones already.
Mitch Garver, C, Texas Rangers
The Twins traded Garver in what started a whirlwind of transactions for the Twins. It was time to move on from the 31-year-old catcher. Texas gets a power-hitting backstop as they look to upgrade their lineup. The Twins turned around and added Sanchez to the mix, so the impact should be minimal.
It was an active offseason for Minnesota to say the least. Derek Falvey was wheeling and dealing to get to a team that may have what it takes to compete in the AL Central. Adding an elite player and a few arms was the formula. We will have to wait and see how these guys perform. Especially one-year reclamation projects like Dylan Bundy and Chris Archer. They could be the key to missing the playoffs or having a chance.
The Twins are right there, sitting in mediocrity. While there is always a chance things break the right way for the team, there is just as much of a chance it doesn’t. That is why I put a .500 record here. It could easily be 10 games either way but let’s hedge. If Archer, Bundy, Gray, and Opening Day starter Joe Ryan pitch well enough, and the lineup turns out to be decent while possibly getting a healthy year from Byron Buxton, then the Twins could be in the mix. However, that is a lot to count on.
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