All Things 2023-2024 Minnesota Twins Off-Season Thread


howeda7

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Elbow issue? The Mariners knew just how to get Falvey's attention.


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GophersInIowa

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Time will tell but I believe Polanco's best years may be behind him and the combo of Julien and Lee (and Farmer) will provide at least similar #'s.
Yeah I'm not sure it makes them a lot better this year but don't think it makes them worse either. Polanco is not the answer at 3B and I'd rather have Julien and Lee get as many opportunities as they can.
 


TNGophfan

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Yeah I'm not sure it makes them a lot better this year but don't think it makes them worse either. Polanco is not the answer at 3B and I'd rather have Julien and Lee get as many opportunities as they can.
Agree. And, pray for good health, Corea and Lewis will each play 140+ games on the left side.
 

Gopher_In_NYC

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Unless this trade is only setting the table the 2024 twins just got worse by trading Polanco.
Who knows? Could be?

Or maybe we need some analysis which is a bit more in-depth. You’re welcome 😉 via The Athletic’s Gleeman - see link and snippets from article below.

FYI - Tony D only costs $4M & Topa is under $1.5M and we have team control for two more years!
@howeda7, there’s all kinds of bargains at the dollar store if you look through enough bins - trust me I’ve become an expert in recent years 😎


https://theathletic.com/5236911/2024/01/30/jorge-polanco-twins-trade-mariners/?source=user_shared_article

Why the Twins traded Jorge Polanco, who they got in return and what comes next



Asked last week about the Minnesota Twins’ lack of offseason activity, manager Rocco Baldelli said he “would bet on” a significant move taking place before the end of spring training.

However, the reality is that the 30-year-old’s time in Minnesota was coming to an end soon, one way or another. Polanco has dealt with numerous leg injuries, playing just 184 of a possible 324 games the past two years. This season’s $10.5 million salary and his $12 million team option for 2025 are each reasonable, but the Twins have a logjam of young, MLB-ready infielders waiting in the wings.

“We think we have a really deep infield group,” president of baseball operations Derek Falvey said, pointing first to Carlos Correa and Royce Lewis providing stability on the left side. “When we looked at our infield to start the offseason, it’s probably why a lot of questions came up on Polo. All were fair. There are a lot of bodies, a lot of guys.”

This is a prime example of the Twins trading from an area of strength, and it’s also an example of cashing in a veteran player whose value could be much lower at midseason or next offseason given Polanco’s age and injury history. In doing so, the Twins get a quality haul from the Mariners that blends short-term value and long-term upside in a way that’s rare for a trade between contending teams.

“It doesn’t always come together like this,” Falvey said. “But ultimately it came together in a way that allowed us to address the present and the future.”

Gonzalez is a consensus top-100 prospect who would likely slot in at No. 5 on my Twins top prospects list published three weeks ago. Signed out of Venezuela for $1.3 million as a 17-year-old in 2021, he’s a burly corner outfielder and free-swinging right-handed slugger who hit .298/.361/.476 with 18 homers in 116 games across two Single-A levels last season, all before turning 20.

Gonzalez is something of a boom-or-bust prospect, with believers who think he can be a middle-of-the-lineup force and skeptics who worry a lack of discipline at the plate may be a red flag. On its own, getting a top-100 prospect for a good but oft-injured 30-year-old under two seasons of team control at sizable but fair salaries wouldn’t look out of place as a 1-for-1 swap, but the Twins got more.

Bowen is the closest thing this trade has to a toss-in, but even he’s not without upside. Picked in the 13th round of the 2022 draft, the 6-foot-3 right-hander had a solid 2023 pro debut against Low-A hitters and fits the profile the Twins tend to look for in potential velocity gainers. They’ll give him a chance to stick as a starter and Bowen’s fastball/slider combo could also work in relief.

Topa is a late-blooming 32-year-old right-hander who posted a 2.61 ERA and 61-to-18 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 69 innings last season, ranking 14th among American League relievers in Win Probability Added. He surrendered just four homers thanks to a mid-90s sinker that generates a ton of groundballs, and his slider can miss some bats, giving Topa an appealing late-inning profile.

Topa is owed $1.25 million for 2024 via arbitration and will also be under team control in 2025 and 2026, likely inexpensively, so he could prove to be a highly valuable component of this trade if last year’s breakthrough was for real. He will join a Twins setup mix that includes Brock Stewart, Griffin Jax, Caleb Thielbar and Josh Staumont, working in front of closer Jhoan Duran.

DeSclafani has battled injuries the past two seasons, including missing the final two months of last year with a strained elbow, but he’s expected to be ready for spring training and will likely fill the fifth rotation spot alongside Pablo López, Bailey Ober, Joe Ryanand Chris Paddack. When healthy, he’s generally been a solid mid-rotation starter, posting a 4.20 ERA in 942 2/3 career innings.

DeSclafani is at the end of a three-year, $36 million deal, but the Twins are on the hook for just $4 million. That means beyond adding much-needed rotation insurance with the 34-year-old right-hander, and bumping Louie Varland to Triple-A starter or big-league bullpen depth, the Twins also created around $7 million in flexibility within their self-imposed payroll limit to fill other holes.
 
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Gophers1992

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reckless speculation - IF Buxton's knee looks good in Spring Training, I could see them trade Kepler and maybe a prospect or two for another Starting Pitcher.
I'm the biggest BB supporter there is but there's no way they are mortgaging the season's hopes on his health.
 

short ornery norwegian

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apropos of nothing - just saw this stat -

in games started last season by Sonny Gray, the Twins' record was 14-19.

this is NOT to say that Gray wasn't a good pitcher. some of that record is not necessarily his "fault," but it does point out that Gray's production is replaceable. whatever pitcher fills that slot in the rotation - if the Twins are just .500 in his starts, they will actually be better off compared to the previous season.

I see a lot of people weeping and wailing about how "the Twins can't be as good without Gray." well, yes, they can be as good without Gray. as long as the starting pitcher can be tied or hand a lead to the bullpen, the Twins can do better than 14-19 in those starts.
 



howeda7

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I'm the biggest BB supporter there is but there's no way they are mortgaging the season's hopes on his health.
Given that Kepler apparently refuses to play CF, I'm not sure there's a direct link there. I guess we're going with Willi Castro/Austin Martin if Buxton can't play. Doesn't seem wise. Maybe they can spend some of the $8 million in salary they just dumped on bringing back Michael A Taylor.
 

tmvander

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Given that Kepler apparently refuses to play CF, I'm not sure there's a direct link there. I guess we're going with Willi Castro/Austin Martin if Buxton can't play. Doesn't seem wise. Maybe they can spend some of the $8 million in salary they just dumped on bringing back Michael A Taylor.
that's what i'd do. my guess is they are planning to use the cash to target a right handed bat and then target pitching via another trade. The right handed bat would be a DH/1B against lefty pitchers but I'm wondering if they can't just try out Miranda in that role and use the money saved on that backup CF we'll clearly need.
 

short ornery norwegian

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on Kepler - a lot of people identified Kepler as a trade chip going into the off-season.

He's a good defensive outfielder and a streaky hitter. he is replaceable IMHO.

Wallner - barring a big-time sophomore slump - is the LF. CF is (I hope) a mix of Buxton, Castro, Martin and/or Bubba Thompson. so let's say they trade Kepler.

RF could be Larnach, Kirilloff, Castro or Martin. Maybe Nick Gordon?

shoot - last year the Twins gave OF at-bats to Gallo, Luplow, Garlick, Stevenson, etc - not exactly Murderer's Row.

any offense they potentially lose with Kepler is (I think) made up by having full season of Lewis, healthy season for Correa, healthy season for Kirilloff, improvement for Julien, and I haven't given up on Miranda as a right-handed hitting option.

and I'd like to see a catching option that hits better than Vazquez. (which isn't asking too much....)

point being - if they can trade Kepler as part of a package and bring back value, I'm all for it.
 

Ope3

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apropos of nothing - just saw this stat -

in games started last season by Sonny Gray, the Twins' record was 14-19.

this is NOT to say that Gray wasn't a good pitcher. some of that record is not necessarily his "fault," but it does point out that Gray's production is replaceable. whatever pitcher fills that slot in the rotation - if the Twins are just .500 in his starts, they will actually be better off compared to the previous season.

I see a lot of people weeping and wailing about how "the Twins can't be as good without Gray." well, yes, they can be as good without Gray. as long as the starting pitcher can be tied or hand a lead to the bullpen, the Twins can do better than 14-19 in those starts.
I don't disagree, but replacing his 184 inning workload (rated #22 in MLB) is nothing to downplay.
 



short ornery norwegian

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BTW - it's just fun to be talking and thinking about baseball.

pitchers and catchers report in 15 days. first exhibition game in 24 days. Opening Day in 58 days.

and now, for the luvva gawd, will someone PLEASE tell me where and how I can watch the freakin' games on TV this season?
 

Gopher_In_NYC

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apropos of nothing - just saw this stat -

in games started last season by Sonny Gray, the Twins' record was 14-19.

this is NOT to say that Gray wasn't a good pitcher. some of that record is not necessarily his "fault," but it does point out that Gray's production is replaceable. whatever pitcher fills that slot in the rotation - if the Twins are just .500 in his starts, they will actually be better off compared to the previous season.

I see a lot of people weeping and wailing about how "the Twins can't be as good without Gray." well, yes, they can be as good without Gray. as long as the starting pitcher can be tied or hand a lead to the bullpen, the Twins can do better than 14-19 in those starts.
Good post, coupled with the fact that we won 3 out of the last 5 division 👑, are favored last time I checked to win a 4th, have good young talent who proved themselves last season and won a playoff series as well.

And it’s a State of Wobegoness which would embarrass Garrison Keillor.
 
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short ornery norwegian

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I don't disagree, but replacing his 184 inning workload (rated #22 in MLB) is nothing to downplay.

no doubt. but that does not all have to come from one person. Unless they make another trade for a starting pitcher (who slots in higher than DeSclafina), I suspect that we might see several people take turns at the #5 slot in the order - or maybe even go to a 6-man rotation at times.

and some of those innings could even be shifted to the bullpen, which should be a team strength.
 

Gopher_In_NYC

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no doubt. but that does not all have to come from one person. Unless they make another trade for a starting pitcher (who slots in higher than DeSclafina), I suspect that we might see several people take turns at the #5 slot in the order - or maybe even go to a 6-man rotation at times.

and some of those innings could even be shifted to the bullpen, which should be a team strength.

Manage to your strengths.
 

howeda7

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that's what i'd do. my guess is they are planning to use the cash to target a right handed bat and then target pitching via another trade. The right handed bat would be a DH/1B against lefty pitchers but I'm wondering if they can't just try out Miranda in that role and use the money saved on that backup CF we'll clearly need.
I would go get Carlos Santana and bring back Taylor. That would still only put them at about $126 million. Miranda will still get his chances eventually.
 

TNGophfan

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I'm not completely sold on Wallner yet. Yes, some big blasts but a LOT of swing and misses. Hopefully a year's experience will lead to more consistent contact.

I am hopeful that Miranda can get back to 2022 form. Hard to play well when you're hurting.
 

GophersInIowa

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I would go get Carlos Santana and bring back Taylor. That would still only put them at about $126 million. Miranda will still get his chances eventually.
How about a guy like Garrett Cooper maybe? He hits lefties pretty well. Can play 1B, DH and OF. A little younger and cheaper too. Not the best defender though.
 





GophersInIowa

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Probably similar. I probably lean towards Santana for the same cost due to track record, defense and "veteran presence."
I thought I’d seen in the 8-9 range for him but yeah it’s probably close enough to go with Santana.
 

Breakin' The Plane

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While they're bargain shopping for a cheap right-handed bat with some pop who can also play 1B, wonder what Spencer Steer and Christian Encarnacion-Strand are up to nowadays.
 


GopherWeatherGuy

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They might as well just hold spring training in Minneapolis this year
 






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