Hello and welcome back to another Friday discussion on Twinkie Town. It’s been a little while since the last time we talked (my apologies), and we are officially into Hot Stove Season. To bring you into the weekend, this is our question: which free agent tops your wish list for the Twins this holiday season?
There are no shortage of options on the free agent market this year, and the Twins have a number of free agents of their own that they’ll have to decide to bring back or not. We’ll exclude those ones for today, and only look at outside options.
The Twins will likely have a need for a utility man, in an effort to upgrade over the out-going Marwin Gonzalez. Apart from that, pitching (both starting and relieving) is always a need, and the Twins could possibly look into picking up another outfielder, depending on what they do with Eddie Rosario.
Keeping that in mind, here are the top options for the Twins, along with their WAR total from the 2019 and 2020 seasons combined.
Tommy La Stella, (3.2)
Enrique Hernandez, (1.1)
Jurickson Profar (2.6)
Trevor Bauer (5.8)
Masahiro Tanaka (4.1)
Mike Minor (5.0)
Jose Quintana (3.7)
Chris Archer (0.7)
Corey Kluber (0.6)
Kirby Yates (3.4)
Brad Hand (3.1)
Trevor Rosenthal (0.5)
Sean Doolittle (0.5)
Kevin Pillar (2.5)
Jake Marisnick (1.2)
Cameron Maybin (1.8)
Trevor Bauer, the recently-named NL Cy Young, is clearly the best player on the market (besides, possibly, catcher J.T. Realmuto). Personality issues aside, he would be a great get for the Twins, giving them an elite starting rotation. However, he’s likely to be out of the Twins’ market, leaving them looking for more affordable options. Masahiro Tanaka or Jose Quintana are more affordable options who have been solid in recent years, but I could also see the Twins going for more of a reclamation project like Corey Kluber or Chris Archer.
The Twins’ number one priority, as far as relievers go, should be to bring back their own free agents, Tyler Clippard and Trevor May. However, there will likely be more than a few suitors for May, who has elite stuff. Sean Doolittle is the kind of pitcher we’ve seen Falvey and Levine bring in for the bullpen, an older guy who’s fallen off a bit from his peak but still has life in his arm. Otherwise, Kirby Yates, one of the most coveted relievers only a year ago, could be good value coming off a down year.
The Utility Man is the number one need for the Twins this off-season, and topping my wish list is Enrique Hernandez, although any of the three options I presented would be pleasing to me. La Stella really came into his own over the last couple years, Hernandez broke out in 2020, and Profar is a solid former top prospect who probably has the most experience of any of the three in the outfield. All three of them can play infield or outfield, although Hernandez is the only one who played any shortstop in 2020. He may be the most expensive of the three, and I don’t think the Twins could really go wrong with any of them, but Enrique Hernandez is my #1 wish for the Twins this hot stove season.
What do you think? Who should the Twins make their top priority this offseason? Discuss in the comments!