The headline is a little deceiving. The Twins signed a reclamation project for the bullpen and a quadruple-A utilityman. That’s not nothing. But its close enough for government work. Still, its totally okay for the Twins to have been quiet this offseason—twenty-four other teams have as well, while two teams have gotten markedly better (Padres, Mets) and two have gotten markedly worse (Cleveland, Cubs.) I’d include the Rays in that latter category, but I’m convinced they’re crazy like a fox, and this Snell trade will work in their favor.
As of this date last season, the Twins’ big move was signing Homer Bailey. Big free-agent prize Josh Donaldson rumors were flying around, but by this point we were so convinced he was going to Atlanta that I was satirizing it. Donaldson and the Twins would surprise fans by agreeing to terms on January 15th, which is (checks watch) four days from now. The other big offseason acquisition leading up to the 2020 season would come even later.
Kenta Maeda was originally supposed to come to the Twins in the early-February Mookie Betts trade. Due to some well-documented tomfoolery by the Boston Red Sox, the trade dragged out and wasn’t officially compeleted until February 11th—exactly a month from today.
In 2021, things are much more uncertain than in January of 2021, when Corona was just a cheap Mexican beer. Teams are operating under unknown revenue conditions, and half of them don’t even know for sure if they will use a DH regularly. Add in the looming CBA, and its little wonder that most of the top free agents, and many teams, are still on the sidelines. Trevor May and Kyle Schwarber are among the biggest names to find new homes—the top guys are still available, while recent tweets by plugged-in folks such as Darren Wolfson have suggested the Twins are quietly in touch with a number of targets.
The Twins can’t enter March with this roster, but having not made a move so far is fine. They still need to add some stability to their rotation, as Jake Odorizzi is a free agent, and they need to shore up the bullpen a bit more. Most importantly, they need to figure out their DH and utilityman situations, since there is no one under contract that can play shortstop besides Jorge Polanco, and if the season started today, Willians Astudillo would probably be your DH. Or Brett Rooker, which might not be a bad thing, but you get the idea.
While fans are still hibernating (and believe me, our traffic numbers could use the boost of a big move) the Twins aren’t, and eventually, the smart moves we’ve come to know this front office for will happen.