Coming off back-to-back AL Central championships (2019 & 2020), the 2021 Minnesota Twins were invested in making some pre-Opening Day moves and improving the club in hopes of a divisional three-peat.
Bringing back the Boomstick—Nelson Cruz—was a slam-dunk, and it paid dividends. He was (until dealt to Tampa Bay) the heart and soul of the team, with the stats to back it up.
Bullpen newcomer Hansel Robles was, well, not terrible. Though far from a reliable arm, he had stretches of solid play and brought fans that gloriously inexplicable entrance mashup of The Undertaker Theme while a white horse galloped across the Target Field scoreboard.
Unfortunately, that is where the positive ‘21 Twins free agent list ends. The rest? All battling to claim (or would it be avoid?) winning the poll at the end of this post:
- Alex Colome came to the Twins with a great deal of closing and high-leverage bullpen experience. Alas, it did not play out that way. Though his numbers (65 IP, 4.15 ERA, 103 ERA+) wouldn’t seem to indicate a complete and utter train wreck, his horrendous March/April of blown leads/saves had visions of Ron Davis dancing through fans’ heads.
- The combination of Matt Shoemaker & J.A. Happ was brought in to essentially replace the departing Jake Odorizzi & Rich Hill in the starting rotation. If by “replace” one means “were corporeal human entities occupying similar time/space”, then they performed admirably. Any other definition—like, say, noncompetitive start after noncompetitive start—would result in abject failure from the combo platter. Things got so bad that I riled everyone up around here by slinging around terms like institutional failure.
- Andrelton Simmons was acquired to be a glove-first shortstop stalwart. Only looking at the defense, he did exactly that (if perhaps not up to his lofty LA Angels peak). But he also put together one of the worst batting campaigns in the history of the franchise (451 PA, .223 BA, .558 OPS, 57 OPS+, 113 TB). To put that into perspective, Alex Kirilloff had 91 TB in 231 PA. Simba also became—fairly or unfairly I’ll let you judge—the fan base whipping boy for the Twins’ mid-April COVID-19 mini-shutdown.
So, as promised, here is that depressing poll I’ve been warning you about:
Who was the worst 2021 Twins FA?
This poll is closed