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And the starting shortstop for the 2022 Minnesota Twins is…


MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Miami Marlins Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Let me backtrack.

In my search for the 2022 starting SS, I made three assumptions:

  1. We cannot count on Austin Martin and Royce Lewis at SS...yet.
  • By most reports, the Twins top two prospects are destined for the outfield. Now, whether they appear at SS or not, time will tell but I’m not willing to pencil either of them in as our 2022 starter.

2. The Twins won’t sign a top flight starter.

  • The free agent market is ripe with stars that would look great in the middle of the Twins lineup. However, I have a hard time believing the front office will commit $150+ million to Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, or Trevor Story. Heck, I don’t even think they’ll commit $18+ million per year for Javier Baez, Marcus Semien, or Chris Taylor.

3. The Twins need a long term solution at the position.

  • Whichever prospect board you look at, the Twins don’t have a long term solution at SS. There are “the tried but deemed out of position” (Polanco, Gordon), “the prospects we are hopeful will stick” (Martin and Lewis), and “the prospects we dream about covering SS someday but are still too far out” (Cavaco, Miller, De Andrade, Javier).

So, in my search for a SS, I am looking for two things: 1) Someone who is better defensively than Polanco was and 2) Someone who is better offensively than Simmons was

With that being said, there are two options:

1. Find a stop gap solution until Martin or Lewis hopefully prove they can handle SS duties full time. The second tier of free agents include Andrelton Simmons, Jose Iglesias, Freddy Galvis, or Jonathan Villar.


2. Trade for our full time SS.

The following are the top names that would be good fits and could be available. I also include the reason I don’t think they’d work out:

  • Cleveland Guardians: Andres Gimenez (inter-divisional)
  • Kansas Royals: Nicky Lopez or Adalberto Mondesi (inter-divisional)
  • Texas Rangers: Yonny Hernandez (Rangers long term 3B, likely)
  • Miami Marlins: Jazz Chisholm Jr. (Marlins long term SS, despite the recent resigning of Miguel Rojas)
  • San Diego Padres: Jake Croneworth (Padres long term 2B, likely) or Ha-Seong Kim (unless the Padres upgrade their infield depth, Ha-Seong is a valuable backup)

Then there are the names I believe are feasible but I have issues with:

  • Philadelphia Phillies: Didi Gregorious → I predict the Phillies will make a push for a free agent SS so Gregorious may become available. And while I would love for him to switch the script and beat up on the Yankees, his best days are clearly behind him.
  • St. Louis Cardinals: Paul DeJong → DeJong’s name has been popping into several conversations lately. While I agree his skillset and likely price tag are appealing, I have a better solution.

I propose the Twins merge the two ideas by signing a stop gap SS AND trading for our future SS.

  1. Sign Freddy Galvis (Baseball-Reference) to a one year, $3 million contract. Galvis (FanGraphs) is the epitome of consistency and, because of this, I believe he is the best option. He will be available to play most days, will provide adequate offense and above-average defense, and won’t cost much ($1.75 million in 2021).
  2. Trade Trevor Larnach to the Tampa Bay Rays for Taylor Walls (Baseball-Reference). Walls (FanGraphs) can start in AAA and then has the potential to adequately replace his predecessors.

Why would this work?

The Twins need a long term solution at SS. If you’re convinced that Franco can stick at SS (he rated well in 2021), then Walls becomes a shiny trade chip.

At first glance, the Rays have a glut of outfielders. But with their propensity to move pieces around and desire to go cheaper, this makes sense:

a. Arozarena will play RF

b. Kiermaier or Margot will play CF, with the other, likely, being traded

c. Phillips will back up the OF positions

d. Meadows (if he isn’t traded) will see time at DH and 1B, with some OF sprinkled in

e. Lowe will play some 1B and OF but may start in AAA

f. Larnach could then start in AAA until he earns a spot

  • Baseball Trade Values: BTV values Larnach (18.9) slightly higher than Walls (16.9). While I wouldn’t be opposed to a one-for-one trade, I’d work with Tampa Bay to take on Kiermaier (-2.8) and a starter (Yarbrough (4.5), Fleming (6), or Chirinos (4.4)). This gives us our starting LF and Buxton insurance as well as an addition for the rotation.

Prediction: I believe the Twins have an outside shot at Baez but, ultimately, balk at the price tag and settle for the next tier with a one year, $3-$5 million contract. And, while a trade for a more promising SS would be ideal, I predict the Twins bank on Martin or Lewis manning the position by the end of the year.

So, what do you think?


What do you WANT the Twins to do?

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    Sign a top-top tier free agent (Correa, Seager, Story)
    (99 votes)
  • 21%
    Sign a top tier free agent (Baez, Semien, Taylor)
    (139 votes)
  • 20%
    Sign a middle tier free agent (Simmons, Iglesias, Galvis, Villar)
    (134 votes)
  • 8%
    Trade for a starter (DeJong, Gregorious, Mondesi, etc.)
    (52 votes)
  • 12%
    Count on an incumbent (Polanco, Gordon)
    (80 votes)
  • 22%
    Call up a prospect (Martin, Lewis)
    (146 votes)
650 votes total Vote Now


What do you THINK the Twins will do?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    Sign a top-top tier free agent (Correa, Seager, Story)
    (8 votes)
  • 4%
    Sign a top tier free agent (Baez, Semien, Taylor)
    (17 votes)
  • 45%
    Sign a middle tier free agent (Simmons, Iglesias, Galvis, Villar)
    (167 votes)
  • 4%
    Trade for a starter (DeJong, Gregorious, Mondesi, etc.)
    (18 votes)
  • 30%
    Count on an incumbent (Polanco, Gordon)
    (113 votes)
  • 12%
    Call up a prospect (Martin, Lewis)
    (45 votes)
368 votes total Vote Now

If you were to acquire Taylor Walls from the Rays, what would the trade look like?

*Thanks to SendixBunny of DRaysBay for their article (Your Very Early Primer for 2022 - DRaysBay), which helped steer my thinking about the Rays’ roster