The Minnesota Twins have plenty of money to spend this offseason.
Here at Twinkie Town, we’ve detailed just how much the Twins might be able to do in terms of signing top-50 free agents, as well as providing a template to put together your own ideal winter for the Twins’ front office.
Now, let’s take a look at what some of the national experts are projecting for the Twins.
All aboard the Correa-back-to-the-Twins train
Over at ESPN, three of the seven analysts making predictions on the “Big Four” shortstops on the market predicted Carlos Correa to land back in the Twin Cities. (Buster Olney, Jesse Rogers, and Alden Gonzalez are the experts allowed around these parts if you’re scoring at home.) The other teams represented for Correa’s landing spot are three votes for the San Francisco Giants and one for the Baltimore Orioles.
Anthony Franco is the only one of the four writers at MLB Trade Rumors who has Correa going back to Minnesota. The other three writers all think that Correa will end up with the Giants.
CBS Sports lists the Twins as one of three potential landing spots for Correa, along with the Dodgers and the Cubs.
Of the 11 individual analysts between ESPN and MLBTR, that’s six that have Correa in San Fran, four that have Correa in Minnesota, and one vote for Baltimore.
Other free agency possibilities
MLBTR has plenty of potential options listed for the Twins.
The only player that two writers projected to end up in Minnesota is starting pitcher Chris Bassitt, who made an All-Star team in Oakland in 2021 and turned in another strong season last year in his lone campaign with the New York Mets.
In terms of non-Correa shortstop options, the other members of the Big Four are mentioned: Trea Turner, Xander Bogaerts, and Dansby Swanson are all mentioned as potential options for the Twins. One member of MLBTR’s staff actually picked the Twins as Bogaerts ultimate destination, and one has Swanson slotted to the Twins.
The Twins are also mentioned as one of three possible landing spots for both Swanson and Boegarts in the CBS Sports column, which also mentions pitchers Jose Quintana and Jonny Cueto as possibilities for the Twins.
Other predictions for players to actually end up in Minnesota according to MLBTR include catcher Willson Contreras, first baseman/designated hitter Jose Abreu (!), and relief pitchers Kenley Jansen and Chris Martin.
There are a host of players mentioned by MLBTR as possible matches but not actually projected to be ultimately paired with the Twins.
Pitchers: Carlos Rodon, Taijuan Walker, Sean Manaea, Andrew Heaney, Noah Syndergaard, Nathan Eovaldi, Tyler Anderson, Corey Kluber
Position Players: Josh Bell, Mitch Haniger, Anthony Rizzo, J.D. Martinez, Christian Vasquez, Josh Turner
ESPN’s possible trade target for the Twins
ESPN threw out a few trade options in their article as well, and one of them included the Twins.
The suggestion here is to send Simeon Woods Richardson, who was acquired from Toronto in the Jose Berrios trade last year, along with an unnamed prospect, to Miami in exchange for Pablo Lopez.
Lopez has turned in three consecutive solid campaigns as a mid-rotation starter for the Marlins and, in theory, would give the Twins a virtual sure thing with some durability in the middle of the starting rotation. Woods Richardson may be ready but is of course much less of a sure thing than a 27-year-old with three more years of team control.
It’s a trade that could make some sense for Minnesota, but the thought here is that Miami may actually be looking for something more for Lopez than a hot-and-cold prospect in Woods Richardson.
What does it all mean?
Basically, this is all confirmation that after signing Josh Donaldson leading into the 2020 season and adding Carlos Correa last year, the Twins are at least taken somewhat seriously by the national media as a potential player in free agency.
We can certainly be critical of the results that the team has mustered since Derek Falvey and Thad Levine took over the front office, but the process has certainly been more aggressive. The Twins will aim for the stars with Correa, and go hard after the other three shortstops in the Big Four if they can’t bring him back. They have plenty of other holes to fill and could be players in the catcher market (Contreras, Vazquez), the slugger market (Abreu, Martinez), or the corner infield/outfield market (Rizzo, Turner, Haniger, Bell). The Twins obviously need bullpen help, and quality rotation depth should be on the menu as well.
With cash to spend, the Twins will be in a lot of conversations throughout the offseason, and they’ve already been extremely active on the trade market.
That’s the first step. Now, let’s hope for some action.