Let there be baseball! To celebrate the new collective bargaining agreement, we are again inviting all of you to tell us in a FanPost how you would handle the rest of the off-season if you were in charge of the Twins! Many of the roster-related housekeeping items have been taken care and the owner-imposed lockout put a huge damper on the typical hot stove rumors and activities. Now there will be a mad frenzy of activity to squeeze the rest of the offseason into a few weeks before Opening Day. Before the lockout commenced the Twins committed to Byron Buxton long-term, added right-handers Dylan Bundy and Jharel Cotton, and moved six prospects to the 40-man roster.
Now that business is open again, the roster sits at 38 and glaring holes remain at shortstop and on the mound. Initial, way-too-early standings projections mostly agree the Twins’ current roster lags far behind the favorite for the AL Central, Chicago. The ZiPS model at FanGraphs pegs the Twins for a 75-87 record and a 4th place finish. Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA model is way more optimistic ($) at 84-78 and a 2nd place finish, but even that is 10 games behind the White Sox projection. There is clearly work to be done.
The free-agent market has been somewhat picked over, but there remain big names left to sign and there are always bargains to be found. That’s to say nothing of the trade market, which was largely quiet during the flurry of activity back in late November, but figures to be hopping now.
So, how will you play it?
Will you be aggressive and chase contention in 2022 through free agents and trades? Will you continue trading away established veterans for prospects with future value like they did at the trade deadline last summer? Or, will you try an opportunistic strategy that splits the difference? How will you re-build the pitching staff?
Below is a guide to the offseason that includes instructions for writing your plan, an outline of all the key decisions that need to be made, and links to some useful resources to help with your decisions. Just copy/paste and start making some decisions. Here are helpful resources for how to make a FanPost (Here is the SB Nation FanPost help guide).
Happy roster-building! We can’t wait to see what you come up with!
[Insert your username]’s Offseason Plan
What kind of plan is this?
Give us a sentence or two that let us know what we’re about to see. Are you going for it in 2022?
What payroll limit did you set?
Give us the number that ownership is holding you to.
(Reference: The 2021 payroll was estimated at ~$121MM. The 2020 full season payroll was estimated at ~$133MM by FanGraphs)
2022 Guaranteed Contracts
Josh Donaldson — $21.75MM
Miguel Sanó — $10.583MM
Max Kepler — $6.75MM
Jorge Polanco — $5.0MM
Kenta Maeda — $3.125MM
Randy Dobnak — $800K
**NEW** Byron Buxton — $9.143MM
**NEW** Dylan Bundy — $4.0MM
Tyler Duffey — $3.8MM
Caleb Thielbar – $1.3MM
Jharel Cotton — $700K
Total Payroll = ~$66.95MM
Taylor Rogers — projected $6.7MM
Mitch Garver — projected $3.1MM
Luis Arraez — projected $2.0MM
Total Payroll = Estimated $78.75MM, pending arbitration outcomes
Pre-Arbitration on the 40-man roster
Under the terms of the new CBA, players on the active roster earning the MLB minimum salary will be paid $700K in 2022.
Pitchers (15): Jorge Alcala, Jordan Balazovic, Jhoan Duran, Blayne Enlow, Ralph Garza Jr., Griffin Jax, Jovani Moran, Bailey Ober, Joe Ryan, Cole Sands, Cody Stashak, Drew Strotman, Lewis Thorpe, Chris Vallimont, Josh Winder
Position Players (9): Ryan Jeffers, Ben Rortvedt, Nick Gordon, Royce Lewis, Jose Miranda, Gilberto Celestino, Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach, Brent Rooker
The resources below are available and updated to help identify the free agents you would try to sign. Briefly explain why you would pursue the player(s), the role you see them playing for the Twins, and the terms of your offer (years and total monetary value).
Notable Minor League Free Agent Signings:
LHP Danny Coulombe, RHP Jake Faria, RHP Trevor Megill, OF Derek Fisher, RHP Dereck Rodriguez, 1B Curtis Terry, SS/UT Tim Beckham, UT Daniel Robertson, RHP Daniel Gossett, SS Elliot Soto
What trades would you try to make? Which current Twins would you offer up in trades to other clubs? What players or prospects would you try to get back? Briefly explain your thinking for any deals that you want to pursue.
The trade simulator at BaseballTradeValues.com is a handy resource for estimating realistic trade values and coming up with plausible deals that might make sense for both sides.
Your 26-man (or 40-man) roster and final summary
Bring all the parts of your plan together and show us your final roster for 2022. The active roster is capped at 26 players and we encourage any over-achievers to sketch it out for the full 40-man roster. If you are playing along with the salary constraints, please be sure to include your totals. And, if you are doing the full 40-man roster, don’t forget to include the six prospects that were added to the 40 man roster ahead of the Rule 5 draft.
Here’s the depth chart for you to fill out with your players and salaries.
- Lineup (#, currently set for 13, but flexible for your plan):
- Pitching Staff (#, currently set for 13 but flexible for your plan):
Total Payroll = ?
- Rest of 40-man roster — Optional (14)
It’s not required, but we’d love to see a brief summary of your plans and the thinking behind them at the end. Explaining your decisions and how you think your team might fare next season creates good fodder for comments and discussion.