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Carlos Correa Signed for $200 Million Over 6 Years
It took the first MLB lockout in almost 30 years for the Twins to sign Carlos Correa the first time around, yet the second time was even more miraculous. After agreeing to much longer and larger deals with both the San Francisco Giants and New York Mets, long-term concerns about his ankle led him back to Minnesota. With a smaller guarantee and plenty of team options on the end of the contract, the Twins were able to acquire one of the best players in baseball on an incredibly team-friendly deal.
Could it backfire if Correa’s ankle is actually made of termites? Absolutely. But when you’re the Minnesota Twins, you jump at any chance you have to acquire a player of Correa’s caliber.
Luis Arraez Traded to the Miami Marlins for Pablo López and Jose Salas
With a plethora of left-handed bats in the lineup, the Twins knew they would be moving at least one of them this offseason. Luis Arraez likely wasn’t Derek Falvey’s first choice, but acquiring a player of López’s caliber isn’t cheap. The trade has been bemoaned due to Arraez’s popularity, but López should immediately slot in toward the top of the Twins’ rotation. Jose Salas is also a quality prospect who could be one of the Twins’ best if he puts up a strong season in 2023.
Christian Vázquez Signed for $30 Million Over 3 Years
After a disappointing season from Gary Sánchez and injury/performance concerns with Ryan Jeffers, the Twins identified catcher as a position that needed a significant upgrade. They got exactly that in Christian Vázquez. The veteran catcher has the reputation of an elite defender and game manager who makes a decent amount of contact. He should be the starting catcher against most right-handed pitchers, while Jeffers will see more action versus lefties.
Joey Gallo Signed for $11 Million Over 1 Year
After finally parting ways with Miguel Sanó and his strikeout-laden plate appearances, the Twins went and signed the only player in MLB history with a higher strikeout rate. Of course, this drastically underestimates the type of player Joey Gallo can be if he can regain some of his early career success. Gallo has elite on-base skills and maybe some of the best power in baseball. Even if he can’t find ways to bring up his batting average, Gallo will bring immense value with his defense, where he has consistently ranked among the league’s best corner outfield defenders, and can fill in adequately at center field or first base.
Michael A. Taylor Acquired for a Pair of Minor League Relievers
Michael A. Taylor is the perfect fourth outfielder for the Twins. A low-end starter/high-end backup who won a Gold Glove in 2021 for his center field defense in Kansas City. He won’t be much more than average at the plate, but with Buxton sure to miss or DH a chunk of games, having a player who provides a similar level of defense is a major win for the Twins’ fly-ball-heavy pitching staff.
Chris Paddack Extended for $12.5 Million Over 3 Years
Chris Paddack may not pitch in 2023 due to his second Tommy John surgery, but he’s hoping to make a late season return, similar to the plan for Kenta Maeda last season before the Twins were knocked out of the playoff race. This deal gives Paddack a bit more security, while the Twins get to buy out his first free agent year. A win-win for both sides, especially if Paddack looks like the pitcher he was in 5 starts before the injury last year.
Twins Rebrand, Introduce New Uniforms
Say what you will about the “M” hat, the rest of the Twins’ new uniforms have received universal acclaim from both Minnesotans and national outlets. After years of the same or similar uniforms, it’s nice to see the Twins in some new threads and finally abandon the dreaded Kasota gold.
Joe Pohlad Becomes New Twins Owner
This summer, the Twins announced that day-to-day ownership operations would be taken over by Joe Pohlad, the nephew of Jim. It’s not a flashy new ownership group like some other teams have recently seen (hello, Minnesota Timberwolves) but Joe seems to have a good relationship with both Derek Falvey and Rocco Baldelli, and is happy to defer to their judgment on baseball-related matters. Additionally, he recently floated the possibility of the Twins significantly increasing their payroll beyond its current franchise record levels. We’ll see if things change significantly under Joe’s leadership, but the initial signs are encouraging.