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Patience may not be a virtue for the Twins front office

Will we see any in-season shakeups—or more status quo?

Chicago White Sox v Minnesota Twins Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

A few weeks ago, I made the case that Minnesota Twins manager Rocco Baldelli should get the auto-ejection seat if the Twins don’t capture the AL Central flag at the end of 2023. More losing and some highly questionable pinch-hitting decisions—especially for the likes of Royce Lewis & Alex Kirilloff—have only strengthened my opinion on the matter.

But in baseball, neither winning nor losing is ever determined by one individual. As such, the Twins’ GM partnership of Derek Falvey & Thad Levine certainly hold some culpability in this team’s struggles. Perhaps the biggest frustration? In a word: patience.

Truth be told, I don’t have many quibbles with the duo’s off-season maneuverings. Josh Donaldson was a big swing for the franchise, bringing Carlos Correa back was wholly unexpected, a reasonable deal for Byron Buxton was negotiated, and a chance was taken to acquire a legitimately talented starter in Pablo Lopez. One can bandy about the merits of those moves until the cows come home, but coming into each season I’ve always felt they’ve set the team up well for success.

Minnesota Twins Introduce Josh Donaldson
I know, I know—seemingly no one liked this guy. But at the time it was the biggest free agency swing the Twins had ever taken.
Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

But in-season roster management? That’s where this front office can be maddening to fans for its extreme patience between Games 1 & 162.

Some examples of this Job-like philosophy...

  • Admittedly putting together an odd roster of short-term “prove it for the next contract” guys (remember Logan Morrison, Tyler Austin, & Logan Forsythe?) in 2018—and then not doing anything about it until it was too late.
  • Sticking with Matt Shoemaker, J.A. Happ, & Alex Colome for an unfathomably long time in 2021. Shortstop Andrelton Simmons could also be thrown into that same mix.
  • Allowing Dylan Bundy & Chris Archer to each make 25+ starts last year when the team was competitive up through mid-September.
Minnesota Twins v New York Yankees
Chris Archer: King of the twice-through-the-batting order four inning start
Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images

In short, the Falvey & Levine Twins squads have been “who we thought they were” from beginning to end of basically all seasons (excepting ‘17 when the pair were still getting the lay of the land). In ‘18, ‘21, ‘22, & ‘23 (thus far), it was mediocrity from post to post—in ‘19 & ‘20 it was solid play from stem to stern.

Right now, the Twins sure have the look of a squad in need of an offensive shakeup. As much as fans want to see some new faces in the starting lineup, history shows us that the current front office will not have an itchy trigger finger. Will that patience pay off as the dog days of summer approach—or will it lead to the downfall of their leadership tenure?