We're entering 2020 and the Twins haven't landed any of the big free agent names with Spring Training fast approaching.
We've heard that unlike in previous years, the Twins have proven themselves willing to offer 9-figure contracts for top pitchers, yet they're still not getting any deals over the line.
It begs the question, what is it about joining a 101-win team that is turning potential signings off?
The only thing we can think of is they don't like the state itself, so we're here to disabuse them of any of the misconceptions they have about Minnesota.
You know, you don't have to stay for winter
"But ... but ... it's so cold in Minnesota!" Cry me a frickin' river, millionaire, we're the ones that have to stay here, not you Mr. Multiple Properties.
Minnesota doesn't have the sweltering heat of the south during the summer, and because you're playing in the pesticide spray-bombed city of Minneapolis, you won't even have to deal with the mosquitoes, except when you're at your lavish lake home.
Once the season is wrapped up in September (let's face it), you can jet off to warmer climes and avoid everything that the fans who spend their hard-earned cash on your jerseys have to endure.
But the tax is too high
Minnesota's higher tax rate has been cited as a reason why some players might prefer to head to lower tax jurisdictions, but this appears to be one of those occasions when the Pohlads are seemingly willing to splash the cash ... so just ask them to take it into account when determining your contract.
The Dodgers were offering Madison Bumgarner $100 million for his contract, which was $15 million more than he was being offered (and eventually accepted) in the lower tax Arizona.
Also remember that while the tax rate may be high, Minnesota is consistently ranked near the top when it comes to offering the best quality of life in the United States, so you get what you pay for.
Also, you're a professional athlete playing in a sport where careers can last into a player's 40s, so just suck it up and pay some damn tax. You'll be fine.
Fans won't expect too much of you
What, you want to go to the Yankees? Where they boo you for hitting a single instead of a double? Or Houston? Where you have to take a class in sign stealing before you can take to the mound?
How about Minnesota, where fans have experienced a decade of pretty bad baseball and are looking for anything, anyone to lift their spirits.
Come to Minnesota and help prove that 2019 wasn't another false dawn, all you have to do if you're a pitcher is be better than Kyle Gibson and Martin Perez. That's not a tall order.
You get to beat up on bad teams
Want to pad your stats? Well the Tigers perennially suck, the Royals are still amidst a "burn it down and build it back up" turnaround, the White Sox are improving but not quite there, and the Indians just traded Corey Kluber for Delino DeShields and a prospect for some reason.
The Tigers and the Royals had two out of the three worst records in MLB last season and the Twins get to play them multiple times – it's Dub SZN.
Compare that to the AL West where you have to face the Astros, A's, Rangers (now with Kluber), the Angels (now with Rendon) and the Mariners (who, ok, are bad).
Pitchers, odds are that you'll never lose your job
Want job security? Pitch for the Twins. You really, really have to stink up the joint to get removed from Minnesota's starting rotation. It's an awesome security blanket.
Just ask Gibson and Perez, or any of the other dozens of pitchers (we're looking at you, Mike Pelfrey) who have stayed in the rotation despite massively underperforming expectations over the years.
It's possible that things will change in 2020, but it's not like the Twins are loaded with pitching prospects who are about to knock down the door to the big leagues, force the Twins to sacrifice service time and be inserted into the rotation if you're terrible.
Suck and stay, that's the Minnesota way.
Rocco Baldelli DGAF what you do
Show up an hour before game so you can take care of you? Cool. You were born to play for Rocco Baldelli. The Twins' skipper is as laid back as they get. His only demand is that you be professional, and let's face it, throwing and hitting a ball is second nature to you, so just show up and do your damn job.
He literally wrote "show-and-go" on the clubhouse whiteboard. The nine innings of a game is all Baldelli cares about. You can do you the other 21 hours of the day (19 if you're playing the Red Sox or Yankees).
Baldelli won't yell at you, won't ask you to stay late or show up early, and he sure as hell won't rip you publicly to the media. He's a manager for the players.