It's time for the Twins to make a splash in the American League

The Twins are part of baseball's problem in avoiding the hot stove.
Publish date:
Rocco Baldelli

It's a cold January night in the Twin Cities. After a long day of crunching numbers and negotiating with agents, Derek Falvey heads to a Wendy's drive-thru. After ordering a Baconator with extra bacon, the employee on the other end of the speaker asks if he would like the value meal.

"Well, that's a complicated question," Falvey begins. "You see, you first have to ask yourself what is value? I mean, it's very problematic in this market."

"Uh, sir?"

"You just can't barge into a long-term commitment. Some people want one thing and you want another and you really have to define what is value to you."

"Sir, do you want the fries or not?"

Perhaps the situation with the Twins is not to the drive-thru-example level, but this is a problem throughout Major League Baseball. All 30 teams have embarked on a staring contest as they try to field the best team possible while investing the least amount of money. This has led to several fan favorites being let go and a stunning amount of non-tendered contracts last month.

Locally, the Twins are running into the same issue. Coming off another playoff sweep, the Twins are in need of revamping the roster. Part of that has already been done by non-tendering Eddie Rosario, but that only weakens a lineup that may also be without Nelson Cruz in a couple of weeks.

As the hot stove figures to fire up in the weeks leading up to spring training, the Twins have two options: Go with the pack and try to find cost-effective alternatives or go "all in" with a push toward a postseason run.

The latter has been something that hasn't been seen in Minnesota since Jack Morris signed on the dotted line. Sure, the Twins traded for Kenta Maeda and signed Josh Donaldson last winter, but neither were moves that signaled "World Series or bust." While Maeda was second in American League Cy Young voting, it proved to be a shrewd move, but blockbuster didn't define it. 

As the Twins look around in the AL, they're in a better position to make their move heading into the 2021 season. After the Cleveland Indians traded Francisco Lindor, the only source of competition in the division may be the Chicago White Sox.

Elsewhere in the AL, the Tampa Bay Rays traded Blake Snell to the San Diego Padres to channel their 2000s Twins roots, leaving a wild card spot wide open. With the Houston Astros and Oakland Athletics fielding good, but not great teams, it's only certain that the New York Yankees stand in the Twins' way of making a deep run.

Instead of going out and making moves, the Twins have sat on their hands in the early months of the offseason. As the New York Mets landed Lindor, the Twins have had their annual connection with every free agent shortstop only to be shocked to see them sign or traded elsewhere a couple of weeks later.

Instead of signing a proven reliever, the Twins' big move to bolster the bullpen was to sign Hansel Robles, who posted a 10.26 ERA last season. Analytics and Wes Johnson reclamation projects aside, this is frustrating as the White Sox signed former "Four-A" superstar turned lights-out-reliever Liam Hendricks on Monday.

Even the quest for a starting pitcher is mind-blowing as Trevor Bauer has sat on the free-agent market all winter. While the Twins have been reluctant to give big contracts to free-agent starters, Bauer has reportedly been willing to accept a one-year deal which should be the equivalent to a hanging breaking ball to Cruz. Bauer has since softened that stance, but why not make an offer that he can't refuse?

This also isn't a plea for the Twins to blindly spend more money. Last offseason, the Twins tried that by signing Donaldson to the richest contract in franchise history only to watch him battle through a calf injury and hit .222. It would be better for the Twins to use their money on suitable options and there happen to be many on the free-agent market.

What the Twins need to do is turn one of these rumors into reality and cannonball into the deep end of the American League pool. Go sign Bauer. Go find a proven relief arm. Trade for Kris Bryant. Something that shows they are keen on winning the World Series rather than a make-believe analytics value championship (which probably comes with a Baconator).

The Twins are in position to do what this team hasn't done since 2002. Now, they need to push their chips in the middle of the table and do something about it.

Next Up

D'Angelo Russell / Minnesota Timberwolves

The Timberwolves need more from D'Angelo Russell

The Wolves haven't gotten what they expected since making a blockbuster trade.

oct. 20 snow crash

Spinouts, crashes still happening after snow leaves MN roads a mess

The snow storm caused at least 208 crashes this weekend.


For The Week: Food tips and tricks to get you through the next 7 days

BMTN's food writer Lindsay Guentzel makes life easier for Minnesotans.

snow, plow

Here's how much snow fell in Saturday's storm in Minnesota

MSP Airport had the highest total as of 7 a.m. Sunday with 5.3 inches.

Screen Shot 2021-01-18 at 3.17.49 PM

No KAT? No D'Lo? No problem as Timberwolves defeat Pelicans

The Timberwolves were without Karl-Anthony Towns and D'Angelo Russell, but still picked up a (SCORE) win.

Screen Shot 2021-01-23 at 7.53.44 PM

Spinouts, crashes across Twin Cities as snow gets heavier

There have been multiple incidents across the metro area.

Mason Branstrator

Family, friends raising funds for teen soccer standout with spinal injury

Mason Branstrator of Duluth was injured in a skiing accident.

Screen Shot 2021-01-22 at 9.08.16 PM

Tributes pour in after MN Supreme Court justice's daughter found dead

Olivia Chutich died near the campus of Iowa State University.

Image from iOS (96)

Early Saturday fire damages Burger King in Richfield

The fire was reported around 1:15 a.m. Saturday.

Jamal Mashburn Jr. / Gopher Basketball

Maryland hands Gophers first home loss of season

The 17th-ranked Gophers fell to the Terrapins 63-49 on Saturday afternoon.


Rocco Baldelli

What could MLB's two-month delay mean for the Twins?

The season won't start until at least mid-May, which is good and bad news for the Twins.

Rocco Baldelli

Making the case for the Twins to be sellers at the trade deadline

After going all-in for 2020, is it time to look ahead to 2021?

Nelson Cruz

Twins split doubleheader with Cardinals

Twins split doubleheader with Cardinals

Josh Donaldson

Make it Rain: Josh Donaldson signs four-year deal with Twins

"The Bringer of Rain" adds more offense (and some defense) to the Bomba Squad.

Nelson Cruz

Nelson Cruz collects 7 RBI as Twins trample White Sox

The 14-2 win helped take home a series victory in Chicago.

Miguel Sano

Twins take first game of critical series with Indians

Miguel Sano's two-run bomb fueled a 3-2 victory in Cleveland.

Hyun-Jin Ryu

What to watch for as the Twins enter the winter meetings

The biggest week of the offseason is here as the Twins head to San Diego.

Rocco Baldelli

What is going on with the Twins' pursuit of free agents?

Do players just not want to come to Minnesota?