Leave to big time MLB insider Ken Rosenthal to stoke the flames of fandom in Minnesota, as his latest column for The Athletic tosses out an "idea" that would see the Twins get aggressive and attempt to trade for a premiere shortstop.
The idea: Minnesota, which is "drawing trade interest in their upper-level prospects and major leaguers under long-term control," would deal someone like second baseman Luis Arraez to Cleveland for Francisco Lindor or Colorado for Trevor Story.
Lindor and Story are two of the best shortstops in the big leagues, and both are free agents after the upcoming season, meaning they are very tradable, especially to teams that can sign them to long-term deals or push for a World Series championship in 2020.
Per Rosenthal, the latter would be the case with the Twins, which would be fine since former No. 1 overall pick Royce Lewis is the shortstop of the future for the Twins.
Rosenthal says the idea is "not without merit" but the likelihood of it happening is "not terribly high."
Lindor struggled in the 60-game season this past summer but was an All-Star and finished top 15 in MVP voting each of the previous four seasons. He also owns a pair of Gold Gloves, which would be an upgrade over Jorge Polanco, who could slide over to second base in the dream scenario of Lindor playing for the Twins.
Story has done it all for the Rockies in his four big-league seasons, routinely hitting 30-40 homers as an All-Star shortstop who also hits for average, plays defense and steals bases.
If the Twins aren't interested in giving up the a valuable prospect or major leaguer with long-term contractual control they could pass on going after a big gun like Lindor and Story and instead attempt to throw a two-year deal at Marcus Semien or Didi Gregorius, both of whom are free agents.
No matter how you slice it, going after a shortstop for a year or two at the expense of Arraez would allow Polanco to move over to second and really make Minneota's lineup dangerous, especially if Nelson Cruz resigns. If Cruz comes back and the Twins were to get Story, Lindor, or even Semien or Gregorius, this lineup would be extremely dangerous:
- C: Mitch Garver
- 1B: Miguel Sano
- 2B: Jorge Polanco
- SS: Lindor, Story, Semien or Gregorius
- 3B: Josh Donaldson
- LF: Alex Kirilloff
- CF: Byron Buxton
- RF: Max Kepler
- DH: Nelson Cruz
Even if the Twins don't make a move and Arraez stays, the lineup is still stacked, especially if Buxton, Cruz, Garver, Kepler and Donaldson can stay healthy. All of them were dinged up in the shortened 2020 season and the Twins still won the division.