The 2019 season has come to an abrupt end after 101 wins. This means we may have seen some players in a Twins uniform for the final time. With a lot of question marks about the rotation and a few key position players, I take a look at who should come back and who should be on the move.
The key Twins who could be moving on to a new team for 2020 are listed here.
(* = option or ARB eligible)
- C Jason Castro
- 1B C.J. Cron*
- 2B Jonathan Schoop
- SP Kyle Gibson
- SP Michael Pineda
- SP Martin Perez*
- SP Jake Odorizzi
- RP Sergio Romo
Nelson Cruz was originally on this list, but as expected, the Twins have picked up his option for 2020.
C Jason Castro
Castro began the season as the starting catcher, but Mitch Garver took Minnesota by storm with one of the Twins best hitting seasons as a catcher. That mixed with Castro’s struggles in the second half (.196/.333/.299) make it unlikely that he will return. He can probably find a starting job somewhere in free agency as a left- handed hitting defensive catcher. The Twins could also bring him back on a one-year deal if he does decide to stay and that wouldn't hurt.
1B C.J. Cron
Cron will still be under control next year, but it comes down to if the Twins want to pay for his final season or let him go to a new team like the Rays did last season. He suffered a thumb injury this past season that altered his production a lot. He had a .700 OPS in the second half and a .685 OPS vs RHP on the season. He plays a decent first base and crushes left-handers. With Alex Kirilloff on the horizon, I think Cron comes back for 2020 but could end up in a platoon role at some point. This could also depend on the Twins plan for Sano to either stay at 3B or move to 1B in the future.
2B Jonathan Schoop
The emergence of Luis Arraez along with the drop off from Schoop made it fairly clear who the starting second baseman will be next season. The Twins will likely ride with Arraez on Opening Day next season, and Schoop will definitely be able to find a starting job somewhere else in 2020. He was a solid addition and the Twins probably got what was expected from him.
SP Kyle Gibson
Moving on to pitching, Gibson is one of the longest-tenured Twins after seven seasons that started off rough, but ultimately ended well for him to land a nice deal next season. He had a 3.72 ERA from the 2017 trade deadline until now even with some unfortunate health concerns. He will probably get a multi-year deal with someone other than the Minnesota Twins and all of you who hate Kyle will be extremely happy.
SP Michael Pineda
Despite having his 2019 success stained by his suspension for a possible PED masking agent, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to bring Pineda back for next season. His 3.04 second half ERA, as he basically carried the rotation, was extremely impressive so he could be back. The Twins will likely bring two starters from this season back, and Pineda has a good chance to be one of them.
SP Jake Odorizzi
The Twins acquired Odorizzi before the 2018 season for AA infielder Jermaine Palacios who had a .192 AVG this past season. Odorizzi has produced 6.9 fWAR over those two seasons and was a 2019 All-Star. The Twins will likely send a qualifying offer around $18 million and if a team doesn’t want to lose a draft pick for him then I think Odo could be back. He could also come back on the QO because he can't be offered the QO two years in a row so he may come back to build his free agency stock for 2021.
SP Martin Perez
With a $7.5 million team option for next season, I don’t expect to see Perez back for the 2020 season. Maybe I can get behind seeing him as a relief pitcher, but the Twins should definitely be moving on from him in the rotation. From June to October he allowed a 5.93 ERA and a .831 OPS so I would hope the Martin Perez experiment has come to an end.
RP Sergio Romo
I challenge you to find one Twins fan who does not love Sergio Romo. You can’t, so don’t even try. The 36-year-old reliever would be a valuable asset who I believe will be back for 2020. His veteran presence mixed with his playoff/World Series experience and his electric energy on and off the field are all tools that would fit right in on this young team. Plus he is also an effective late inning reliever so that’s a plus.
Alright, now that I have finished going through all the players, here are my predictions:
Returning for 2020: Cron, Pineda, Odorizzi, Romo
Heading to a new team: Castro, Schoop, Gibson, Perez
As the off-season progresses, each one of these players will be monitored closely by everyone here at Twins Daily, so follow us on Twitter and be looking out for more in- depth articles about each player.
This story originally appeared at Twins Daily and was re-shared through a collaboration between Bring Me The News and Twins Daily.