Potential Signings: Minnesota Twins Free Agency

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HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 18: Marwin Gonzalez #9 of the Houston Astros reacts after striking out in the ninth inning against the Boston Red Sox during Game Five of the American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park on October 18, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The Minnesota Twins are coming off a season in which they failed to make the playoffs after having squeaked in as a wild card spot in 2017. Their 78-84 record was second in the AL Central. However, they were still 13 games behind Cleveland for first place.

The Twins were injury-plagued last season, most notably Byron Buxton who missed time due to migraines, a broken toe, and a wrist injury. Buxton played in a mere 28 games in a Twins uniform last season. He got sent down to AAA Rochester on July 2, and never returned to the big league club. In those 28 games with Minnesota, Buxton hit .156 with 14 hits in 90 at-bats.

Minnesota Twins Free Agency Potential Signings

Off-season To-do List

The Twins have a significant amount of funds available this winter to spend on free agents. They have more than $80 million coming off the books, including $64.5 million after the departures of Joe Mauer  (retired), Ervin Santana  (bought out), Phil Hughes  (traded to SD), Lance Lynn  (traded to NYY), and Brian Dozier  (traded to LAD).

The Twins are looking to add an infielder or two, as well as pitching. The top free agents the Twins are currently linked to being interested in are:

Fielders:

Marwin Gonzalez – (HOU) SS/LF *Last season, Gonzalez hit .247 with 16 home runs and 68 RBI.

DJ LeMahieu – (COL) 2B/3B * LeMahieu had 209 putouts in 128 games last season.

Daniel Descalso – (ARI) 2B/3B *.238 batting average with 57 RBI  last season.

Jed Lowrie –  (OAK) 2B/SS/3B *had 194 putouts in 136 games, only four errors committed last season.

Pitchers:

J.A. Happ – (NYY) SP * made 11 starts for the Yankees, putting up a 2.69 ERA last season.

Sonny Gray – (NYY) SP * made 23 starts for the Yankees last season, with a record of 11-9 and a 4.90 ERA.

Jeurys Familia – (OAK) CP * appeared in 70 games between NYM and OAK last season. Familia earned 18 saves combined between the two ball-clubs.

The Twins recently signed former Tampa Bay Rays first baseman C.J. Cron to fill the void left on the right side of the diamond by Joe Mauer. This is the second year in a row that the Twins have snatched up the Rays first baseman. Last year, it was Logan Morrison, and anyone who follows the Twins knows how that turned out. Cron hit 30 home runs last season and drove in 74 RBI. Cron sported a .253 batting average last year as well.

The Twins have typically been the “sit back and wait” type of team in the off-season. But this year, they have the money to spend, and quite frankly, need to spend it if they want to be a contender in the AL Central in 2019.

The bullpen needs some help as well as the starting pitching. Towards the end of last season, former manager Paul Molitor experimented with “the opener”. It was ultimately a failure. Molitor would have one of his pitchers throw a couple innings, and then bring in a new pitcher, and just wash-rinse-and-repeat the process.

If (and that’s a BIG if) the Twins can acquire some players this year, then they have a shot at claiming the Central Division title and getting back into the post-season. Twins fans are very loyal to their franchise, but if the Twins can acquire some top-tier free agents this off-season, it would go a long way to get more fannies in the seats at Target Field.

Main Photo:
Embed from Getty Images

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