The Twins are taking an aggressive stance to open free agency, according to a report from Jon Heyman of Fan Rag. It seems the Minnesota organization is slated to engage at the top echelon of the pitching market.
We’ve heard chatter previously about the Twins investing in an arm, but this news seemingly takes the interest to another level. Per Heyman, the front office is at least “looking at” top free-agent hurlers Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta, with a “slightly higher evaluation” of the former. Not only that, but the club is said to be “investigating” the best relievers available, including Wade Davis and Greg Holland.
Just how much cash the Twins will pour into the open market remains an open question. As MLBTR’s Steve Adams recently explained, though, the organization not only seems ready to contend in a vulnerable AL Central, but has plenty of open future payroll space. That makes it plausible, albeit hardly certain, to imagine the Twins playing in a segment of free agency that is normally off limits.
It’s not difficult to see why these particular pitchers would be of interest. Minnesota is clearly in need of at least one more quality starter and has an obvious opening at the back of the bullpen. As ever, though, getting the players with the greatest pedigree could mean taking uncomfortable amounts of financial risk.
In this case, the expectation remains that Darvish and Arrieta will receive robust interest. MLBTR’s top 50 list features both among the top four players available, with $100MM or more in likely earnings. Meanwhile, Davis and Holland both warranted inclusion at the back of the top ten, with MLBTR predicting four-year deals for each (at $60MM and $50MM, respectively).
There’s always some possibility that markets won’t develop as anticipated, of course. And patience can pay off in free agency. It’ll be interesting to see, then, whether the Twins go chasing these top hurlers out of the gates or instead take a somewhat more opportunistic approach. The club does have interest in second-tier starters and relievers, Heyman notes. It seems possible that such hurlers could be targeted for value early or that the Twins could hold back and see if a particularly enticing opportunity arises over the course of the winter.
I think the Twins will sign either Arrieta or Darvish, and Milwaukee will sign the other. Both teams have need for an ace and are positioned to make those moves now.
Brewers have the better chance I think. Twins are just posturing to gain fans trust I think. The old we tried, just missed it. Lol
The cynicism runs deep here… long history of every MN pro sports team being an also-ran, failing in the playoffs if they get there at all. With the exception of 1987, 1991, and the Lynx… that’s always been the story.
just remember , Terry ( Curly ) Ryan still maintains an office inside Target Field despite working for the Phillies
Good call. My guess Darvish and Holland to Mn and Arrietta to Mil. Levine has a connection to Darvish and I do believe he’s the better pitcher and that both of those guys will sign for similar dollar amounts.
I don’t think I’m ever going to get used to headlines like this. It’s a welcome change to even be considering the top players. You’d never see this type of headline for the Twins in the previous 30 years.
Agreed, change is good sometimes. I’m a White Sox fan, they wont be good this year, neither will the Royals after (probably) losing Cain, Moose, & Hosmer they will be bad. The Tigers will be bad, that leaves the Twins and Indians to fight it out. Now is a great time for the Twins to make a big splash and compete for the AL Central or a wildcard spot.
Competing in a weak ALC is easy and can be done with 2 tier players. But, you’re not competing against KC, Detroit and CWS in October. The Twins are set (almost) for 162 but absolutely need an ace and a closer to compete in the playoffs. Not to mention a revamped bullpen. Offensively they are poised to be a force but it’s hard to win 9-8 every night. A potential 1-2-3 rotation of Darvish, Santana, Berrios, looks pretty good on paper. Adding an ace at the top should make the other 4 guys that much better. Time will tell if they are actually as aggressive as this article says they intend to be. I think they should strike quick and not risk letting an opportunity to smash the gas and go for full blown contention.
I’m a little skeptical that the Twins are going to want to reach that far economically for any of those pitchers–or anyone else, for that matter. Doesn’t seem like a logical fit.
yup keep saving that Money and prospects, because next year we will be better……some times you just gotta drop your pants and slide on the ice….
C’mon, keep the Kool-Aid out of ML:BTR. Twinkies WON’T go all in on a big buck pitcher or two (those signings of Nolasco and Hughes worked out so well). With the resources the Twins have, they should be looking to trade for an up and comer or a proven pitcher. The spin on signing big name FAs is all Fantasy. Remember, it is not enough that you want a player,, the player has to want to play for your team. At some point, the decision becomes personal preference based on any number of reasons rather than just about the money.
If you trade for the player, he’s less likely to want to play for your team. If he chooses to sign with you, that means he wants to play for you. The difference here is the Twins will evaluate players differently and might have better luck. You mention the Hughes and Nolasco signings as bad but you can’t predict injuries (Hughes) and Nolasco was bad but Santana has far exceeded expectations. That’s about league average on FA pitching.
And the original Hughes contract was good. The extension was bad.
Different front office now. No one really knows what these guys will do.
Yu is a fly ball pitcher. We have the best Outfield defense why would he not want to pitch for us.
Yu Darvish is a fly ball pitcher. We have the best Outfield Defense in Baseball….. Why wouldn’t he want to pitch for Minnesota
If we sign Yu, does that mean we have a better chance at signing Shohei Ohtani?
As a lifelong Twins fan this is a bit surprising to see but I’m really hoping they don’t spend big on RP. I’m sorry but closer contracts have become ridiculous. Not trying to pay a guy 15 million dollars to come in and pitch the 9th. If I were in their position instead of going Darvish OR Arrietta and a top RP I would hope they go for a combo of Lynn and Cobb and RP in the 2nd and 3rd tier like Shaw, Siegrest, McGee, etc…. Lynn, Cobb, Berrios, Santana makes a heck of a rotation with a TON of options then to fill that 5 spot. Young relievers will hopefully be on the way this upcoming year so there just isn’t need IMO to go out and blow 60 million on Wade Davis or something of that nature. We’ll see what happens but this should be a fun and interesting off season for the Twins!
I agree–the Twins will get more bang for their buck with Cobb or Lynn. I don’t they’ll get both and I’d guess they go for Lynn more. I also noticed the big name closers haven’t been doing that well in the playoffs lately. Chapman, Jansen, Davis got bombed in clutch situations and I can’t even remember the name of the Astros closer that got demoted in the WS.
I agree that the Twins do have a lot of prospects to fill the rotation, but a legit ace may help these prospects even further. A RHP could have a huge impact on right hand prospects like Berrios, Romero, and Jorge. It may be a coincidence, but look at the left-handed slate behind Kershaw in LA. Hill and Wood had career years behind a same-hand ace, and the possible emergence of Urias could be tied to Kershaws guidance. Darvish or Arietta could provide much-needed guidance to the twins staff.
While that makes a lot of sense….if you plan on going deep into the playoffs….then you need a shut down starter, and reliever….dont you?
Finally someone said what I’ve been thinking for years. The contracts for free agent relievers have gotten ridiculous. Also, I like your idea about building depth in the rotation instead of bringing in Arrietta or Darvish. They can always bring in someone at the deadline to help them for the playoff push.
dynamite drop in monty
Seems somewhat superfluous seeing how Brad Radke already helms the staff.
I can’t see the Twins landing Darvish or Arrieta (not sure I’d want him). They need to think about the future and the effect Mauer’s long term contract had on the team. They were in a no-win situation with Mauer and then he had the career changing injury so that was some bad luck but they had a hard time attracting and signing FA with their limited budget. Pitchers are a bigger risk. I’d prefer they try to develop pitchers, go for the next tier of pitcher and start signing some of their position players (Dozier now, Sano-Buxton-Rosario next year or two) to lower priced extensions.
um i call foul ,on the Mauer contract…..in 2011 we had a payroll of 113 million, turned a profit……since that day through 2017 MLB saw an inflation of about 44%…..meaning we should have been able to carry a payroll over 150 million last year,and over 160 million in 2018…..
Yes, the Mauer deal is a cautionary tale. Yes pitchers are higher risk. Throwing a baseball overhand is not a natural motion. But starting pitchers are still the most important pieces on the chessboard. All relief pitchers, even the peerless Mariano Rivera, are failed starting pitchers. Starting pitchers go through the lineup and still maintain effectiveness. They are the elite of baseball, but precious few of them are durable. That’s what makes the Verlanders, Sales, Scherzers, Bumgarners, etc of the world so special.
The Twins play in a slightly pitcher friendly park, in a weak division. If I’m a starting pitcher I’m interested. Put an ace in that already decent rotation and the whole team is potentially a lot better. Aces cannot be had cheaply or easily.
Yes I’d prefer Darvish too. Offer market value and you may get him: the big markets are mostly tapped out. Seize the day, a wise Roman said.
I actually hope they do it! It would be a serious move for the Twins. Go for the golden double (same thing nearly everyone wants) Darvish + Ohtani. Now I think it’s a near impossibility but if you’re going to go big… go impossibly big. Won’t happen, but it would be historically cool if they did. I’d watch (some).
I don’t think the twins have too many stupid contracts. But that Mauer contract would have to go before they spent a lot of money on anyone else.
Mauer’s on the last year of his deal so it really doesn’t matter. I was never one to believe that they couldn’t spend because of him anyway.
23 million will be off the books for the 2018 off-season. No reason to wait until then to do something. If they did re-sign him after, then I’m guessing it would be for about 15M per max. Some may say that’s too much, but that’s around the value he’s put up the last couple of years.
I won’t believe it until I hear from Pohlad saying they can write whatever check they want. $100mm deals need ownership involve and for a notoriously cheap one, I have questions.
How bout Teheran for Escobar
Randy Jay Pena
People need to chill out about Ohtani especially the Yankees fans. If money was a big factor then he should’ve just waited a year and a half to get paid more when those teams go through bidding wars. If he really wanted to go to the Yankees why didn’t he just told his agent that’s where he wants to go and will make it official on December 1st instead of telling all MLB teams that will post the 20 mil to write an essay on why Ohtani will be a great fit for their teams? For all we know the Dodgers, Twins, Red Sox, Rangers and Mariners can write a better one than the Yankees. Also if he wants more money then does that mean the Rangers get him? Because I mean the Rangers got a little more money than the Yankees. So to me there could be so many factors, don’t assume it’s gonna be the Yankees because all the baseball experts picked them to get him. My pick is the Dodgers just because they been scouting him since he was in high school I believe.