1:37pm: Rosario is one of the players who turned down an offer, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN tweets.
9:30am: The Twins were long rumored to be chatting with center fielder Byron Buxton about a new contract this spring. But it seems he was not the only target for an organization that was evidently hoping to enhance the value of some existing player control rights.
Per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, via Twitter, the club pursued long-term arrangements with four other young players as well. Two of those targets are identified in the report: righty Jose Berrios and outfielder Max Kepler.
The remaining pair is not known, though perhaps it’s not unreasonable to surmise that one of them was shortstop Jorge Polanco, who had a solid 2017 campaign but ended up being suspended for half of the 2018 season. Outfielder Eddie Rosario seems to be another likely candidate, as the front office has made clear they see him “as part of the core.” Star third bagger Miguel Sano would also be a hypothetical target, no doubt, though perhaps he was not likely to be approached during an offseason in which he was under league investigation for an alleged assault.
Obviously, none of those discussions led to agreements. Perhaps, though, they could still set the stage for eventual deals.
Buxton, who is entering his final season before beginning the arbitration process, was the most obvious target from the get-go. He turned in a breakout second half at the plate and was an outstanding defender and baserunner all season long. But those previously reported talks seemingly fizzled, leaving the team to renew the 24-year-old’s contract late this spring.
It’s hardly surprising to hear of interest in Berrios, either, as he also overcame some initial MLB struggles to turn in an impressive 2017 effort. He’s a year further from the arb process (and free agency) than Buxton, but that also surely left the team intrigued at the potential value it might achieve. Berrios said a month ago that he had not been approached, so it appears that the chatter took place in the interim.
Then, there’s Kepler, who’s in an in-between position from the other two players in terms of service time. He’s on track to reach Super Two status next winter but, like Berrios, can’t accrue more than six years of MLB time until the end of the 2022 season. The 25-year-old has, to date, been a solid performer, turning in two seasons as a roughly average hitter, solid defender, and good baserunner at a corner outfield spot. Kepler’s profile is not quite as exciting as those of his aforementioned teammates, but at the right price he could also certainly make sense for a long-term deal, particularly if the club believes there’s still some developmental upside remaining to be tapped into.
In any event, none of those players have inked contracts prior to the start of the current campaign. While something could, in theory, come together at any time, Passan does say that all of the players in question turned down the offers they were presented at the time.
These young guys might want to start thinking about taking these early career extensions with the way the market is trending.
It’ll be a few years before they hit free agency. The players shouldn’t rush to sign these deals unless they’re presented with really favorable terms.
For a guy like Berrios, locking in $20M now could be enticing. TJ is always a very real risk to derailing career earning potential.
I agree it makes more sense for pitchers to sign early career extensions, given the inherent risk of an arm injury. Keep in mind, though, he got a $1.5M signing bonus from the Twins coming out of the draft, so he’s already a millionaire. Plus, if he shows substantial improvement this year, I bet he could a lot more than $20M from the Twins next offseason.
Wonder if they’ve talked to Sano about an extension.
Not even a mention of Sano in the article? Strange.
Ha, yes, I’d say so. I sort of assume they wouldn’t really have tried with him owing to the investigation that was then pending, but he ought to be mentioned. Not sure how that did not occur to either Steve or myself. (I’m blaming Steve since he’s our resident Minnesota expert.)
Lol yeah with the investigation and his shin injury it wasn’t likely they would talk extension anyways.
He’s a Jay-Z client. Dude wants to get himself some Robbie Cano money. No reason to bother trying to negotiate a rational contract with him.
Berrios is not a surprise. Twins have to sign that stud long term. He is going to have a huge year and demand the world.
Rosario’s offer was a 6 year offer but “$$ not elite” according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN.
He answered the inevitable question burning through all our minds: “How much??!” (Click on Jeff’s 1:37pm twitter link)
To specify, Didn’t give exact, just # years & “not elite”
Six-year extension offer by Twins’ interesting either way.
Surprising that not even one of five accepted, especially how last offseason went. If you are a young player, you should strongly consider taking a guaranteed extension, as injuries and falling off performance-wise are always lingering possibilities.
Unwise of the players. Free agency is changing…..
Tell that to Harper the future $400M man?
Machado maybe $300M?
Donaldson… etc. FA changed ONE year for mediocre FA class, that preceded a historic strong FA. I don’t buy into that narrative, but I do believe GM’s are getting stronger with stats and sabermetrics.
Those players are the cream of the crop. You cannot compare any of the twins players to those guys.
I’m comparing “free agency is changing” with “take the extension”
Free agency has and always will be the same. Free market system intended to reward Elite talent gets elite money, and mediocre FA with “mediocre” one-year prove it deals. (Still worth millions) It’s a free market. If he was talking about injuries, I wouldn’t have said anything.
But if you make it to FA, with track record, You’ll Get Paid $$ Contrary what Tony Clark haters believe
I agree with that. Just because you are best of crappy class does not mean you get big money and that’s what we saw this year.
Arod signed for over $250 million 18 years ago. So yeah, free agency has changed
I disagree not going to be a long term thing especially for young players that play perimium positions
No one wants to stay in Minnesota….when will they learn that they are nothing but the farm club for the Yankees, Dodgers, Angels and Red Sox?
What are you talking about? The only Twin with any of those teams is the oft-injured Aaron Hicks and he was traded at a time when the Twins needed Catching help and he was mediocre at best.
Maybe about the time you learn to find Minnesota on a map. I’m not worried about it.
Let him run his mouth, JD.
The North remembers…