Twins chief baseball officer Derek Falvey tells Jim Souhan of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that the team isn’t ruling out the addition of an established hitter in free agency. Asked specifically about the possibility of adding a slugger such as Nelson Cruz, Falvey spoke in general terms about the “trade-off” of adding an established bat to “take pressure off other guys in the lineup” at the expense of allowing some younger options to develop or receive a legitimate chance at playing time. The Twins have some options at designated hitter in the form of C.J. Cron and Tyler Austin, though Falvey was also clear in indicating that the Twins “feel like there’s still an opportunity on the board to bring in someone who will help our lineup.” Whether that ultimately leads to a move remains to be seen, but adding someone of Cruz’s caliber to a lineup also featuring Cron, Eddie Rosario, Miguel Sano and Jonathan Schoop would give the Twins quite a bit of power potential in 2019 and add some stability to a group that is in need of several rebound seasons (Sano, Schoop, Byron Buxton).
More from the division…
- As part of his latest mailbag column, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press takes a look at what the addition of both Matt Moore and Tyson Ross means for Daniel Norris’ future with the Tigers. As Fenech notes, the pair of additions sends a message to Norris that he won’t be guaranteed a starting job and will need to force his way into the rotation. Once considered one of the game’s premier pitching prospects — Norris ranked as a Top 20 overall prospect per both Baseball America and MLB.com in 2015 — the now-25-year-old Norris has just a 4.61 ERA in 252 innings with the Tigers. His development was undeniably slowed by a frightening battle with thyroid cancer in 2016, and Norris also underwent surgery to repair a groin tear earlier this season. Fenech adds that “behind-the-scenes, [the Tigers] have not been bashful in their views that Norris needs to take a step forward, and soon.” Detroit controls Norris through the 2021 season.
- Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti said it has yet to be decided if the money saved so far in the offseason trades of Edwin Encarnacion, Yan Gomes and Yonder Alonso would be reinvested into the 2019 roster, writes Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. That’s not to say that Cleveland has decided not to spend any of its newfound resources, however, and it’s perhaps unsurprising that any top-ranking exec would decline to make firm promises when it comes to spending a specific amount on the roster. Hoynes goes on to suggest that a bullpen addition such as Adam Ottavino doesn’t seem particularly likely if the pitcher in question hopes to sign for something near Andrew Miller’s $25MM guarantee, however, casting a bit more doubt on Cleveland’s spending capacity. All that said, the trade market would present innumerable paths to improving the roster in an effort to gear up for a run at a fourth consecutive division championship, and there will certainly be more affordable bullpen options as the offseason wears on.