Twins general manager Thad Levine provided some general updates on his team’s winter plans during a podcast interview with SKOR North’s Darren Wolfson (audio link). With J.A. Happ signed to the rotation earlier this week, more additions could still be in the offing, since Levine feels “we’re starting to see things really de-congest” in the free agent market.
“We’re not done. We still have some flexibility, we’re still having ongoing conversations, we still see many ways we can improve this team both from a qualitative standpoint and from a depth standpoint,” Levine said.
As you might expect, Levine declined to get into detail about many names, but did note that the Twins are “staying in touch” with reliever Tyler Clippard and “are in constant conversation” with Nelson Cruz’s representatives. Interestingly, Wolfson opened the pre-interview portion of the podcast by noting that talks have been “pretty dead” between Cruz and the Twins, and it has been some time since the club presented Cruz with an offer. As Wolfson puts it, however, “all it takes is one new call” to reignite talks, as both sides are pretty familiar with each other’s positions. As has been the case all offseason, Cruz’s situation might not be resolved until there is firmer clarity on whether or not the National League will use the DH in 2021.
In terms of specific needs, the Twins are always interested in more arms (“If in doubt, add more pitching,” Levine said), particularly as pitchers re-adjust to throwing more innings in the wake of the abbreviated 2020 season. Beyond pitchers, Levine is open to all possibilities on the position-player front, due to Minnesota’s versatile roster.
“When we look at the free agent market, we do not feel limited in terms of bats that we can go recruit….We do have such amazing flexibility within our team [that] you could almost recruit a player at about any position on the field and still make it work,” the GM said.
The Twins are also exploring options on the trade market, and Levine said that technically, there aren’t any so-called untouchable players on the roster — as a general principle, the organization has to be open to anything should an opportunity arise, but obviously the Twins are “less inclined” to shop or discuss certain top-tier players and prospects. Levine also added that the Twins had received trade interest in “over 30 distinct players” within the organization over the last year, which the general manager considered a positive endorsement of Minnesota’s talent depth at both the Major League and minor league levels.
Predicted darkside lukewarm take::
“chuh. et meh bawahaha. omegele.”
hows your day been Lolz? anything new with you lately?
If Happ doesn’t run out of gas he was a great bargain. Guy continues to put up crazy good seasons under the radar.
i wouldnt say crazy good. good #3 or #4 numbers though since his Pirates stint.
Not a fan of 3 something era’s for under 20 million on short contracts?
3.74 since 2015. nice numbers but on a playoff team he’s more of a mid rotation guy.
Twins need to get Castillo from the reds. We could unload a couple of our thousand outfielders. Also Trevor rosenthal would be awesome too
The reds have a billion OF unfortunately
Trade A triple a outfielder for pitching
The Twins could easily finish 3rd in that division. They are expecting Kirilloff to replace Rosario. They are also expecting to bring Cruz back and have him continue his ridiculous offensive pace. If either or both of those outcomes don’t happen…yikes.
Despite the talent of each of the big three in that division they all have their weaknesses. CHW lacks depth, MIN has pitching depth but its not A-class talent and Cleveland’s banking on the kids to do well. That’s why I think the Royals are a sleeper team with another solid move or two.
I gather you regard as “solid” what they spent on Minor and Santana, eh? If so, then I’m going to interpret the team as “asleep” in the division not a “sleeper.”
White Sox and Cleveland are also banking on a lot of young guys and Abreu almost certainly regresses from that amazing 60 game stretch.
Yeah Abreu regresses to what? His consistent career averages of 100RBI and .294 BA? Cruz is being replaced or re-signing? He’s expected to maintain his production at 40yrs old? I’d say he’s the more likely candidate for regression
I’d imagine a regression back to his 2018-2019 numbers where his was statistically much worse in nearly every hitting category.
Abreu regresses to what exactly? A slightly less amazing hitter like his career numbers show? Sounds like you are jealous of the Sox lineup.
Or I can use baseball reference and see outside of his rookie year many moons ago he hasn’t touched the numbers he put up last year. Is he a good hitter, yes. Is going to be an top 5 hitter in baseball going forward, probably not. That’s the regression I am talking about. Nearly impossible to have discussion with delusional fans.
When you look at baseball reference, you’ll realize that 2018 is his outlier statistical season where he missed games…. he’s a career .294 hitter…. in 5/6 seasons he’s recorded 100+ RBI, and he was obviously on pace to do so in 6/7 in his MVP season…. Maybe he’ll regress from MVP to just an All-Star
2018 ops+ 117
2019ops + 118
2020 ops + 166
2021 ?????? 34 years old
Ops + 173 2014
Solid years again nothing close to last year besides 2014 rookie season.
So according to Baseball Reference Abreu is consistently solid? Therefore, your logic is to infer that Abreu will regress from MVP to the numbers of his career worst statistical season? Because he is 34yrs old? And THIS will cost his team the division?
Oh my word. I am saying he’s a likely a top 50 hitter in 2021 not a top 5 hitter (2020). I said nothing about them losing the division. I was simply stating that the white Sox and Cleveland success next year is heavily dependent on young players and prospects just like the twins. White Sox fans seem to think they won the division and the World Series already. How dare I suggest a guy that in 2018 and 2019 was nearly a replacement level player might not win the mvp in his age 34 season.
I emphatically believe the White Sox will win the division…. because they aren’t “heavily dependent” on young players like you claim… Giolito, Jimenez, Anderson, and Moncada are established major leaguers at this point in their careers…. Kuechel, Abreu, Lynn, and Grandal are veterans…. What team is “heavily dependent” on their number 4 and 5 starters (Cease and Kopech)? What team is heavily dependent on their 7 and 9 hitters (Robert and Madrigal)? Minnesota’s offense actually WAS “heavily dependent” on Cruz, but he’s 40yrs old and a free agent
I am not even a twins fan. I don’t care about Cruz. I have no idea how he’s maintained his absurd production the last 5-6 years but it’s been ridiculously consistent. If they have to replace him with a highly touted prospect it’s comparable to banking on huge production from Jimenez or roberts. Jimenez has 700 at bats and hits in the heart of the order. Roberts and Jimenez will likely both be hitting in the top 6 of the lineup. Cease kopech and crochet have to be involved in the pitching plans. Madrigal is going to be a starter. They are definitely relying on prospects wether you think so or not.
The argument here was being “heavily dependent” on young players/prospects… If you consider Jimenez a young “developing” player, then he projects as a consistent AllStar based on his first 700 ABs…. I’d say he’s already established regardless of age…. there really is no comparison of Jimenez and Robert to AA prospects Alex Krilloff and Royce Lewis for 2021… the Twins are simply an inferior team heading into the season (with or without Cruz), and you make a really weak argument by contradicting your own logic
Sure, Abreu regresses from MVP to being just MVP candidate like he is almost every year? Dream on, buddie.
why is the Cactus League post closed for comments?
I’m wondering the same thing.
I’ve noticed TC closes comments on a lot of his posts. Idk why, I guess he doesn’t want to moderate them.
Because all the quanon trumpers get all huffy about the pandemic and say stupid things? SFB people.
Because the discussion would likely be toxic. Not the best thing when you’re trying to promote community for your website.
that’s true, but wasnt the last Cactus one left open? did it get closed later. quite frankly I just got mad about the relationship the Cactus League seems to think it has with the MLB.
Of topic, but why is there a group of people screwing with me today? https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2021/01/brewers-among-teams-showing-interest-in-justin-turner.html
I know it’s the lolzmutz guy, but it’s getting really annoying.
Yeah, saw that. I agree. Annoying, especially for you, but also for the rest of us who have to slog through lolz and his sockpuppets.
You know it, I have to scroll past your dreck constantly Rivera!
I find it annoying that you are catfishing as a high schooler for attention.
yes, the rest of us are the jerks. smh.
You’re feeding the trolls with all of the attention. Better to ignore them
Can’t trust a guy named Thad.
This off-season has been nothing short of frustration. Let’s just pick up the remaining scraps WHEN WE HAVE A WINNING TEAM! I understand we are a small(ish) market but how much longer can we keep hearing the same garbage over and over? You’ve got a white Sox team that has vastly improved and you’ve just sat there waiting on Cruz and odorizzi when you could have went after semien, Hand, and maybe even land Bauer for a year or two. Beyond frustrated.
Watch the Sox sign Cruz =D
Go ahead. He’s due for another failed PED test
Yep it is
Levine basically should of said “ hey we are cheap and prefer to deal in bargain basement signings and plan on getting swept in the playoffs yearly”. We did overpay last year on Donaldson a signing that should make our fans happy for the next 10 years and justify our cheapness
Tom Ricketts? Is that you?