The Twins have some interest in free agent reliever Brad Hand, reports Darren Wolfson of SKOR North (Twitter link). Minnesota is the first team firmly linked to the three-time All-Star, who’s one of a handful of left-handed relievers still on the open market.
Hand, a Twin Cities native, spent last season in Philadelphia after signing a $6MM deal with the Phillies. He appeared in 55 games, working to a 2.80 ERA across 45 innings. It was solid run prevention but came with his worst strikeout and walk numbers since his full-time bullpen transfer in 2016. Hand struck out a below-average 19.2% of opposing hitters on a very modest 7.3% swinging strike rate. He also walked batters at an elevated 11.6% clip, with that fringy strikeout and walk profile surely contributing to his lack of reported interest this offseason.
To his credit, the 6’3″ southpaw did an excellent job at staying off barrels last year. He limited opposing hitters to a woeful 26.9% hard contact rate, leading to another season in which he was excellent at keeping the ball in the yard despite lacking huge ground-ball totals. Hand has generally shown a knack for avoiding damaging contact, leaning heavily on a sweeping slider to keep hitters off balance.
33 next month, Hand isn’t as dominant now as he was during his 2016-20 peak, a five-year run in which he was amongst the sport’s most effective late-game weapons. Over that stretch, he worked to a sterling 2.70 ERA while striking out a third of opponents against an average 8.1% walk rate. Hand’s swing-and-miss stuff has fallen off the last two seasons but he’s nevertheless posted generally decent results.
The 12-year MLB veteran posted neutral platoon numbers last season but has predictably been quite a bit better against same-handed batters over the course of his career. Going back to 2016, he’s stifled left-handers to a .169/.261/.287 line while righties have put up a .228/.308/.370 mark. The Twins don’t strictly need left-handed help with Caleb Thielbar and Jovani Moran both assured of bullpen spots, but they haven’t done much to address their relief corps in any capacity this winter.
Matt Moore and Will Smith are probably the top lefty relievers still available on the open market. They’re followed by Hand, Zack Britton and Daniel Norris. The righty market is down to bounceback candidates like Corey Knebel, Jeff Hoffman and Hansel Robles.
Brad is from MN! Come on home Brad!
Beautiful friggin state. My godparents live in Maple Grove.
With what Chafin got, Brad will be lucky to get a hand-out.
Weren’t the Little House in the Prairie people from MN too?
deGrom Texas Ranger
He could give Texas a hand. It’s annoying they are this stingy on bullpen arms but are willing to blow through cash on guys like Semien and Gray. They could have had maybe 2 really good relievers and a 3rd round draft pick for what they gave to get Eovladi.
HEY. I REALLY LIKE YOUR ACCOUNT NAME.
(I’m baked rn lol)
This one belongs to the Reds
A good bullpen protects young starters. But Nick Krall sleeps with the fishes.
THIS ONE BELONGS TO THE REDS
Brad could definitely give them a much needed hand. Impressive I know.
I suspect Hand watched a lot of Joe Nathan growing up.
I’m Craven, Craven Moorehead. 🙂
Better to have one Brad Hand than two Matt Bush. Or something like that.
Matt Bush is a busta
True! But at this point, he’s more a Brad Hand-me-down.
They talk this guy up every year. I say shyt, or get off the pot.
They gon take him out to dinner on valentines day and seal the deal lmao
Brad had a nice year, cept faded in Sept/Oct. Had some walk issues, but kept that ball in the yard and was effective.
Hand usually does a good job.
DIRTY POASTIN LOVE IT FAM
shoulda kept swanson
I’m sure they will give him a hand
deGrom Texas Ranger
Murphy > Swanson
Agree or disagree?
To suggest it’s even close?
Sign or sign not. There is no ‘interest’
Camps start this week
A Hand up or a Hand out? Overall, I like this move for the Twins. Especially if, at this late date, they can grab him for a minor league deal with a invite, say $4m if he makes the MLB team. Based on what Chafin’ got that seems likely. I don’t mind the Twins having a third lefty in the pen, with an all righty starting rotation there’s going to be a lot of lefty bats to match up with in the mid-innings. He’s not what he was but he can get some of those outs for sure.
The Big Yo
Oakland A’s is gonna nab him
You mean the Las Vegas A’s? In any case, I actually feel bad for the A’s fans (who do honestly deserve better) based on this comment.
Under no circumstances should signing a questionable middle reliever at the back end of their career be the exciting coup de dat for a baseball team’s fan base. Honestly, if it’d make A’s fans happy and feel like they beat other teams out for a player, I’d be happy to see them sign the guy.
C Yards Jeff
Wow. 7 different teams, working on an 8th. Geez. Jealous. Hey Brad, I’m thinking you’ve played in just about every park. Do you have any favorite bullpen digs?
Hand him over! We’ll take him!