Minnesota Twins – MLB Trade Rumors 2020-10-20T03:21:32Z https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/feed/atom WordPress Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Jorge Polanco Undergoes Ankle Surgery]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=251281 2020-10-12T17:44:41Z 2020-10-12T17:42:23Z OCT. 12: Polanco had surgery last week to remove “a mild bone spur and small bone chip on his right ankle,” Betsy Helfand of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tweets. The Twins expect Polanco to be fine for spring training.

OCT. 1: The Twins’ season came to an unceremonious end Wednesday with a two-game elimination against the Astros. The back-to-back AL Central champions could now see one of their key players go under the knife, as president of baseball operations Derek Falvey said Thursday that shortstop Jorge Polanco may need surgery as a result of right ankle problems, Aaron Gleeman of The Athletic and Phil Miller of the Star Tribune were among those to report.

“He battled every day, but he was not playing at full strength for a good chunk of the year,” Falvey said of Polanco, who missed just five of the Twins’ 60 regular-season games.

It was only a year ago that Polanco broke out as one of the majors’ finest infielders, slashing .295/.356/.485 with 22 home runs and 4.0 fWAR in 704 plate appearances. This year wasn’t nearly as successful – Polanco, 27, hit .258/.304/.354 with four HRs over 226 PA – but it appears his health (or lack thereof) played a role in his statistical decline.

Notably, Polanco underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right ankle last November, though it doesn’t appear that procedure erased his issues. Falvey said the Twins “need to assess whether or not there is something else going on there that we need to address.”

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Pirates Claim Sean Poppen, Designate JT Riddle]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=251115 2020-10-01T20:31:39Z 2020-10-01T20:24:00Z The Pirates have claimed right-hander Sean Poppen off waivers from the Twins, Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic tweets. Pittsburgh designated infielder/outfielder JT Riddle for assignment in a corresponding move.

Poppen, whom the Twins designated earlier this week, saw brief action with the team in each of the past two seasons, but the 26-year-old Harvard alumnus struggled along the way. He’ll join the Pirates with a 6.19 ERA (but a far better 3.33 FIP), 10.69 K/9, 5.06 BB/9 and a 48.8 percent groundball rate over 16 big league innings. Poppen was effective during his Triple-A debut a year ago, though, as he threw 61 innings of 3.84 ERA/3.92 FIP ball, notched 10.03 K/9 against 3.98 BB/9, and posted an excellent 56.9 GB percentage.

Riddle joined the Pirates on an $850K deal last offseason after logging significant at-bats with the Marlins from 2017-19. The 28-year-old recorded a woeful line with the Bucs, hitting .149/.174/.224 with one home run and a 4 wRC+ in 69 plate appearances. Overall, Riddle has batted .222/.261/.355 with 19 HRs through 787 PA in the majors.

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Mutual Interest Between Twins, Nelson Cruz]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=250664 2020-10-01T16:47:14Z 2020-10-01T16:40:37Z Oct. 1: Asked about Cruz’s comments today, Twins president of baseball operations Derek Falvey tells Park: “The feeling is mutual. We don’t feel any differently than Nellie does. We see a fit for him here, and we’re hopeful that can work out.”

It’s worth noting that GM Thad Levine said back in January that the two sides discussed a new deal. Such business is typically completed in Spring Training, though, and the league’s shutdown and ensuing transactions freeze surely impacted negotiations. Cruz’s camp will undoubtedly be very interested to see whether the 2020 advent of the universal DH becomes a permanent rule change, as that would open up a whole new list of potential suitors. If nothing else, that could create negotiating leverage even if Cruz is intent on a third season in Minnesota.

Sept. 30: Twins superstar designated hitter Nelson Cruz may have played his final game with the team Wednesday in a season-ending defeat against the Astros. If the pending free agent has it his way, though, he’ll remain with the Twins.

“Hopefully, I’ll be back next year,” Cruz said after the Astros swept the Twins in a best-of-three series, Do-Hyoung Park of MLB.com tweets.

Despite yet another all-too-early playoff exit, it’s hard to believe the Twins won’t do everything within reason to retain Cruz. They signed the former Rangers, Orioles and Mariners slugger to a one-year, $14.3MM guarantee with a 2020 option back in January ’19, and he has continued to be a source of nightmares for opposing pitchers since then. After Cruz turned in another dominant season in his only guaranteed year of the deal, the Twins made the easy decision to pick up a $12MM club option last winter.

Cruz, despite having turned 40 in July, repaid the Twins with what may have been the best regular season of his career. He wound up with a career-high 164 wRC+ (tied with Mike Trout for the majors’ seventh-best mark among qualified hitters) and a .303/.397/.595 line with 16 home runs across 214 plate appearances. Cruz hasn’t finished any season with a worse wRC+ than 133 since 2013, so it’s hard to imagine that his production will suddenly fall off a cliff in the near future. And age will limit Cruz’s earning power as heads toward another trip to free agency, which should increase the Twins’ chances of re-signing him to a reasonably priced short-term pact.

Steve Adams <![CDATA[Twins Set Wild Card Series Roster; Buxton Active, Donaldson Out]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=250284 2020-09-29T16:32:35Z 2020-09-29T16:32:35Z The Twins have formally announced their 28-man roster for their three-game Wild Card series against the visiting Astros. Among the most notable decisions is the inclusion of center fielder Byron Buxton and the omission of third baseman Josh Donaldson. Buxton has been recovering from concussion symptoms since being hit in the head with a pitch, while Donaldson has been battling renewed calf issues. Both worked out yesterday, but it seems Donaldson is still not quite up to good enough health to factor into the first round. He could still be added for future rounds, should the Twins advance.

Also notable on the Twins’ roster is top prospect Alex Kirilloff, whose previously reported promotion could lead to a rare MLB debut in the postseason. The Twins aren’t carrying lefty Rich Hill due to the fact that he tossed 93 pitches in the regular season finale Sunday. Right-hander Jake Odorizzi is back from a blister, but he’ll likely work in relief. Here’s a rundown of the Twins’ postseason roster for Round 1 of play:

Right-Handed Pitchers

Left-Handed Pitchers




Designated Hitter

The Twins’ taxi squad includes righty Jorge Alcala, infielder Travis Blankenhorn, righty Edwar Colina, Donaldson, top pitching prospect Jhoan Duran, right-hander Juan Minaya, lefty Devin Smeltzer, left-hander Lewis Thorpe and outfielder LaMonte Wade Jr., per the team.

Steve Adams <![CDATA[Twins Designate Sean Poppen For Assignment]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=250280 2020-09-29T15:21:04Z 2020-09-29T15:21:04Z The Twins announced this morning that right-hander Sean Poppen has been designated for assignment. His spot on the 40-man roster will go to top outfield prospect Alex Kirilloff, who is being promoted for his MLB debut in Minnesota’s Wild Card showdown with the Astros.

Poppen, 26, has seen limited big league time with the Twins in each of the past two seasons, pitching to a combined 6.19 ERA and 3.33 FIP with a 19-to-9 K/BB ratio in 16 innings of relief. A 19th-round pick by the Twins back in 2016, Poppen carries a 3.84 ERA and a 68-to-27 K/BB ratio in 61 innings of work in Triple-A. He averages 94 mph on his sinker and has multiple minor league options remaining beyond the 2020 season, which could prompt another club to take a speculative look with a waiver claim.

Steve Adams <![CDATA[Twins To Add Top Prospect Alex Kirilloff To Playoff Roster]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=250239 2020-09-29T14:41:54Z 2020-09-29T14:24:22Z In a surprise move, the Twins are set to promote top outfield prospect Alex Kirilloff for what would be his MLB debut during the first round of the postseason. Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported last night that the move was being discussed, and both Seth Stohs of TwinsDaily.com and Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com (Twitter link) hear that Kirilloff is indeed being added to the big league roster. His contract will need to be formally selected, although fellow rookie outfielder Brent Rooker is on the 10-day IL with a season-ending forearm fracture, so he could just be moved to the 45-day injured list to open a spot on the 40-man roster.

Alex Kirilloff | David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports

Kirilloff, 22, was the No. 15 overall pick of the 2016 draft. He missed the 2017 due to Tommy John surgery but cemented himself as one of the game’s top 50 overall prospects when he laid waste to Class-A pitching in his 2018 return. The Pittsburgh native split that season between Class-A and Class-A Advanced, posting a combined .348/.392/.578 slash with 20 homers, 44 doubles and seven triples in just 561 plate appearances. He followed that up with a .283/.343/.413 slash that was good for a 121 wRC+ in the pitcher-friendly Double-A Southern League last year.

The move to bring Kirilloff up could very well mean bad news for either Byron Buxton or Josh Donaldson, each of whom has been hobbled by injuries recently. Buxton showed concussion symptoms after being hit in the head by a pitch late last week, while Donaldson has again been dealing with calf issues. Both Buxton and Donaldson worked out with the club yesterday, and manager Rocco Baldelli tabbed it a “relatively good day” for both players.

If and when Kirilloff is added to the roster there’s no guarantee he’ll draw a start in the series. Even if Buxton is sidelined, the club could lean on Eddie Rosario, Jake Cave and Max Kepler across the outfield. Kirilloff, as is the case with that trio, is a left-handed bat, so he wouldn’t even necessarily draw a platoon-based date with Houston lefty Framber Valdez. At the very least, however, he’d give the club an intriguing lefty bat to pinch-hit. Kirilloff has experience at all three outfield positions and at first base as well, so Baldelli could work him into the mix in a variety of ways.

Kirilloff won’t get any big league service time for appearing on the Major League roster in the playoffs, but his promotion only further confirms that he’s on the cusp of an audition as an everyday piece in Minnesota. The only question is just where he’ll slot in. The Twins locked Kepler up on a five-year extension just last year and control Buxton through the 2022 season. Rosario, meanwhile, is only controlled through 2021. Between fellow top 100 prospect Trevor Larnach and the aforementioned Rooker, Minnesota is well stocked with corner outfield bats that are MLB-ready or quite close to it.

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Latest On Josh Donaldson, Byron Buxton]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=250137 2020-09-29T03:08:26Z 2020-09-29T03:06:39Z
  • Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson (calf) and center fielder Byron Buxton (concussion) had “a relatively good day” Monday, according to manager Rocco Baldelli (via Betsy Helfand of the St. Paul Pioneer Press). Donaldson battled calf problems in the past, but that didn’t stop the Twins from signing him to a four-year, $92MM contract in the offseason. Further calf troubles have held Donaldson to 28 games this year, though, and he hasn’t played since Sept. 25. Buxton, who also has a history of injuries, only played in 39 regular-season games. However, even without full campaigns from either of those two, the Twins won 36 games en route to a second straight AL Central title. They should be even stronger if the two are ready for playoff action.
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    TC Zencka <![CDATA[MLB Finalizes 16-Team Playoff Bracket]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=249303 2020-09-28T02:00:04Z 2020-09-27T23:53:32Z With a hectic final day of play in the books, the 2020 playoff field is officially set – which visual learners can view here from MLB Network. The defending World Series champion Nationals and their newly-crowned batting champion Juan Soto will watch from home.  The Mets and Phillies turned in disappointing seasons, while the Marlins stunned their NL East counterparts to enter the postseason as the #6 seed in the National League. The Braves weathered a line change in their starting rotation to win their third consecutive NL East title.

    Elsewhere in the National League, Dodgers are the team to beat, while the Padres are the team to watch. The Rockies and Diamondbacks will face some hard questions in the offseason after disappointing years, while the Giants exceeded expectations but narrowly missed the postseason.

    The Central makes up half the playoff field in the National League with everyone but the Pirates continuing into MLB’s second season. The Cubs took home their third division title in five seasons behind stellar years from Yu Darvish and Kyle Hendricks, but it was a difficult season for many of their core offensive players. They were also the only team in the majors to go the entire season without a single player testing positive for COVID-19, per NBC Sports Chicago and others. The Cardinals will be the #5 seed after playing two fewer games than the rest of the league, Trevor Bauer led the Reds back to the postseason by winning the NL ERA title (in a free agent year no less), and the Brewers backed into the NL’s #8 seed without ever being above .500 in 2020.

    In the American League, small markets had themselves a year. The A’s took the AL West back from the defending AL champion Astros. Speaking of, Houston finished a tumultuous year without their ace Justin Verlander. Manager Dusty Baker will lead his fifth different team to the postseason, this one joining the Brewers as one of two under-.500 teams to reach the postseason. The Angels will reboot after firing their GM earlier today, while the Rangers and Mariners continue their rebuilds.

    The Rays, meanwhile, won the AL East for the first time in a decade and they’re the top seed in the American League. The Yankees settle for second place and the Blue Jays arrive to the postseason a little earlier than expected as the AL’s #8 seed. The Red Sox took an expected step back, while the Orioles performed better than expected, staying in the playoff hunt for most of the season.

    The Twins lost in extras today, but they nonetheless secured their second consecutive AL Central title. Shane Bieber put up a potentially MVP season to get the Indians back to the playoffs. The White Sox arrived in a major way led by Tim Anderson and Jose Abreu. Only a late season slide kept them from a division crown. They’ll head to Oakland as the #7 seed. The Tigers debuted a number of players they hope will be a part of their next competitive team, while the Royals said goodbye to a franchise icon in Alex Gordon’s final season.

    It was a short and bizarre season, but the playoffs – while expanded – aren’t going to be all that different from most years. There will be neutral sites and a wild card round of 3-game series, and playoff bubbles, but once the field is pared down to eight, it’s more or less business as usual for the postseason. It should be an exciting month of October.

    Here’s the final field of 16:

    National League

    (8) Brewers at (1) Dodgers

    (5) Cardinals at (4) Padres

    (6) Marlins at (3) Cubs

    (7) Reds at (2) Braves

    American League

    (8) Blue Jays at (1) Rays

    (5) Yankees at (4) Indians

    (6) Astros at (3) Twins

    (7) White Sox at (2) A’s

    The playoffs begin on Tuesday, September 29.

    Anthony Franco <![CDATA[Latest On Twins' Injury Situations]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=248953 2020-09-26T20:44:12Z 2020-09-26T20:35:00Z
  • The Twins saw a pair of key players leave last night’s game with injuries. Third baseman Josh Donaldson departed with a right calf cramp, while center fielder Byron Buxton suffered a head contusion, per Dan Hayes of the Athletic. Neither player is in tonight’s starting lineup. Ehire Adrianza stepped in at the hot corner yesterday, while Jake Cave came in to man center. Donaldson’s situation is particularly notable; he’s got a lengthy history of calf troubles and only just returned from an IL stint due to a calf strain. Buxton, meanwhile, was hit in the head by a Lucas Sims pitch, prompting his early exit. Minnesota is a game up on both the Indians and White Sox in the AL Central. [UPDATE: Buxton is dealing with mild concussion symptoms, relays Betsy Helfand of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press. Donaldson is feeling better today and being held out as a precautionary measure, per Do-Hyoung Park of MLB.com].
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Twins Designate Homer Bailey]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=248733 2020-09-25T19:36:27Z 2020-09-25T19:21:13Z The Twins announced that they have designated right-hander Homer Bailey for assignment and selected fellow righty Edwar Colina.

    This is a surprising outcome for Bailey, a former Red who revived his career between Kansas City and Oakland last year. The Twins, fresh off an AL Central title, then signed Bailey to a one-year, $7MM guarantee last offseason. Minnesota only got two starts and eight innings from Bailey this year, though.

    Bailey, 34, landed on the injured list with biceps tendinitis after his first start of the season July 28, and he returned from nearly a two-month absence on Tuesday. Bailey threw three innings of one-run ball in that game – a win over the Tigers – but it wasn’t enough to save his job with the playoff-bound Twins, who count Kenta Maeda, Jose Berrios, Rich Hill and Michael Pineda as their top four starters.

    Colina, meanwhile, is a hard-throwing 23-year-old who ranks among the Twins’ 20 best prospects at MLB.com (No. 16) and FanGraphs (No. 16). MLB.com writes that while Colina has a chance to turn into a major league starter, “an impact reliever” role may also be in his future. Colina divided last year among High-A, Double-A and Triple-A, where he combined for a 2.96 ERA with 9.4 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 over 97 1/3 innings.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Twins Notes: Arraez, Wisler, Bailey]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=247892 2020-09-23T15:45:31Z 2020-09-23T15:45:31Z The Twins will be without second baseman Luis Arraez a bit longer than hoped after he sprained his left ankle while playing in an intrasquad game at their alternate training site, writes La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Arraez, on the IL due to tendinitis in his left knee, was eligible to return this week but will now be “reassessed” in the coming days, per skipper Rocco Baldelli, who termed the sprain as “mild.” The 23-year-old Arraez hasn’t come close to last year’s quietly excellent .334/.399/.439 output at the plate, but his .288/.336/.337 slash through 113 plate appearances this year remains respectable. He’s also still one of the hardest people in MLB to strike out, having fanned in just 9.7 percent of his plate appearances. Overall, Arraez is a .323/.384/.414 hitter with more walks (44) than strikeouts (40) through his first 479 MLB plate appearances. Veteran utilityman Marwin Gonzalez will likely continue to man second base in Arraez’s absence.

    More out of the Twin Cities…

    • The Athletic’s Dan Hayes profiles breakout Twins reliever Matt Wisler, whom the organization claimed off waivers from the Mariners early last offseason. Hayes notes that the Twins had Wisler atop their wishlist of potential minor league free agents but were happy to be able to claim him instead when he hit waivers. Pitching coach Wes Johnson tells Hayes he was “ecstatic” when the Twins, who were near the bottom of the waiver pecking order, were awarded the claim. Johnson attributed the Wisler interest to Minnesota’s “phenomenal” team of developers, who helped to identify him as a breakout candidate. “We get a lot of information,” said Johnson. “…What you see is you see Matt Wisler has tremendous vertical depth up and down and he has late movement on that.” Wisler has thrown his slider at an outrageous 86 percent clip en route to a 1.11 ERA and a 34-to-14 K/BB ratio through 24 1/3 frames with Minnesota. Hayes also chatted with Twins president of baseball operations Derek Falvey and Wisler himself about the right-hander’s turnaround.
    • The Twins have yet to determine whether right-hander Homer Bailey will be on their postseason roster, but the veteran helped his case in last night’s return from the injured list. The 34-year-old, who’d made just one start in 2020 thanks to a lengthy bout of biceps tendinitis, returned with three innings of one-run ball, allowing two hits and a walk with a hit batter and three strikeouts. Via MLB.com’s Do-Hyoung Park, Baldelli offered praise for Bailey but wouldn’t commit to the composition of the team’s playoff roster just yet. “We’re going to need — especially in this year’s playoff situation — a number of guys, especially as we move forward in the playoffs and you have the possibility of playing in these five or seven-game series with no days off,” said Baldelli. Kenta Maeda, Jose Berrios, Michael Pineda and Rich Hill seem likely to get starting nods as needed, but both Bailey and a hopefully healthy Jake Odorizzi will provide alternative options or at the very least some long relief potential.
    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Latest On Jake Odorizzi]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=247751 2020-09-23T12:29:28Z 2020-09-23T03:02:10Z
  • Twins right-hander Jake Odorizzi will “probably” be on their wild-card series roster, per manager Rocco Baldelli (via Do-Hyoung Park of MLB.com). Odorizzi has been on the IL since Sept. 19 with a blister on his right middle finger. This is the third IL stint of the year for Odorizzi, who previously dealt with back and chest issues. As a result, the Twins – who gave him a $17.8MM qualifying offer last winter – have only gotten 13 2/3 innings of 6.59 ERA pitching from Odorizzi this season. Nevertheless, they’re on their way to a second straight playoff berth.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Twins Activate Homer Bailey From 45-Day IL]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=247349 2020-09-22T15:52:46Z 2020-09-22T15:52:46Z The Twins have reinstated right-hander Homer Bailey from the 45-day injured list and optioned righty Sean Poppen to their alternate training site, per a team announcement. He’ll start tonight’s game. Minnesota’s recent outright of Zack Littell gave them a 40-man opening to accommodate Bailey’s return. They still have another 40-man spot to work with if they choose, as the Twins could move Brent Rooker, who recently fractured his forearm, to the 45-day IL as well.

    Bailey, 34, signed a one-year, $7MM deal with the Twins on the heels of a bounceback 2019 effort split between the Royals and Athletics. The longtime Reds righty was limited to 231 2/3 innings of 6.25 ERA ball in his final four years in Cincinnati but turned in 163 1/3 innings between Kansas City and Oakland last year. Bailey logged a combined 4.57 ERA but a more impressive 4.11 FIP, averaging 8.2 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 along the way. His 10.8 percent swinging-strike rate was the second-best of his career.

    This season, however, Bailey has made just one start for the Twins. It was a solid effort, as he held the Cardinals to a pair of runs on four hits and two walks with four strikeouts though five innings. But Bailey felt some discomfort in his right arm shortly thereafter, and he landed on the injured list with biceps tendinitis that has sidelined him since

    The 2020 campaign will go down as a largely lost season for the veteran righty, but he’ll have the opportunity to make at least one start in the season’s final week — perhaps two — and could yet factor into the postseason pitching staff in some manner. It won’t be a great platform him as he ventures back out into free agency, but getting back to the mound and performing reasonably well would give him a bit of a boost on the open market this winter.

    Anthony Franco <![CDATA[Nelson Cruz Scratched From Tonight's Lineup]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=246716 2020-09-20T01:02:08Z 2020-09-20T01:02:08Z
  • Twins’ DH Nelson Cruz was scratched from today’s lineup against the Cubs. He’s dealing with right knee soreness, per various reporters (including Do-Hyoung Park of MLB.com). Eddie Rosario, who was initially slated to start in left field, got to DH instead, with LaMonte Wade, Jr. taking over in left. Cruz has again been among MLB’s best hitters, slashing .314/.403/.623 over 201 plate appearances.
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    Anthony Franco <![CDATA[Tigers Manager Ron Gardenhire Retires]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=246645 2020-09-19T21:48:11Z 2020-09-19T21:08:29Z Ron Gardenhire is retiring as Tigers’ manager, effective immediately, GM Al Avila announced today (via Chris McCosky of the Detroit News). Bench coach Lloyd McClendon will take over the manager’s chair for the remainder of the season, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today. Gardenhire intended to step away from the sport at the end of the 2020 season, he informed reporters (via Evan Woodbery of MLive), but a recent bout with food poisoning contributed to his decision to make the move a week and a half early.

    This is a bittersweet day for myself and my family,” Gardenhire said in a press release. “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the countless players and coaches that I’ve had the honor of working alongside for the last 16 seasons as manager. I’d also like to thank the Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins for giving me the privilege of leading their clubhouses. While I’m stepping away from managing, I’ll be watching this group of Tigers closely in the next few years. There’s a lot of talent on this team, and a lot coming through the farm system. Tigers fans are going to enjoy the exciting times on the horizon.

    The 62-year-old leaves the sport as one of its most successful managers in recent memory. As he alluded to in his statement, he first broke into managing in Minnesota back in 2002. Those Twins teams immediately rattled off a trio of 90-plus win seasons, winning the AL Central each of those years. Gardenhire’s clubs posted above-average records in eight of his first nine seasons at the helm.

    Along the way, Minnesota broke in a handful of the game’s brightest stars. Franchise icon Joe Mauer made his MLB debut in 2004 and was named AL MVP five years later. Johan Santana, meanwhile, blossomed into a perennial Cy Young contender during the mid-2000’s, claiming the award twice.

    Bright as things were in the early portion of Gardenhire’s Minnesota tenure, they went off the rails rather quickly. The Twins never won more than 70 games in any season from 2011-14. The club fired Gardenhire after the 2014 season, ending his tenure as the second-winningest manager in franchise history.

    Somewhat surprisingly, Gardenhire remerged after a three-year hiatus, getting the Tigers’ managerial job in advance of the 2018 season. Detroit has floundered through a trio of miserable seasons since, although that was always expected with the Tigers amidst a massive rebuild. Much more pressing than wins and losses, Gardenhire was tasked with shepherding Detroit’s young players to the big league level. This season, in particular, has seen the Tigers break a few top young players, including Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal, into the big leagues.

    It’s always difficult to tell from the outside precisely how impactful a coach or manager was behind the scenes. Nevertheless, the well-respected Gardenhire drew plaudits in that regard from Avila. “I’d like to congratulate Gardy for having one of the best managerial careers in baseball history,” the GM said. “His leadership and hard work over three seasons with our ballclub has helped move us towards our goal of bringing winning baseball back to Detroit. His positive impact on our young players will be felt for years to come.”

    All told, Gardenhire’s clubs compiled a 1200-1280 record. That .484 winning percentage, of course, somewhat reflects the difficult hand he was dealt over the past few seasons in Detroit. His 1200 managerial wins rank 46th in MLB history. MLBTR congratulates Gardenhire on a fantastic career and wishes him well in retirement.