After a disappointing season, the next seven months will be critical for the Minnesota Twins. With a pitching rotation that has all five spots up for grabs and a lineup looking to find more consistency, it’s hard to predict what the Twins will look like in 2022.
Have no fear because Clairvoyant Chris has you covered.
By looking into the future, we can see just what exactly the Twins have up their sleeve. Is it enough to bring this team back into contention? Let’s take a look.
The 2021 season concludes with the Boston Red Sox winning the World Series over the Los Angeles Dodgers. While the Fenway Park staff feverishly dismantles the cameras hidden throughout the stadium, the other 29 teams, including the Twins, make their initial preparations for free agency.
Rumors soon surface that the Twins are in on several of the top free agents. In no place are they more aggressive than the shortstop market. Fans immediately dream of adding Carlos Correa or Trevor Story, but their attention remains on how the Minnesota Vikings will collapse.
A local interview with Derek Falvey confirms that the Twins aren’t messing around. He says that Jim Pohlad has given him free rein to get what he needs in free agency and rumors continue to percolate from major league sources.
One source indicates that the Twins have been digging through the starting pitching market. In their quest for legitimate pitching, they have called the agents of Max Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw, and others on the possibility of a lucrative short-term deal.
The first important deadline of the season arrives as the Twins have to tender their arbitration-eligible players. Byron Buxton and Taylor Rogers are among several Twins who get an offer instantly, but the team is still looking for ways to clear money to make a run at several free agents.
They ultimately decide that Willians Astudillo is the odd man out even though he still has three years of arbitration. With positional versatility and the pride of being the Twins’ ERA leader, Astudillo has a hotter market than expected and signs a one-year deal with the Detroit Tigers.
The Twins front office packs up and heads to the MLB Winter Meetings and begins to mingle about, discussing potential trades with other GMs. The winter meetings may be a key opportunity to find a cheap reliever, and Falvey and Levine plant the seeds for a big move later in the offseason.
They also use this time to prepare for the Rule 5 draft by setting their 40-man roster. After hours of sweating and number crunching, the front office decides to leave Wander Javier unprotected, and he is immediately scooped up by the Baltimore Orioles.
After months of rumors, some of the top names finally sign with new teams, but none chose Minnesota. Fans are especially frustrated when Correa signs a monster 10-year, $250 million contract with the Tigers but are told that the Twins were in the running and came in second place.
Scared off by the thought of a long-term contract for an aging starter, the Twins also miss out on the pitching market and watch as every starter with a track record comes off the board.
The Twins open the gates at Target Field for TwinsFest, but nobody is in a celebratory mood. Falvey is asked by a fan why they couldn’t bring a top name home in free agency, and he takes a moment to think of his answer.
“That’s a complicated question,” Falvey responds. “To be clear, you have to ask yourself what is true value. In this market, you can never be sure, and sometimes value can appear to be value, but it’s really not value at all.”
Weirdly, this is the same thing he said to a kid in the Wendy’s drive-thru when asked if he wanted the “value meal.”
Weeks before spring training, the Twins finally strike on some deals. Fans are sad to see Ryan Jeffers get traded, but the Twins get a young reliever with a devastating slider in return. They also hit the free-agent market, signing Matt Harvey, Jon Lester, Corey Kluber, and Chris Archer to one-year deals worth a total of $20 million.
Videos of Miguel Sanó surface on social media, and he looks jacked. One video of a 500-foot home run in a Dominican Winter League has Twins fans so hyped, Zone Coverage crashes, and everyone thinks this may be the year he realizes his potential.
More reports indicate that the Twins have continued contract negotiations with Buxton, which could reach a deal before free agency. The two sides have had dialogue, and a report says the Twins have upped their offer to $90 million over five years with “a good, old-fashioned handshake.”
Spring training begins, and optimism is everywhere. Josh Donaldson looks like a former MVP, and Buxton added more muscle in the offseason. But nobody looks more ready than Sanó, who starts hitting fastball after fastball into the Hammond Stadium parking lot during batting practice.
However, the Twins can’t find the same success once the games start. The bats go cold, and the pitching seems a bit shaky, but Rocco Baldelli says that his team will be ready once the season begins.