Club 16: Minnesota Twins
If there was going to be a team in 2017 who made a surprising run to the postseason, no one predicted it would have been the Minnesota Twins. That’s exactly what happened though, as the Twins saw young stars Byron Buxton and Jose Berrios make huge strides and lead the Twins to a surprising trip to the postseason. They didn’t rest on their laurels in 2018, as the Twins have signed a number of players to make a charge at the Cleveland Indians and challenge for the AL Central title.
|Baltimore||Chicago AL||Houston||Atlanta||Chicago NL||Arizona|
|New York AL||Detroit||Oakland||New York NL||Milwaukee||Los Angeles|
|Tampa Bay||Kansas City||Seattle||Philadelphia||Pittsburgh||San Diego|
|Toronto||Minnesota||Texas||Washington||St. Louis||San Francisco|
2017 Record: 85-77, lost to the New York Yankees in the AL Wild Card game
Acquisitions: SP Michael Pineda (free agent)*, CL Fernando Rodney (free agent), RP Zach Duke (free agent), RP Addison Reed (free agent), SP Jake Odorizzi (trade – TB), SS Erick Aybar (minors – ST invite), 1B Logan Morrison (free agent), SP Lance Lynn (free agent)
Departures: P Hector Santiago (free agent), RP Glen Perkins (free agent), SP Bartolo Colon (free agent), RP Matt Belisle (free agent), RP Dillon Gee (free agent), C Chris Gimenez (free agent)
2B Brian Dozier
1B Joe Mauer
3B Miguel Sano
DH Logan Morrison
LF Eddie Rosario
CF Byron Buxton
RF Max Kepler
SS Jorge Polanco
C Jason Castro
SP Jose Berrios
SP Jake Odorizzi
SP Lance Lynn
SP Kyle Gibson
SP Phil Hughes
SP Ervin Santana* (out until at least May 1 due to injury)
Right now, both Kyle Gibson and Phil Hughes are slotted for the rotation due to Ervin Santana’s finger injury, so upon his return the Twins will have to decide between Gibson and Hughes for the fifth spot in the rotation.
The Minnesota Twins had no expectations of the playoffs in 2017, but as the season wore on Paul Molitor’s team stayed within reach and pulled it out at the end of the season, making their first postseason appearance since 2010. Unfortunately for the Twins however, the team is still looking for their first postseason win since 2004. The Twins may very well have won the off-season, getting some quality players on the cheap, including DH Logan Morrison and SP Lance Lynn. The Twins waited until the market came down late in free agency and added some very quality players to attempt to make a run at the Indians for the AL Central. At the very least the Twins should be considered one of the favorites for one of the two wild card spots, along with the Red Sox/Yankees loser and the Angels. When Ervin Santana is healthy (which should be around May 1st), their 1 through 4 starters should be among the best in the league. With the addition of Logan Morrison, the Twins offense appears to be balanced, and it doesn’t hurt adding a guy who hit 38 home runs last season. The Twins probably won’t win the AL Central, but a playoff spot is certainly in reach because of how weak the AL Central is after the Indians and themselves.
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