With Opening Day less than two months away and pitchers and catchers ready to report for Spring Training in less than two weeks, a narrative shift has blown into the plugged in corners of the Minnesota Twins internet. The winds of change involve Alex Kirilloff and a lot of Pohlad pocket protecting buzzwords that are sure to irritate a good chunk of the fanbase.
If you were hoping to see Alex Kirilloff in left field on April 1st, then you might want to buy a St. Paul Saints ticket. Dan Hayes and Aaron Gleeman (both of The Athletic) wrote Monday morning that they are projecting Alex Kirilloff to start 2021 in the minors, where he will remain for most of April, to save a year of service time.
20 games now to save a year later…
The Twins like Rooker’s bat and he could see a fair amount of playing time in a left-field platoon with Cave and perhaps even Arraez to start. Where things will get cloudy is at whatever point Kirilloff joins the team. My money is on a late-April arrival that guarantees the Twins a seventh season of club control.Dan Hayes – The Athletic
So much of any outfield roster projection hinges on the plan with Kirilloff. Like [Dan Hayes wrote], I’m assuming they’ll start him in the minors, and with Wade gone, Cave is the obvious placeholder. It’s unfortunate that MLB’s service-time rules incentivize teams to delay the arrivals of top prospects, but a Cave-Rooker platoon, with some Arraez mixed in, could be very productive in the meantime.Aaron Gleeman – The Athletic
According to Gleeman, if the Twins start Alex Kirilloff in St.Paul on Opening Day and keep him there for the first 20 big league games this spring, they’ll gain one full year of contract control in the future. In a 162 game season, that’s difficult to turn down. But at the same time, we’re talking SEVEN years of control instead of SIX.
With so much time for the unknown to occur, is that seventh year really worth pissing off a large chunk of your fanbase, a future star and his agent?
Honestly, I don’t know the answer to that question.
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan