Minnesota Twins Offseason Heats Up on Wednesday

The 2020-21 Minnesota Twins offseason has been about as quiet as their 2020 playoff exit… but that’s going to change on Wednesday. By 7:00 PM CT on December 2, 2020; all Major League Baseball teams must offer contracts to the arbitration-eligible players on roster or those players become “non-tendered”.

If a player becomes “non-tendered”, the team loses its exclusive contract rights to said player and he is released into free agency, which starts January 15.

What does it mean to be “non-tendered”?

When a club “non-tenders” a player on its 40-man roster (i.e., not yet eligible for free agency), it has declined to give that player a contract for the upcoming season. The player then becomes a free agent.

When this happens, it is typically because the player’s likely raise in the arbitration process exceeds what the club projects his on-field value to be. Or a club can non-tender a player simply to clear a spot on the 40-man roster.

The decisions made at the non-tender deadline can often significantly expand the free-agent player pool.


Eddie Rosario

Eddie Rosario’s estimated arbitration contract for 2021 is expected to be around $11 million. That’s a lot of dough for a team that has three corner outfielders in AAA, who might be better than he is.

Even if Rosario were willing to take a big pay cut, I don’t know how willing the Twins would be to negotiate with him. Alex Kirilloff is ready to be a starting outfielder in the big leagues and he’s not the only one. Brent Rooker and Trevor Larnach could start for a lot of teams around Major League Baseball in 2021, too.

Teams around MLB are ready to hit the “dump” button.

Organizations are desperately trying to cut salary this offseason so Minnesota isn’t the only team expected to non-tender a talented asset. In fact, Rosario is a rather obvious one, given the situation. I’d argue his time with the Twins would be up with or without a pandemic sucking money out of baseball. Hell, there are rumors saying the Cubs might non-tender Kris Bryant…

Many around baseball are expecting some splashy surprises non-tendered on Wednesday. Hopefully, some of that talent can find its way to a Minnesota Twins roster that has some holes to fill.

Filling holes..

The Twins roster needs some work but it’s in great shape, compared to past offseasons. Outside of a possible need at DH, depending on what Nelson Cruz decides to do, and a utility backup to replace Marwin Gonzalez, the fielding/batting lineup seems pretty set.

Pitching is another conversation, entirely. With Maeda, Berrios and Pineda being the only sure-fire starters currently in the rotation, Falvine is hunting for starters who would be able to slot in somewhere from #3-#5. There will be a lot of pitchers coming available mid-January who will fit that bill.

The Minnesota Twins had a good bullpen in 2020 but we’re not sure who will be returning for 2021. Duffey and Rogers are both arbitration eligible and are expected to receive offers by the 12/2 deadline. The rest of their high-leverage guys from 2020 are set to hit free agency (May, Romo, Clippard).

Coming into focus

When the dust settles on the evening of December 2, the offseason plans of our favorite baseball team will become a bit clearer. Eddie Rosario might be a free agent and the hot stove will heat up quickly too. While free agency doesn’t start until January 15, the MLB Winter Meetings are being held from December 6-10.

“Winter Meetings” will be done remotely this offseason but that doesn’t mean the 2020-21 MLB hot stove will go cold.

Dec. 6-10: MLB’s annual Winter Meetings. They were scheduled to be held at the Omni Dallas Hotel in Texas this year, but MLB has canceled the Winter Meetings as an in-person event, and they will be held remotely instead. The annual owners meetings and GM Meetings, which typically take place in November, will take place remotely as well. The Winter Meetings are typically the busiest week of the offseason. They are chock full of trades and free agent signings and rumors.

CBS Sports

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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