Twins Determined to Field Competitive Team in 2023

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After losing out on Carlos Correa earlier this week, the Minnesota Twins went back to the drawing board the last couple of days. ‘Where do we go now’, was the main topic of discussion.

And according to Dan Hayes (The Athletic), they came out of those internal meetings determined to find another path to immediate success. Twins’ higher ups, Derek Falvey and Dave St. Peter, along with other internal sources, told Hayes that there will be no rebuild.

After falling $65 million shy of San Francisco’s offer in their bid to retain Correa, the Twins again find themselves in the all-too-familiar territory of having to pivot from their intended target. Believing their division is winnable, the Twins don’t plan to dial it back for the 2023 season, even after losing out on their best chance at acquiring impact talent. Dan Hayes (The Athletic)

Shortstop Problems

As pointed out in the story, the Twins’ front office is used to offseason pivots because Plan A rarely (if ever), works out for them. The free agency market is thin, at this point, and while there is still some talent available, trades seem like the more likely route.

Finding what they need, if they really want to compete for a division crown, will be easier said than done. They still need a shortstop and Dansby Swanson is the only remaining free agent worth his weight in salary. Unfortunately, Swanson isn’t showing much interest in the Twin Cities and appears destined for Atlanta or Chicago (Cubs).

That means the 2023 Minnesota Twins are likely to write in newly acquired Kyle Farmer into the starting lineup at SS, until Royce Lewis returns from his 2nd ACL tear. That’s not expected to happen until midseason.

Twins Eyeing Remaining Free Agents

According to Hayes, the Twins are targeting (3B) Justin Turner, (DH) Joey Gallo and (OF) AJ Pollock in free agency. All three are decent players but all three are also 30 y/o or older and on the decline. It’s unlikely that acquiring any of the three would move the needle for fans or the Twins’ hopes at a 2023 division title.

Alternatively, a team source said some current free-agent targets include veteran right-handed hitters Justin Turner, Joey Gallo and A.J. Pollock. The Twins also are engaged on the trade market, with president of baseball operations Derek Falvey saying he’ll use the entire offseason up to Opening Day working to improve the roster. Dan Hayes (The Athletic)

In reality, the front office will look to improve their roster via trade and, there again, Derek Falvey and Thad Levine will face a plethora of obstacles because the farm system doesn’t have a lot to offer. Unless they’re willing to part with a blue chip prospect like Brooks Lee, which is highly unlikely.

Front office looking to “surprise some people”

Nonetheless, the Twins appear intent on trading their way to competitiveness, even if the deals they make send shockwaves through the fanbase. This quote from Dave St. Peter caught my eye.

“I know the offseason isn’t done yet and this will take twists and turns. Some of those moves are probably going to surprise some people. We’ll see where this takes us.” — President Dave St. Peter (via Dan Hayes – The Athletic)

We’ve already seen Luis Arraez’ name floated in trade rumors, along with Max Kepler. But Kepler isn’t going to be the Twins’ main trade chip in any blockbuster deal that will immediately change their outlook in 2023. And it’s difficult to imagine the team getting better by trading away the 2022 AL batting champion.

So that begs the question, what kind of trade ideas could Minnesota’s front office possibly have up their sleeves that would (a) surprise people and (b) make the team immediately competitive next season?

Or are Minnesota Twins fans, again, being asked to buy an offseason package of fraudulent goods from this organization?

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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