It appears as though the National League will go without a designated hitter in 2021. That should have meant the Minnesota Twins are re-signing Nelson Cruz, right? Not so fast.
On a new episode of The Scoop podcast that was released today, Darren Wolfson (KSTP, SKOR North) says the opposite. Apparently, contract talks between Cruz and the Twins are colder than we’ve been lead to believe. Rumors surrounding White Sox’ interest in the DH has been much more relevant the last couple days.
Here is the quote but you can listen yourself, below too. Cruz talk starts at the 1:55 mark, if you go that route.
“Here’s what I would say on Cruz. For the Twins to bring him back, some new talks would have to happen. A new offer would have to happen. That hasn’t happened for a while. So could it change? It could, all it takes is one new call or one new offer but as of now, as of Monday evening, talks have been pretty dead for a stretch here. I don’t know if I see Nellie Cruz back in a Twins uniform here in 2021.”Darren Wolfson (KSTP, SKOR North)
If not Cruz, then who?
If the Twins don’t bring back Cruz for, let’s say $15 million, then what is the alternative? With the payroll sitting at about $90 million and likely to finish around $125 million, the Twins have money to spend.
It should be expected that we will see three more impactful moves from the Twins. Likely one middle infielder, one starting pitcher, and one relief pitcher. Here are three realistic options for those positions. Pick one player from each group.
- IF: Marcus Semien, Didi Gregorius, Andrelton Simmons (~$15 Million)
- SP: Jake Odorizzi, Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton (~$15 million)
- RP: Tyler Clippard, Joakim Soria, Mark Melancon (~5 million)
Obviously, there will be other moves that round out the roster for cheap, but I expect those three positions to see more significant signings, before we’re said and done this offseason.
If these recent rumors are true and Nelson Cruz doesn’t return, the Twins’ DH slot becomes wide open and would probably be filled by committee. Between, Kirilloff, Donaldson, Sano, Rooker, Polanco and their (hopefully) big middle infield signing, they should be ok.
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan