Twins Unlikely to Make More Moves, Proving Offseason Incompetence Once Again

Photo: Scott Takushi - Pioneer Press

Well, the Minnesota Twins took a Carlos Correa detour that scored Jim Pohlad a couple million bucks in additional ticket sales but, in the end, we ended in the same place. With a young, talented, but underwhelming roster desperate for starting pitchers who can get guys out and eat up innings for a playoff-caliber baseball team. No Sean Manea. No Frankie Montas. Nothing.

That’s what Derek Falvey told Betsy Helfand (Pioneer Press) on Tuesday morning. The Twins are unlikely to make any more trades to bring in the front-end starting pitchers the roster so desperately needs. Minnesota’s President of Baseball Operations claims it’s too late now, which is absolutely laughable, given the circumstances.

At this point, it’s just easier to laugh than to cry. I turn 33 years old next month and I’ve done this dance 5-10 too many times. But enough about me. Let’s talk about how completely preposterous this Derek Falvey comment really is.

Pre-Lockout Failure

Free agency began back on November 7, three weeks before the MLB lockout struck on December 1. While nobody knew exactly how free agency would play out with the lockout looming, a flurry of signings, at the least, was expected. Lockout or not, this was one of the better free agency classes in recent history, especially on the mound. And lockout uncertainty was sure to push some players into any type of security they could find.

When the bell rang, reality quickly became apparent. The pace of pre-lockout free agency was going to be that of which we never really see in baseball. It was the Black Friday of MLB free agency. And if you weren’t lined up at the door and organized from the start, you could very well be left empty-handed. And that’s exactly what happened to the Minnesota Twins. Oh wait, Byron Buxton gifted them a team-friendly contract on November 28 that allowed fans to get our hopes up and Falvine to take a victory lap.

There were 15+ starting pitchers available in free agency, who would have walked into Fort Myers as a pre-ordained top-3 starter in the Twins rotation. They signed Dylan Bundy, who’s a classic example of what we see from the Twins in every free agency session. A one-time solid player who’s coming off of an injury and comes at a massive discount.

Stop the “Small Market” excuses

All of this after refusing to offer Jose Berrios a legitimate extension offer during his arbitration years, before eventually having to trade him after a (another) failed 2021 season. In recent years, they’ve let Kyle Gibson walk, Jake Odorizzi, Rich Hill, etc. This organization refuses to pay starting pitchers, even affordable ones many times, and that annual oddity continues to haunt us all in September and October.

Carlos Correa will be fun to watch, but to Jim Pohlad he’s just the star player who takes up 30% of his $114 million payroll, which currently ranks 20th in Major League Baseball (Spotrac). That’s $6 million less than the non-playoff roster they constructed in 2021, $11 million less than in 2019. According to Statistica, the Twins have the same payroll in 2022 that they did back in 2010. While other “mid-market” teams invest more, the Pohlads have are investing less.

Others like the Toronto Blue Jays ($167M), St. Louis Cardinals ($150M) and Houston Astros ($164M) are paying $150+ million in player salaries. The AL Central rival Chicago White Sox are paying $185 million. That’s $70 million more than the Twins.

Imagine who the Minnesota Twins could’ve signed with even an additional $25-$35 million? If you have to overpay a free agent or two so they choose a Minnesota destination, isn’t that better than coming in under-budget and only fielding half of a team? Especially in a one-year window to win?

I’ll never understand the Pohlad family. They wipe asses in their mansion bathrooms with $30 million but refuse to give the Minnesota Twins a legitimate run at a World Series.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan