Which Member of the Bomba Squad will be in a Minnesota Twins Uniform the Longest?

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2019 was the best season in a long time for the Minnesota Twins. They won 101 games, hit an MLB record 307 home runs (thanks to Manfred juicing the balls), and won their first division title since 2010. 

The offseason was frustrating for some fans, mainly for those looking for a star pitcher. But the Twins did add another potent bat in Josh Donaldson, so we can piece together the starting lineup for the 2020 season (if it happens).

With so much star power and talent mixed into a variety of different contract situations, I got to wondering which starting position player currently on roster would be the last one to eventually fall out of the lineup. So, ranking them from least likely to stick around, to most likely, seemed like a fun exercise.

Eddie Rosario

Contract Status: $7.75 million, arbitration eligible, free agent 2022

2019 Stats: 137 games, .276/.300/.500, .800 OPS, 91 runs, 109 RBI, 32 HR, 1.7 WAR

Eddie is a fan favorite. But Rosario’s production is more show than substance. Rosario swings at seemingly everything and isn’t as valuable as his home run numbers say he his. He definitely has power and can hit all over the zone; but that is also part of the problem. He’s willing to go after any pitch anywhere in or out of the zone. I don’t think he’ll make it to 2022, I think he’s more likely to get traded than to leave as a FA.

There have already been talks from fans and media about trading him and if he continues to flail at everything his value will only go down. That plus an already potent outfield makes it hard to envision Eddie on the team much longer. With Kepler rising as a star, Buxton being great if healthy, and Alex Kirilloff coming up soon it’s not hard to replace Eddie if the team needs a pitcher or two.

Nelson Cruz

Contract Status: $13 million AAV, free agent 2021

2019 Stats: 120 games, .311/.392/.639, 1.031 OPS, 81 runs, 108 RBI, 41 HR, 4.4 WAR

This one is mainly about age. Cruz is the only player on this list not on the team after 2020. And while an extension could come, Nellie will turn 40 this season and might not be up for another year. Being a good player could mean he leaves in free agency too. A final year reunion with Texas makes some sense if Cruz hangs it up after this year.

This is one player that most likely the Twins don’t have to think about; with his power and average he is a player we want on the team. How long he’ll be productive is an unknown, which might make the Twins hesitant to keep him past this year. His INABILITY.

Byron Buxton

Contract Status: $3.08 million arbitration eligible, free agent 2023

2019 Stats: 87 games, .262/.314/.513, .827 OPS, 48 runs, 46 RBI. 10 HR, 3.1 WAR

The only player on the roster that fielding makes a major difference in this discussion. Buxton could still be considered a prospect by teams, and his trade value is still very high. His value as a Twin though, hasn’t been as advertised. This is mostly due to durability. Buxton hasn’t been able to stay on the field consistently the past few years, and that hurts the Twins.

Due to his injury history Buxton can’t play his all-out 100% defense without then what’s the point of having Buxton? Batting would have been a discussion before last season, when Buxton really started to put it all together. In conclusion, I wouldn’t be surprised if Buxton get’s moved for a Syndergaard-esque pitcher (maybe not Syndergaard himself after TJ surgery).


Jorge Polanco

Contract Status: $5.15 million AAV, free agent 2024

2019 Stats: 153 games, .295/.356/.485, .841 OPS, 107 runs, 79 RBI, 22 HR, 4.8 WAR

Polanco put it all together in the first half of last season, hitting for an amazing average at the beginning of the season and showing a little power as well. But he slowly declined in the second half of the season. Polanco showed some fielding prowess last year, but made a few key errors (including in a game we lost in Milwaukee that I was at!).

Polanco doesn’t really have an area where he jumps out at you, and could be moved for a pitcher or prospect. Plus, with Nick Gordon and Royce Lewis waiting in the wings, the middle infield is set for a while.

Luis Arraez

Contract Status: Pre-arbitration eligible, free agent 2026

2019 Stats: 92 games, .334/.399/.439, .838 OPS, 54 runs, 28 RBI, 4 HR, 1.8 WAR

Luis Arraez had a higher WAR than Eddie Rosario last year. But as just stated, Nick Gordon and Royce Lewis are waiting. It will be very hard for Arraez to replicate the success he had in his first year. Hitting for an amazing average and almost no power at all, Arraez doesn’t fit the standard for today’s game.

That might being a good thing. With all the power the Twins have throughout their lineup, they do need a guy to get on base. However it may be hard to envision keeping or trading both Arraez and Polanco. I had to choose one that will stay, it’s Arraez; as he is by far the youngest player on this list.

Miguel Sano

Contract Status: $10 million AAV, free agent 2023

2019 Stats: 105 games, .247/.346/.576, .923 OPS, 76 runs, 79 RBI, 34 HR, 3.0 WAR

Miguel Sano finally showed last year that if he can stay healthy and keep the weight down, he can contribute in a major way. Hitting for unbelievable power is something we knew he could do since he was a rookie in 2015, but he had a decent average for a power hitter also. Sano might get an extension, but until he does he is here for a shorter time than the rest of the list. 


Josh Donaldson

Contract Status: $23 million AAV, free agent 2024

2019 Stats: 155 games, .259/.379/.521, .900 OPS, 96 runs, 94 RBI, 37 HR, 6.0 WAR

The Twins gave Donaldson a 4-year, $92 million contract this past offseason. Which leaves this scenario pretty simple: either Donaldson balls out and earns his money or he declines and has little trade value. Either way it looks like the Twins are keeping him for all 4 years.

Mitch Garver

Contract Status: Pre-arbitration eligible, free agent 2024

2019 Stats: 93 games, .273/.365/.630, .995 OPS, 70 runs, 67 RBI, 31 HR, 4.1 WAR

Mitch Garver is a catcher who hit over 30 home runs. That’s not common. Garver had by far his best season in 2019 and hasn’t hit arbitration yet. He’ll likely get an extension and be with the team for a while. While you can argue catcher’s don’t have as much value because they usually play less than 100 games, Garver is definitely a piece the Twins will build around in the future. It will be hard to replicate his 2019 production. But if Garver comes close, keeping him is worth it. 

Max Kepler 

Contract Status: $7 million AAV, free agent 2024 with a team option

2019 Stats: 134 games, .252/.336/.519, .855 OPS, 98 runs, 90 RBI, 36 HR, 4.1 WAR

Max Kepler is a quiet star in Major League Baseball. If he can stay healthy, he is no doubt a leader on this Twins team. Having Major League experience since 2015, Maximillian put it all together last year along with many of his teammates. A late-season injury prevented him from hitting 40 home runs, and was just 2 runs away from 100. He’s pretty good in the field as well. But most importantly, the contract he signed last year is massively team-friendly. There’s no way he gets traded before 2025. 


Jason Sellers | Minnesota Sports Fan

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