December 25, 2019

Tigers, White Sox take steps to get better… and the Twins?

There’s activity afoot in the American League Central and it’s not being generated by the Minnesota Twins.

Oh, the Twins have cast a few pebbles into the pond, but nothing that’s caused anything beyond a ripple. In Detroit and Chicago, both teams appear ready to ride a slow, but growing wave of potential success.

For the Tigers, they took a page right out of the Twins’ playbook and, well, signed two ex-Twins: second baseman, Jonathan Schoop, and first baseman/designated hitter, C.J. Cron. Both are reliable fielders and both hit 20-plus home runs in 2019.

In Chicago — not on the North Side, but the South Side — the White Sox have ponied up $55 million over three years to get former AL Cy Young award winner, Dalls Keuchel. They also added pitcher Gio Gonzalez, which gives them two pitchers with experience alongside rising star, Lucas Giolito.

And in Minnesota… well… it sounds as if the Twins are still in the running, along with the Washington Nationals, to land slugging third baseman, Josh Donaldson. Both teams reportedly are willing to offer four-year deals to Donaldson, while that’s not the case for the other potential bidders, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves, according to MLB Trade Rumors.

It’s not all bad for the Twins. They have retained starting pitchers, Jake Odorizzi and Michael Pineda, plus fire-breathing reliever, Sergio Romo. They also have added journeyman reliever, Tyler Clippard, and veteran catcher, Alex Avila, who likely will split time behind the plate with Mitch Garver and Willians Astudillo.

The Twins could certainly use an infielder like Donaldson and another starting pitcher, but most of the top free agent pitchers are spoken for, including Hyun-Jin Ryu, who agreed to a four-year, $80 million deal to play for the Toronto Blue Jays. Who saw that coming?

If one of the lesser free agent pitchers doesn’t appeal to the Twins, then perhaps that next arm will have to come via a trade with another team.

Some potential targets, according to Twinkie Town.

Some options they have include David PriceRobbie RayMatthew BoydMike ClevingerSandy Alcantara, and Chris Archer among many more.

COMMENTS

Hi, I’m Rolf Boone, Twins fan.

I became a fan of the Minnesota Twins after a friendly wager in the early 1980s. I survived Ron Davis, the meltdown in Cleveland, Phil Bradley at the Kingdome and then marveled at a rising generation of stars and two World Series wins in 1987 and 1991. Brad Radke made the 1990s bearable, while Kirby Puckett’s eye injury, exit from the game and eventual death made it almost too much to bear. The new century ushered in more talent — Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau — and consecutive seasons of playoff baseball, followed by consecutive seasons of losing baseball. A winning season returned in 2015. So here we are. Go Twins.