The Minnesota Twins won the AL Central last season, but the team once again struggled to get anywhere in the playoffs. The Twins won’t have things any easier in 2021, as the Chicago White Sox have become the favorites to win the division.
The Twins brought in a few new faces that will help them contend, including one from the White Sox. But manager Rocco Baldelli and the Twins will still be up for a challenge in 2021 as they compete with the White Sox for the AL Central title.
The free agency moves the Twins put in this offseason shows that they are aiming to contend, but they are also willing to part ways with some pieces that weren’t as powerful as they were.
— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) February 12, 2021
Additions of Note
The Twins brought in shortstop Andrelton Simmons from the Los Angeles Angels this offseason. Simmons will likely be somewhere in the middle of the starting lineup. Simmons has a shot at getting twenty stolen bases this season.
The team also resigned designated hitter Nelson Cruz to a one-year deal, although this season could be his last go-around. Cruz is forty years of age, but he also remains an offensive threat.
He had a .303 average last season while hitting sixteen home runs. Cruz could compete with Miguel Sano and Max Kepler for the team’s home run title, although how long he has left in the league remains unclear.
The Twins signed starting pitcher J.A. Happ from the New York Yankees. Happ will likely be behind Kenta Maeda and Jose Berrios on the rotation. He went 2-2 last season with a 3.47 ERA and 42 strikeouts.
The club also acquired Alex Colome from the Chicago White Sox. The closer joins an already outstanding bullpen featuring Taylor Rogers and Tyler Duffey.
Second baseman Tzu-Wei Lin also joined the team from the Boston Red Sox this offseason. Lin is expected to start the season with the AAA St. Paul Saints.
Losses of Note
The Minnesota Twins lost a few prominent players this offseason, although some of them were players that they declined to return. The team did not tender a contract for outfielder Eddie Rosario, allowing him to leave for the Cleveland Indians on a one-year deal.
They also declined an option on reliever Sergio Romo and released fellow reliever Fernando Romero, who is expected to play in Japan this coming season. Other players the Twins declined to return include starting pitcher Rich Hill and infielder Marwin Gonzalez.
Reliever Tyler Wells and outfielder Akii Baddoo left as Rule 5 selections respectively for the Baltimore Orioles and the Detroit Tigers. Reliever Trevor May also signed a two-year contract with the New York Mets.
The team will refresh its roster through its farm system. Expect third baseman Nolan Jones to make it on the roster later this season. Starting pitcher Triston McKenzie may also make it into the team’s rotation, although that would depend on how well he performs during the spring training period.
How the Twins Will Contend
The Minnesota Twins have an exciting rotation and a helpful bullpen. The team will be contending with the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox for the AL Central title, but the challenge will be substantial.
Eddie Rosario’s move to the Indians and the White Sox acquiring Lance Lynn through a trade and Liam Hendriks on the free agent market will make things harder for the Twins.
But you can expect the Twins to be an exciting team to watch this season. Whether they will do anything in the playoffs if they make it there is another story.
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