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My offseason plan

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It's no secret as to where the Twins struggled last season. Starting pitching was by far the worst, but the Twins were left lacking up the middle as well as in the pen. The good news is that from a hitting standpoint, the Twins look fairly set going forward. Rochester's OF should consist of 3 decent prospects in Arcia, Hicks, and Benson (though Benson's stock has fallen a bit), and one of them should be ready if/when someone goes down or is traded. The higher minors are bereft of pitching talent and middle infield talent, though prospect Brian Dozier should get a chance to establish himself in Rochester next year. I for one am not as down on him as others, and a year in AAA will likely be beneficial to him. Fortunately for the Twins, there are options. In my plan, the Twins will make two trades this offseason. The first of which will be to deal Anthony Slama to the Angels for Dan Haren and 3M. While I personally think Slama deserves a shot, it seems clear that he isn't going to get one in Minnesota. The Angles took a similar type deal in letting go Santana, and they will take another one to for Haren as they will esentially get an RP arm for the cost of Haren's buyout, which they were going to pay anyways. The second will be to deal Denard Span and a PTBNL to the Reds for minor league pitcher Tony Cingrani.

They will not sit quitely in the FA market either. The Twins go ahead and sign Scott Baker to a 2 year deal with an option. He will receive 2M in 2013 and 6M in 2014 with a 10M option in 2015 or a 1M buyout. They also choose to bring on Erik Bedard on a 1 year 2M deal. Bedard was very good for Pittsburg before falling apart late summer. That was certainly in part due to being tired as he hasn't had huge workloads for several years now. His purpose is to hopefully last the year, but if not, he buys time for Gibson/Hendricks. Gibson will be shut down early in the spring so that he can finish the year with 130 innings. The Twins will also go heavily after Marcum, and they will get him after adding a 2nd year and an option to his contract. Marcum is signed for 2/16 with a 3rd year option.

They will opt for 1 year fixes in the middle infield. Both Kelly Johnson and Stephen Drew will be signed to 1 year deals to man the middle. This should provide better defense overall and a reasonable potential to help at the plate. Dozier will start in AAA where he belongs, and the Twins will be able to decide if he will man one of those spots in 2014. Terry Ryan said that the pen was his second priority, and as such he makes a few moves. Being out of options, Delios Gurerra will be given every opportunity to man a spot, and he will receive it whether or not it is deserved. But the Twins will also seek reinforcements who are capable of striking out batters. Jason Grilli will come over on a 2 yr/4M deal from Pittsburg. While he is 35, he is still quite capable of striking out batters. Staying with age, they will also sign Joel Peralta to a 1yr/3M deal. These pitchers will add some Ks to the back of the pen for reasonable prices.

Their bench will be strengthened by signing Jeff Keppinger to a 2yr/7M deal. Keppinger will rotate at the corners and occasional DH and essentially be their 10th starter/super utility guy.

C-Mauer - 23M
1B-Morneau - 14M
2B-Kelly Johnson - 2M
SS-Stephen Drew - 2M
3B - Plouffe - .5M
RF - Willingham - 7M
CF - Revere .5M
LF - Parmalee .5M
DH - Doumit 3.5M

Total: 53M

SP-Diamond - .5M
SP-Dan Haren - 12M (Angels cover 3M of his contract)
SP- Marcum - 8M
SP-Baker - 2M
SP-Bedard - 3M

RP-Swarzak - .5M
RP-D. Guererra - .5M
RP-Jason Grilli - 2M
RP-Joel Peralta - 3M
RP-Duensing - 1M
RP-Burton - 1M
CL-Perkins - 2.5M

Total: 40.5

U/MIF- Florimon - .5M
U/CIF- Jeff Keppinger - 3.5M
OF- Mastroianni - .5M
C- Chris Herrman - .5M

Total: 5M
Grand total: 98.5M

The end result is a swing for the fences type team. If everything breaks right, the Twins will find themselves in the thick of a penant race in 2013. Given that they are adding quite a few question marks, the likelihood of that is not as good as we'd like, but they have nice trade options to work with come the deadline should things not work out. Morneau will very likely be flipped for pitching help. The same can be said for Willingham, Johnson, Drew, or Peralta. With Arcia and Hicks in Rochester, one of these guys will likely be called up to replace Revere should he struggle. If Morneau or Willingham is traded, then one will be called up to move into the OF. Gibson and Hendricks will start in Rochester, but both will likely see time when the inevitable pitching injury strikes. This Twins team has much more depth as their minor league system should be able to provide a reasonable replacement for most roles.
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  1. Brandon's Avatar
    don't think the Twins will do anything with the MI this offseason and those 2 guys will be able to get more IMO. but i think your pitching thoughts are pretty solid.
  2. johnnydakota's Avatar
    some or most of it looks good diehard, i think with the lack of middle infielders avalible through free agency that drew will cost more then that this off season
  3. mnfanforlife's Avatar
    Hey this is really coming together nicely...except for Cingrani, Johnson, Drew, Revere, Baker, Bedard, Marcum, Haren, Guererra??, Grilli, Peralta, and Keppinger. I understand this was last November, so you need a little leniency. But hey, you really made some bold predictions. Lots of them. I encourage that.
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