The Minnesota Twins 2022 season was a pretty big disappointment. Despite some sizable upgrades being made last offseason, the Twins failed to make the playoffs in the American League Central, and finished the campaign with a sub .500 record. The Twins were expected to challenge to win the division, and while they did early on, they fell apart as the season progressed.
Now Minnesota is heading back to the drawing board trying to figure out where they went wrong over the past year. They have a lot of talent on their roster, but that talent failed to consistently show up last season. Getting the right mix of players on the roster together has to be the main goal for the front office this offseason.
An easy way to accomplish that is through free agency, and the Twins will likely be big players on the free agent market this offseason, and for good reason. With the offseason very nearly upon us, here are three players the Twins should look into adding in free agency in order to help them make it back to the playoffs in 2023.
3. Xander Bogaerts
The Twins signed Carlos Correa in free agency last offseason, but he’s likely going to opt out of his deal and test the waters again this offseason. Correa had a solid season, but he was part of Minnesota’s struggles, and they likely won’t be looking to pay even more to keep him in town. If that’s the case, that could make Xander Bogaerts a prime target for Minnesota.
Bogaerts is also likely going to opt out of his current deal with the Boston Red Sox, and while the two sides seem interested in working out a new contract, it remains to be seen whether they will actually get a deal done. If they don’t, and Bogaerts hits free agency, the Twins should be one of his top suitors.
Bogaerts remains as steady a hitter as there is in the MLB (.307 BA, 15 HR, 73 RBI, .833 OPS) and improved dramatically as a fielder last season. He is two years older than Correa, but he hasn’t shown any signs of regression yet, and considering he’s primarily a contact hitter, that could allow him to age like fine wine. If the Twins want to save some money, Bogaerts may be the perfect option for them in free agency.
2. Nathan Eovaldi
Another Red Sox player the Twins should look into adding is Nathan Eovaldi. When he’s healthy and on the mound, Eovaldi has proven that he has the ability to be an ace and lead a starting rotation. The only problem is that Eovaldi always seems to be dealing with some sort of injury, which hampers his value in free agency.
That was the case once again for Eovaldi in 2022, as he only made 20 starts on the season just one season after making 32. Eovaldi was solid again when he was on the mound (6-3, 3.87 ERA, 103 K, 1.24 WHIP) but his lack of availability makes him a risky free agent target this offseason.
The Twins need starting pitching, and Eovaldi may end up being a low risk, high reward target, making him a potential option for the team to pursue. There are better and more reliable options on the market, but Minnesota is likely going to focus more on bulking up their lineup for starters, which could push pitching to the backburner initially. If that’s the case, Eovaldi could be a perfect option for Minnesota.
1. Willson Contreras
The Twins are one of the many teams in dire need of a catcher this offseason, and that makes them an instant suitor for Willson Contreras. Contreras is one of the top catchers in the game, and he will very likely be leaving the desolate Chicago Cubs after they failed to move him at the trade deadline.
Finding steady production at the catcher position is easier said than done, and the Twins duo of Gary Sanchez and Ryan Jeffers simply didn’t produce last season. Contreras has remained a consistent hitter throughout his career, and earned an All-Star selection for his play in 2022 (.243 BA, 22 HR, 55 RBI, .815 OPS). It’s not hard to see why the Twins should be interested in Contreras.
Catcher may be the biggest position of need for Minnesota this offseason, even with the potential departure of Correa. The position was basically a black hole for them last season, and it’s a lot easier to find a productive shortstop than a productive catcher. Contreras’ market could explode due to the amount of catcher-needy teams, but Minnesota should be in the mix for Contreras, and landing him would be a huge win for the franchise.