The MLB offseason is going to heat up with the Winter Meetings about to commence. Things were slow the first month, as everyone waited to see which team would win the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes, and who would trade for Giancarlo Stanton. The Minnesota Twins were never in on Stanton, and did not secure a meeting with Ohtani. There are still plenty of big names on the market, and the Twins figure to be heavily involved, especially when it comes to pitchers. Rumors have been swirling linking the Twins to big name free agents like Yu Darvish, Jake Arrieta, and Alex Cobb. The Twins have a great deal of financial flexibility in the years to come, but signing a pitcher like Darvish or Arrieta to a six-year deal would likely hurt them long-term. This makes a trade for a player with multiple years of team control at a cheap price a more feasible option. Let’s look at a starter and reliever that could each make a significant impact in 2018 and beyond.
Chris Archer– Archer is a top-tier pitcher who will certainly be on the Twins radar this offseason. With four years of team control remaining at about 7 million annually, Archer’s contract is one of the best bargains in baseball. He has thrown over 200 innings in each of the past three seasons, and has averaged 10.7 K/9 over that same time span. Archer has thrived despite pitching in the American League East, which is considered the toughest division in the league. Archer’s impressive track record and team friendly contract will make him difficult to acquire, but the Twins farm system has many major league-ready prospects that could be enticing for the Rays. The Twins would likely have to include shortstop Nick Gordon, and starting pitcher Fernando Romero in any deal for Archer. This would be a lot to give up, but Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey clearly senses a window to win now. It’s not likely, but don’t be shocked if the Twins land Archer.
Raisel Iglesias– Iglesias is an intriguing reliever, who like Archer has four years of cheap team control remaining. The Reds originally signed him out of Cuba as a starter, but he had great success as a closer last season. He recorded 29 saves, and posted a 2.49 ERA. Iglesias throws hard, gets strikeouts, and can pitch multiple innings, so he can do everything you want a modern-day closer to do. The Twins will be hesitant to deal a top prospect for a reliever, but a package of prospects that doesn’t include Gordon, or Romero could work. The Twins have already been linked to Iglesias several times this offseason so stay tuned.
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