Free agency has officially started, and the Twins have plenty of flexibility. Don’t expect to see them pursue names like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, but it would be a surprise if they didn’t give out at least one multi-year deal to a free agent this winter. Here are some of the names to keep an eye on.
Nelson Cruz– This is about as high profile as I think they will go. Cruz has turned back the clock in Seattle and has been an extremely good power hitter in a pitchers park. At 38, Cruz will not be able to command more than a two-year deal. Are the Twins interested in a full-time DH? If so, I expect them to aggressively pursue Cruz. His deal should be somewhere in the neighborhood of two years for $30 million.
Kelvin Herrera– There is a lot to like about Herrera, and he should go for less than some of the other free agent relievers. The Twins have seen a lot of him through the years, and he has the profile that you want in a reliever. He only threw 44.1 innings last year because of injury, so it’s unlikely he will be able to command a big contract. He also has 60 saves, so he an option at closer.
Cody Allen– Another guy we know well that could be a buy low. Allen was a very effective closer from 2014-17. He compiled 120 saves during that time. However, the long ball plagued him last season, bringing his value to an all-time low. This is a guy the Twins could sign and insert as the closer immediately. He’s only 30, so hopefully last season was an outlier.
Marwin Gonzalez– There is a lot of uncertainty in the Twins’ infield following the departures of Joe Mauer and Brian Dozier. We know Jorge Polanco and Miguel Sano will be in the mix, but we really don’t know where. Enter Gonzalez, who can play all four infield positions and both corner outfield positions. His versatility and postseason experience may be exactly what the Twins need.
Jed Lowrie– Lowrie is another guy who can play multiple infield positions. He’s posted an OPS north of .800 each of the past two seasons and has always been a great doubles hitter. Lowrie will certainly be sought after this winter, and I expect the Twins to be in the mix.
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