It’s been another slow offseason around the majors. Top players such as Bryce Harper, Manny Machado and Craig Kimbrel remain unsigned. Because of this, it stills feels like this offseason is yet to take shape. Lets take a look at the moves the Twins have made and consider the moves that could still be coming.
Nelson Cruz– He was on my watch list at the start of the offseason, so this comes as no surprise to me. Cruz fits perfectly into this lineup as a veteran hitter among a plethora of young guys. No one has hit more home runs over the past five seasons, and he has shown few signs of slowing down. Cruz is also considered a great presence in the locker room, so his impact should extend beyond the diamond.
C.J. Cron– Those of you who have complained about Joe Mauer’s game over the past decade and a half have gotten your wish. Cron has 30-home run potential, but will produce a lot of infield fly balls and strikeouts along the way. 44.5 percent of Cron’s 2018 plate appearances ended in an infield fly ball or a strikeout. By Comparison, only 19.2 percent of Mauer’s trips to the plate ended the same way.
Jonathan Schoop– Schoop profiles similarly to Cron. Legitimate 30-home run power, but very few walks. He had a monster season in 2017, but is coming off a disappointing season in 2018.
Blake Parker– Parker was also dominant in 2017, but disappointed in 2018. He has legitimate strikeout potential, but has been inconsistent. However, a quick look at the Twins bullpen depth chart shows he will certainly have his chances in 2019.
The biggest thing that stands out is clearly the similar profiles of Cruz, Cron and Schoop. This seems like a clear effort to add power to the lineup. The Twins replaced two players with little to no power in Mauer and Robbie Grossman with Cruz and Cron.
Looking ahead, there is still a lot to do. The Twins still have a clear need in the bullpen. As it stands, Parker is the only addition to a bullpen that struggled greatly at times last season. Look for the Twins to add in that department. The starting rotation could also use a boost. Jose Berrios, Michael Pineda, Kyle Gibson, and Jake Odorizzi have spots heading into spring training, but they are going to need more than that. Injuries always happen and its important to be prepared. As I stated above, things are moving slowly so stay tuned. There is still a lot more to come.