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No Twins Are Trade Untouchables

 

MLB’s Winter Meetings have come and gone with no big moves by the Minnesota Twins to improve their roster. This doesn’t come as a surprise since the organization under the Pohlad family ownership has consistently been deliberate in making outside personnel changes, whether by free agency or trade.

While some teams used the gathering at the Winter Meetings to improve their clubs, there is still a lot of time to see what develops in Major League Baseball before next season including with the Twins. In an interview with Sports Headliners, team president Dave St. Peter spoke about the ongoing process to improve his roster. “We are obviously open-minded as to how we get better,” St. Peter said while indicating the possibility of acquiring players via free agency or trade.

The Twins improved so much last season they transformed themselves from mediocre into one of MLB’s better clubs. The Twins can court potential newcomers with a storyline that not only includes a talented team but also features a players manager in Rocco Baldelli.

“We think our story has gotten incrementally better over the course of the last 18 months,” St. Peter said. “We think that we have a great, compelling ball club for 2020 and beyond, and we are optimistic that one way or another we’re going to be able to add pitching.”

St. Peter mentioned pitching without being prompted, an indication of how Minnesota has prioritized finding offseason help on the mound. The Twins reined down home runs last season, setting a MLB record with 307. Every off season story on how the Twins will get better in 2020 and go beyond AL Central champs to a successful postseason run has Minnesota needing to improve the starting staff.

Who will the Twins offer up in trades for either pitchers or other players? St. Peter said the club doesn’t so much target specific individuals in their organization for potential trades as it does looking at where the organization has strength and depth. Although he didn’t mention left fielder Eddie Rosario as trade bait, Sportingnews.com reported three days ago other teams are asking about Rosario, and the Twins do have a terrific minor league prospect and possible replacement in outfielder Alex Kirilloff. It appears sooner (perhaps next year) or later Minnesota will need to make room for the 22-year-old Kirilloff who has a .317 minor league career batting average.

When asked, St. Peter couldn’t think of any Twins currently under contract who have no-trade clauses in their contracts. Does he believe any Twins are untouchable? “No, I don’t think so,” he answered. “…The reality of it is, there’s probably some players that practically speaking you’re just probably not going to move because I’m not sure that another team could offer us enough.”

Falvey & Levine

Twins front office personnel decision makers Derek Falvey and Thad Levine have won St. Peter’s confidence since being hired in 2016. St. Peter said their relationships with other front office leaders are so important to the Twins as they search to make a team with 101 wins last season even better.

Although, loaded with offense a rumor is the Twins will sign free agent third baseman Josh Donaldson who hit 37 home runs last season for the Atlanta Braves. His acquisition would presumably send Miguel Sano from third base to first base and improve the infield defense.

Not referencing Donaldson, St. Peter was asked about the idea of moving Sano to first base. “It’s a possibility. We have not made that decision,” St. Peter said. “Right now Miguel is still penciled in at third base and we will be fine with that if we go to spring training. He is a difference-maker…particularly at that position. Yeah, we have to be open-minded for ways to get better. We talked about our infield defense maybe being an area that we could shore up. …”

Worth Noting

Tickets are on sale for TwinsFest at Target Field Friday, January 24 and Saturday, January 25. The annual event has typically been three days but next year will be held over two days. The Twins will be celebrating their 60th season of play since moving to Minnesota as the Washington Senators.

St. Peter is a college football fan and enjoys travelling to games. This fall he saw a game at Mississippi and last year was at Georgia.

LSU’s Joe Burrow won the famed Heisman Trophy last night, the award annually honoring college football’s best player. Bruce Smith is the only Golden Gopher who ever won the Heisman, doing so in 1941. In 1953 Minnesota’s Paul Giel finished second in Heisman balloting and seven years later the Gophers’ Tom Brown also was voted runner-up. In 1962 balloting Minnesota’s Bobby Bell finished third in the voting.

Condolences to family and friends of former Gophers and South St. Paul hockey coach Doug Woog, who passed away Saturday afternoon. A beloved hockey leader for decades, the 75-year-old Woog had been dealing this year with health care issues including Parkinson’s disease.

Former Timberwolves superstar Kevin Garnett “is a central figure” in a new Adam Sandler movie, according to a story in the latest issue of Sports Illustrated. In the film Uncut Gems Garnett seeks to acquire an Ethiopian black opal.

No one seems to know when, or if, former Lynx star Maya Moore will resume her career. She didn’t play last season and continues to focus on helping others via criminal justice reform.

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David Shama

David Shama is a former sports editor and columnist with local publications. His writing and reporting experiences include covering the Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Gophers. Shama’s career experiences also include sports marketing. He is the former Marketing Director of the Minnesota North Stars of the NHL. He is also the former Marketing Director of the United States Tennis Association’s Northern Section. A native of Minneapolis, Shama has been part of the community his entire life. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota where he majored in journalism. He also has a Master’s degree in education from the University of St. Thomas. He was a member of the Governor’s NBA’s Task Force to help create interest in bringing pro basketball to town in the 1980s.

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