Starting pitching options for the Minnesota Twins

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 30: Jose Berrios /
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Low-Tier Options

Chris Tillman

Tillman had his worst season as a pro going 1-7 with a 7.82 ERA. Yet, he was arguably their top starter in each of the previous five seasons. This makes the 29-year old a low-risk, high-reward option. He probably signs a one-year “prove it” deal to help build a market for next season.

Bartolo Colón

The “Big Sexy” had an awful start to 2017 with the Atlanta Braves posting an 8.14 ERA, but turned it around with a respectable tenure with the Twins. He finished the season 7-14 with a 6.48 ERA, but was 5-6 with a 5.18 ERA in Minnesota. The big question is if he comes back for another season, but he has aspirations of playing until he’s 45 making those chances good.

Francisco Liriano

The former Minnesota Twins starter is going to be on the market, but is coming off a rough regular season. He went 6-7 with a 5.66 ERA and was put in the bullpen when he was traded to the Houston Astros from the Toronto Blue Jays. But, he had three seasons of low 3.00 ERAs from 2013 to 2015 and was solid in eight starts as a Blue Jay in 2016.

Clay Buchholz

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Buchholz is another guy who will look at signing a one-year deal after being out for the season in 2017 with a torn flexor tendon. He’s proven to be a quality starter in the league, although injuries and inconsistencies have defined his career. Buchholz is definitely a low-risk player, so taking a chance on him could pay off in the end. He is 81-62 with a 4.01 ERA in his career.

Best option for Twins?

Chris Tillman. The Twins need pitchers that can bring instant stability to the rotation. I’m not convinced any of these options can. But, Tillman is intriguing for the right price as he’s been a top-of-the-rotation arm as recent as 2016. Yet, I expect Tillman to resign with the Orioles and work towards cashing in next offseason. Regardless, he’s by far the best option here for the Twins.

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Only time will tell how the Twins address their starting rotation, but they are going to have to make a couple moves to shore it up for 2018. Luckily, there just so happens to be many quality starters in free agency, so look for the Twins to sign one or two of these names. In addition, they should be active in the trade market as they look to build upon a fantastic 2017 season.