4. Sign Jose Bautista or Mike Napoli
Signing Jose Bautista or Mike Napoli may not be the most popular of moves, but realistically, they make sense. The Twins could use another power hitter in their lineup and both veterans provide just that in a lineup. At the same time, they should come relatively inexpensive, likely on a one-year deal.
Basically, I don’t see Minnesota prioritizing any of the top position players on the market. While players like J.D. Martinez, Eric Hosmer, and Carlos Santana would be fantastic additions, the Twins eventually have to negotiate long-term deals with a cast of promising young position players. Not to mention, if they spend big money on a player, it’s likely going to be for a starting pitcher.
With Bautista, there’s definitely been a dropoff in his game over the last couple of years, but the 37-year old still hits for power with 23 homers in 2017. Furthermore, he’s had lots of success hitting at Target Field over the years, so signing him to a one-year, incentive-laden contract is a low risk, high reward kind of deal.
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As for Napoli, he had a rough year with the Texas Rangers in 2017. After a career-high 34 home runs and 101 RBIs with the Cleveland Indians in 2016, he still hit a respectable 29 home runs with the Rangers, but the RBI total dropped to 66. Most striking was the fact his batting average dropped from .239 in 2016 to .193 last season. Along with the average, the on-base percentage dropped from .335 to .285.
Even so, it’s hard to believe the 36-year-old is done, considering he’s just one year removed from a career year. So, signing the designated hitter/first baseman to a similar deal as Bautista, maybe even cheaper, has the chance to turn out well.
In the end, either move is low risk, high reward and gives the Twins another veteran to help lead a young, promising team.