As the Minnesota Twins look to build on the offensive success of 2017, let’s look at what the starting rotation could look like in 2018.
While the Minnesota Twins made the playoffs for the first time since 2010, chief baseball officer Derek Falvey and general manager Thad Levine know there’s still plenty of work to be done to make this team an elite World Series contender. In reality, a major step to accomplishing that feat is addressing the pitching staff. Something that Levine outlined as a priority this offseason in a recent interview with MLB Network.
Of course, the Twins got enough from the pitching staff to make the playoffs. With Ervin Santana and Jose Berríos leading the rotation and young bullpen arms Trevor Hildenberger and Alan Busenitz stabilizing the bullpen, Minnesota finished 19th in pitching after finishing 29th one year prior. In other words, there was enough of an improvement to help the Twins increase their win total by 26 games.
That being said, they ranked last among playoff teams in pitching and clearly boasted a weaker pitching staff than the New York Yankees, who they lost 8-4 to in the Wild Card Game. Furthermore, if the Twins want to compete with the likes of the Cleveland Indians for the AL Central Division title, they are going to have to add at least one or two quality starting pitchers as well as a couple reliable bullpen arms. Fortunately, Minnesota has a management group willing to do just that.
Currently, the Twins are in active free agent and trade talks for starting pitching and seek to address the bullpen later in the offseason. In particular, the Twins are rumored to have interest in free agents Yu Darvish, Jake Arrieta, Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb, and Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani. Additionally, they are asking about starting pitchers in trade talks with Gerrit Cole and Jake Odorizzi being a couple of the most well-known names mentioned by Mike Berardino.
As a result, the Twins’ pitching staff is bound to look a lot different heading into the 2018 campaign. Taking into account possible offseason additions, let’s take a look at what a possible starting rotation may look like in 2018!