What could the Minnesota Twins starting rotation look like in 2018?

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 28: Starting pitcher Ervin Santana
CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 28: Starting pitcher Ervin Santana /
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2. RHP Gerrit Cole

Gerrit Cole is an intriguing arm that clearly has the ability to be the ace of the Twins staff. I mean, he’s been an ace with the Pittsburgh Pirates for a majority of his five seasons with the club, so there’s no reason he can’t be in Minnesota either. Basically, it’s just a matter of getting back to where he was prior to an injury-riddled year in 2016.

Missing almost half that season, he rebounded with a full season in 2017, but turned in a career-worst 4.26 ERA. He also gave up a career-high 31 home runs, so there definitely were some problems locating his pitches. As already stated though, the injuries of 2016 could have had something to do with the poor season. Well, a poor season for Cole’s standards.

Nevertheless, he did pitch 203 innings, the second time he’s gone over 200 innings the last three seasons. He also produced 196 strikeouts, while featuring a high 90s fastball, slider, curve, and changeup. Additionally, he’s considered a power arm, something Minnesota has lacked in the rotation over the years.

Now, Cole is under team control for two more seasons, so the Twins would have to acquire the 27-year-old in a trade to make this a reality. Yet, I fully expect Minnesota to make at least one trade this offseason and with Cole’s name already thrown out there, it only makes sense. This is especially the case as Pittsburgh looks toward the future after missing the playoffs two years straight.

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In my view, a deal including one of Nick Gordon, Fernando Rodney or Stephen Gonsalves and a couple of mid-level prospects should do the trick. In result, the Twins get a starter they can instantly place at the top of the rotation, who could very likely replace Santana as the ace of the staff.