The 2018 Minnesota Twins: the good, the bad, and the ugly

MINNEAPOLIS, MN- SEPTEMBER 30: Joe Mauer #7 of the Minnesota Twins looks on and acknowledges the fans prior to catching against the Chicago White Sox on September 30, 2018 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the White Sox 5-4. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN- SEPTEMBER 30: Joe Mauer #7 of the Minnesota Twins looks on and acknowledges the fans prior to catching against the Chicago White Sox on September 30, 2018 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the White Sox 5-4. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /
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MINNEAPOLIS, MN- MAY 03: Miguel Sano #22 of the Minnesota Twins and Byron Buxton #25 look on against the Oakland Athletics on May 3, 2017 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Athletics 7-4. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /

Hope for 2019?

The Minnesota Twins were rebuked by many of the long-term targets they had in the 2017-2018 offseason, which led them to sign more short-term deals. That left the team with plenty of financial flexibility this offseason, especially after Santana, Dozier, and Mauer came off the books as well.

More from Call to the Pen

So far, the team has focused on short-term deals, but on guys with more established track records than in 2017, when Logan Morrison’s big 2017 season was really an “out of nowhere” year. The team has signed Jonathan Schoop and Nelson Cruz to bring power and depth to their lineup. They also claimed C.J. Cron from the Tampa Bay Rays after he had a big power season, but they have more depth behind him this year if he falters the way Morrison did in 2018.

The team is still sorting through pitching options, which could be from within, with Gibson, Berrios, and Odorizzi to lead the rotation, along with Michael Pineda once he’s healthy. The team has inquired on a number of veteran starters, but there is plenty of young, talented depth for the Twins to work with to fill the final 1-2 spots in the rotation if they choose to go that route and trust Berrios to take that next step to be their frontline guy.

The bullpen is the final need piece for the team. Two of the team’s three free agent signings last offseason were traded during the year, leaving just Addison Reed still on the team. May could be excellent back in the closer role, and there are a few solid young arms, but the team would like to pick up a veteran or two to solidify their bullpen.

dark. Next. Twins complete pursuit of Cruz

More than anything, 2019 success for the Minnesota Twins will rest on the shoulders of young players producing, something that injuries hampered in 2018. If Buxton, Sano, and Berrios take that next step forward in 2019, the Twins could make a lot of noise not just in the AL Central, but farther into the playoffs!