MLB Free Agents: 3 teams that could grab Cole Hamels

BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 13: Cole Hamels #35 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on July 13, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 13: Cole Hamels #35 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on July 13, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

MLB Free Agents: 3 Contenders for Cole Hamels

Would he pitch up north in the cold?

Yes, the Minnesota Twins need pitching badly this offseason, and after making a run back to the postseason in 2019, they’re surely determined to keep up the momentum in 2020.

Also, the club has plenty of money to spend, making a higher-priced veteran like Cole Hamels a real possibility.

The Twins’ 2019 rotation primarily consisted of Jose Berrios, Jake Odorizzi, Martin Perez, Kyle Gibson, and Michael Pineda. The group did rather well, as Berrios and Odorizzi each produced over 4 WAR, giving the staff a grand total of 16.6 WAR — a 7th place finish in the majors.

Unfortunately, four of those five pitchers above are MLB free agents this winter, requiring the Twins to essentially rebuild its rotation. This past Monday, the Twins extended a qualifying offer to Odorizzi, which could help ease the pain… IF he accepts; but the team will allow Gibson, Pineda, and Perez to enter free agency.

With Berrios the only for-sure pitcher in the 2020 rotation, a lot depends on Odorizzi’s decision, one that he’ll have to make within 10 days of the QO offer (middle of next week). Either way, two starters isn’t going to cut it.

The Twins need quantity over quality at this point. And with the team’s two highest-paid players — Nelson Cruz and Marwin Gonzalez — only making $12 million and $8 million, respectively, expect Minnesota to go hard after several superstar players this winter.

I could see the Twins go after a few top-tier starters first and then if unsuccessful, signing Cole Hamels. Or, the team could very well sign a couple of second-tier arms, plus Hamels, and utilize him as a source of… wait for it… veteran presence.

Overall, this year’s Twins team is a club that needs starting pitching more than any other contending club… maybe any club period.