Minnesota Twins: What’s on their post-lockout to-do list

Mar 3, 2021; Fort Myers, Florida, USA; A general view of a fountain and Minnesota Twins logo outside CenturyLink Sports Complex prior to the spring training game between the Minnesota Twins and the Boston Red Sox. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 3, 2021; Fort Myers, Florida, USA; A general view of a fountain and Minnesota Twins logo outside CenturyLink Sports Complex prior to the spring training game between the Minnesota Twins and the Boston Red Sox. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /
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ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 08: Dylan Bundy #37 of the Los Angeles Angels pitches during the first inning of a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 08, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 08: Dylan Bundy #37 of the Los Angeles Angels pitches during the first inning of a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 08, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Twins need to make multiple additions to their starting rotation

Starting pitcher Dylan Bundy was the lone addition the Twins made to their big league club before the lockout put a freeze on all transactions. Coming off of a down year, the 29-year-old Bundy could be a solid add to the Twins’ rotation if he is able to turn it around.

Behind Bundy, the Minnesota Twins rotation features a whole lot of inexperience. Per FanGraphs’ Roster Resource projections, there’s prospects Bailey Ober and Joe Ryan, uber-driver-turned-pitcher Randy Dobnak, and Australian left-hander Lewis Thorpe.

Ober made 20 starts for Minnesota last year, striking out 96 in 92 innings and posting a 4.19 ERA. Ryan, acquired in the trade that sent Nelson Cruz down to Tampa, made five late-season starts down the stretch, striking out 30 and walking just five in 26 innings to go with a 4.05 ERA.

Then there’s Dobnak and Thorpe, the most experienced arms behind Bundy. Dobnak, 26, appeared in 14 games (six starts) and put up -1.3 WAR and a 7.64 ERA in 50 innings, a significant difference than his solid showings in 2019 and 2020 with the club. Thorpe, 26, has functioned as a swingman for the Twins over the past few seasons, making seven starts and 17 relief appearances since 2019. The lefty only appeared in five games for Minnesota last season, walking more batters than he struck out in 15 innings.

Looking to the free agent market, there are still some arms out there that could slot in to the Twins’ rotation. Notable right-handers that could be had on a short-term deal include Zach Davies, Johnny Cueto, and Zack Greinke, while lefties Carlos Rodón and Drew Smyly are still out there as well. The two lefties would command different contracts, Rodón will surely look for a multi-year, higher AAV contract than Smyly, but he would certainly be an intriguing add to the Twins club.