Fri, 29 Sep 2023

2023 Preview: Minnesota Twins

Field Level Media
24 Mar 2023, 05:19 GMT+10

2022 record: 78-84, third in American League Central

Offseason headlines: Carlos Correa returned to the Twins on a six-year, $200 million deal -- but only after the price came down when both the San Francisco Giants and New York Mets agreed to much larger amounts, saw Correa's physical and got cold feet. The Twins don't have those concerns; they know Correa's medical background and what they're getting from him not only as a shortstop, but as a locker room leader. It was a winter heavy on wheeling and dealing in Minnesota. The Twins flipped American League batting champ Luis Arraez to the Miami Marlins for starting pitcher Pablo Lopez -- an underrated arm to join Sonny Gray and Joe Ryan in the rotation. They added Christian Vazquez as their new No. 1 catcher, and they'll hope outfield addition Joey Gallo is capable of a bounce-back year.

Spring storylines: What will this outfield look like day in and day out, and how productive can it be? Byron Buxton is one of the Twins' best talents, but he hasn't played more than 92 games since 2017. Manager Rocco Baldelli said Buxton will begin the season as the DH. After Gallo struggled in New York and didn't exactly get his production back on track with the Los Angeles Dodgers, is Minnesota the kind of market that will be kinder to him? The Twins also brought in Michael A. Taylor after two productive seasons in Kansas City, adding him to an outfield rotation with Max Kepler and Trevor Larnach.

Young guns: Royce Lewis is aiming to earn a full-time spot on this roster. He tore his right ACL in both February 2021 and May 2022, and while he won't be ready to go on Opening Day, he feels he's at a good point in his recovery. The No. 2 prospect in the Twins' pipeline, Lewis can play center field and shortstop.

Fall feeling: With the talent up and down the roster, finishing sub-.500 and missing the playoffs for the third straight year would be a massive disappointment in Minnesota. "The main goal is to win, and by winning I don't mean making the playoffs, I mean winning championships," Correa said at his press conference after signing his long-term deal.

Odds: Minnesota's odds to win its division are as short as 175 at Fanduel, followed by 215 at DraftKings. The Twins are second on the board at those books, but they're behind the Chicago White Sox as well as Cleveland Guardians at Caesars (220).

--Field Level Media

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