The Minnesota Twins are in a great division to be able to contend for a playoff spot. There is no reason not to go in for a key free agent starting pitcher to take that fifth spot over. Martin Perez was signed to the team but if the Twins ejected the season with at least 4 better free agent starters still unsigned, it would appear the front office is punting on the season.
The first free agent is the one everyone is thinking about, Dallas Keuchel. There hasn’t really been any rumors surrounding Keuchel and the Twins, but it would make as much sense for the twins to sign him as any other team. Keuchel isn’t exactly the biggest strikeout pitcher (career 19.6% strikeouts). His strikeout hovers around 89 MPH but his command and effectiveness at getting ground balls is an obvious strength. I would be completely in favor of signing Keuchel for 3 years and about $70 million. It’s unlikely but not impossible.
Another starter the Twins should target is Gio Gonzalez. He is only going to be 33 this season and would be great on a one year deal. He consistently throws 175 innings with a 1.350 WHIP and ERA around 4.00 so he is definitely a quality middle of the rotation arm. He is another player who will not strike out everyone but can pitch enough quality innings by getting groundouts and fly outs. I would be more than happy with a 1 year deal for about $10-$12 million. I’d say it’s more likely than Keuchel and he would slide in to the fourth spot in the rotation.
The third and final starter that could be an upgrade over Martin Perez is Ervin Santana. Santana has played for the Twins over the last few years and been one of the most consistent Twins pitchers. Last season may sway the twins fans and front office away from him because he missed most of the season due to various injuries. He would definitely be a proven veteran who would push Perez to the bullpen. A one year $5-$6 million contract wouldn’t hurt, but if you’re going to sign a pitcher I think it has to be Gonzalez or Keuchel with all the cal space available.
I do think the twins will sign or trade for one more starter. They have to push for the playoffs this season in such a weak division and if they don’t get another impact player then they deserve the ridicule that will be thrown at them. I like what the front office has done so far to improve the team but one more move would make it look so much better.