After perhaps the biggest turn-around season in recent memory, the Minnesota Twins are making sure that they remain a contender in the AL Central by shopping for high-profile starters.
Seeing as they never spend during free agency, this may work a lot better.
— MLB Trade Rumors (@mlbtraderumors) November 22, 2017
Righties Gerrit Cole and Jake Odorizzi are in GM Thad Levine’s sights, according to reports, and rightly so. Having already expressed interest in Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta using their monetary capital, the Twins might prefer to swing a deal for either starter, both of whom have two years of team control left.
#mntwins have talked with #Pirates about RHP Gerrit Cole and #Rays about RHP Jake Odorizzi. Both come with 2 years of control and shouldn't break the bank via arbitration process. 2018 projections are $7.5M and $6.5M, respectively.
— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) November 22, 2017
Minnesota might be hoping to buy somewhat low on Cole, who had a down year on the mound in 2017. The former No.1 overall pick posted a career-worst 4.26 ERA while giving up dingers at a rate of 1.37 HR/9 IP.
Odorizzi comes with his fair share of red flags as well. He also gave up a concerning amount of home runs (1.88 HR/9 IP), while increasing his walk rate from 2.6 BB/9 IP in 2016 to 3.8 BB/9 IP in 2017.
While both righties come with some baggage, a return back to 2016 form for both pitchers would give the Twins affordable, team-controlled pitchers for another run at the postseason.
Go after Cole. You won’t regret it.