The Minnesota Twins are coming off a 96-loss season, so there is no shortage of areas they will be looking to address this offseason. The Twins need help across the board in order to find a way to become more competitive in the American League Central, and there are three key decisions to keep an eye on as general manager Terry Ryan looks to overhaul a roster that had far too many holes a year ago.
2014 World Series Odds
Important Decision #1: Find A Replacement For Mauer Behind The Plate
Ryan confirmed the decision to move Joe Mauer to first base on a full-time basis moving forward, all but eliminating the chance the team will try to bring back free agent Justin Morneau after trading him last year. The move was made in an effort to help Mauer avoid injury, as he missed the last six weeks of the season due to concussion issues. Mauer won the Silver Slugger award for catchers this past season and was the 2009 AL MVP, and the move to first should help to keep him in the line up. The Twins will need to address the catcher position in free agency, and veteran AJ Pierzynski could be at the top of their list in terms of players they will try to add to the roster this offseason.
Important Decision #2: Address The Worst Starting Rotation In The Majors
Even with Mauer moving to first base, Minnesota’s biggest need remains in the starting rotation where they posted the worst combined ERA in the majors at 5.26. Mike Pelfrey and Kevin Correia combined to go 14-26 after both being signed the previous offseason, and it doesn’t make sense to expect a dramatic improvement after both starters posted an ERA over 4.00. The Twins have a ton of intriguing prospects including Alex Meyer, Kyle Gibson, and Trevor May, but the consensus is that they aren’t ready for the big leagues just yet and it wouldn’t be a surprise if at least one of them is moved in a deal to acquire a veteran arm that can contribute right away should Minnesota fail to land one during the free agency period
Important Decision #3: Find Affordable Bats To Fill Out The Order
The Twins finished near the bottom of the AL in a number of hitting categories, and would certainly benefit from the addition of a couple of key bats to help Mauer carry the load. Morneau doesn’t seem poised to return, and Trevor Plouffe was the only other regular to bat above the .254 mark a year ago. Minnesota doesn’t have a ton of room to add to its payroll, so look for Ryan to try and find some affordable talent to fill out the bottom of the order and help the Twins’ offense going forward in 2014. Pierzynski should be near the top of Minnesota’s wish list, but Ryan needs to have more than one alternative should he choose to sign somewhere else.
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