Projected WARMarket Value
Projected WAR by grouping is from Fangraphs’ depth charts.
Historically each win is worth ~$9 million on the free agent market
- Brian Dozier, 2B
- Joe Mauer, 1B
- Miguel Sano, 3B
- Eddie Rosario, LF
- Logan Morrison, DH
- Byron Buxton, CF
- Max Kepler, RF
- Eduardo Escobar, SS
- Jason Castro, C
- Jose Berrios, RHP
- Jake Odorizzi, RHP
- Lance Lynn, RHP
- Kyle Gibson, RHP
- Paul Molitor
“The Twins just had their best offseason ever. I’m not kidding. That might not be saying much, though, considering the Twins have never been big offseason players. But the team already had a core of young, cheap, and highly-talented players, with the likes of Byron Buxton , Miguel Sano, Jose Berrios, Eddie Rosario, Max Kepler, not to mention proven veterans like Brian Dozier and Joe Mauer.
Thanks largely to the slow market, the Twins were able to swoop in and sign a bunch of guys they normally would not sign, at least not all in one year, late in the offseason. It started in early January, when the Twins signed Addison Reed to a two-year deal — the first and only multi-year contract the team has ever given to a free agent reliever from outside the organization. When it came out that Ervin Santana would miss at least the first month of the season with surgery on his middle finger, the team went out and picked up... Anibal Sanchez? Okay, that one was a little weird.
After that, weeks after spring training had already started, came the best signings of the offseason: Logan Morrison as the new DH, almost out of nowhere; and, of course, Lance Lynn, who the Twins signed for only one year, $12 million. At the beginning of the offseason, MLB Trade Rumors estimated that Lynn would sign somewhere for four years, $56 million. That’s just a bit of a bargain for the Twins (who, by the way, released Anibal Sanchez to make room for Lynn… which makes sense).
Lynn apparently had better offers from other teams, but guess what? He wanted to come to the Twins. Guess why? Because the Twins were competitive last year, and they finally had an offseason where they showed a commitment to staying competitive for the next year (at least).”
Clearly the Twins player to watch in 2018 is Byon Buxton — if your eyes can even keep up.
The former top prospect who is now known as the fastest man in baseball, Buxton struggled to start the 2017 season, hitting just .147/.256/.176 in the month of April. His top-notch defense kept him in the majors, and by the second half of the season Buxton had found his footing, hitting .300/.347/.546 while sporting the best defense of any player in the game.
Watching Byron Buxton is like watching the MacGyver of baseball players, except the only thing he has to solve problems are the parts of his own body, which are all flying around at about 91 mph together in some kind of beautiful symphony. Legit five-tools, if not more. Incredibly athletic. I feel lucky just to have ever watched him run after a base or ball.
—Maija Varda, Twinkie Town
—Maija Varda, Twinkie Town
The Twins benefited at least as much as any other team from the depressed prices of this offseason, and it landed them Logan Morrison to give the lineup some more thump and Lance Lynn to help steady a rotation that previously relied on just Ervin Santana, Jose Berrios, and a lot of hope the offense was feeling it the other three days of the week. They reached the AL Wild Card despite their obvious problems, but now have Morrison to go along with a full season of broken-out Byron Buxton, plus starters Jake Odorizzi and Lynn joining Berrios and Santana, once he’s recovered from finger surgery. On top of setting themselves up to be better, the Twins are also chasing what might be a lessened Indians team, giving them a real chance at the AL Central.
Jake Odorizzi and Lance Lynn are upgrades on the previous rotation, but the Twins are already guaranteed less Ervin Santana in 2018, and have no guarantee the 35-year-old will be able to replicate last year’s strong performance when he is around. That, plus a lineup that sees a lot less Miguel Sano due to both on- and off-the-field concerns, combined with Logan Morrison going back to chasing 20 homers instead of 40, means the offense is far less potent, and can’t make up for the pitching like it did a season ago, and even a weakened Cleveland squad is too much for the Twins to overcome.