Unlike the Colorado Rockies, the Minnesota Twins were viewed as one of, if not, the strongest teams in their division entering 2021. After all, they were tied for the second-best record in their division (the American League Central) in 2020 with a 36-24 record. That’s equivalent to a 97-win team in a full 162-game season.
They also won 101 games in 2019 and won the AL Central by eight games. But in 2021, their pitching completely fell apart. By ERA+, the Twins had the fourth-best pitching staff in baseball (128). In 2021, that plummeted all the way down to 25th in baseball (89).
As a result, at the trade deadline, the Twins traded their DH Nelson Cruz as well as starting pitchers J.A. Happ and José Berríos. They ended the season by getting the news that their best-remaining starting pitcher, former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Kenta Maeda, would need Tommy John surgery. He missed September of 2021 and will miss all of 2022.
The Minnesota Twins are not going to be very good in 2022.
Entering the 2022 season, the Twins look a shell of themselves, especially on the pitching front. Currently, their ace is Dylan Bundy. They signed him for a one-year deal for $4 million and a team option for 2023 (and a $1 million buyout for the option).
Bundy, 29, got Cy Young Award votes for the Los Angeles Angels in 2020 after he had a 3.29 ERA in 11 starts (2.95 FIP, 1.036 WHIP) but he was not the same in 2021 and was never that good in a full season. From 2016 through 2019 with Baltimore, he had a 4.69 ERA (4.75 FIP) in 125 games (103 starts). In 2021, he made 23 appearances (19 starts) and had an ERA of 6.06.
And, as of now, he’s the Twins ace. In other words, the Twins are not going to be contending unless they make some major moves when the lockout ends. Realistically, they should trade some players away and rebuild.
Here are nine potential trade targets the Colorado Rockies should look at with the Minnesota Twins.