After losing the AL Wild Card game to the New York Yankees, the Twins are looking at adding depth to a pitching staff that posted a 4.59 ERA in 2017. According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Twins are looking to pursue a top starting pitcher to go alongside Ervin Santana and Jose Berrios next season. They’re not a big market team by any means but they aren’t a small market club either. Will they bring in an ace, or will they bring in a middle of the rotation arm?
1 Jake Arrieta
Even though Arrieta didn't have the strongest season of his career last year, he's still in high demand on the free agent market. With a Cy Young Award and World Series title on his resume, Arrieta seems to be a perfect fit for a team with a young pitching staff.
The only thing that could hold the Twins back is how much money is Arrieta worth and can they afford him on a long-term deal. He would be a great leadership presence in the Twins' rotation, but he would have to establish himself as the ace with Santana still on the roster.
2 Yu Darvish
Another front-line starter the Twins and many other clubs are looking at adding is Yu Darvish. Darvish has World Series experience as well and his veteran presence would also be a plus for a young staff. He could also serve as a No. 2 starter under Santana like he did for Clayton Kershaw in LA during the second half of the season.
But like Arrieta, adding Darvish could be a money issue for Minnesota. Would the Twins be willing to break the bank to bring him in? If they did, they would have to move key players like Brian Dozier and Ervin Santana, which would lead to the Twins having to find key players who could fill their absences by either the free agent or trade markets.
3 Alex Cobb
Cobb was once the Rays' top starting pitcher, but a head injury and Tommy John surgery shortly after has limited Cobb in recent seasons. In his first full season back from Tommy John, Cobb put up a respectful 3.66 ERA and led the Rays with 12 wins.
Cobb would be affordable for the Twins, who could easily sign him to a three-year deal without having to stretch the budget. He still has the potential to be an ace, but chances are he'd be more of a mid-rotation guy in Minneapolis.
4 Lance Lynn
Like Cobb, Lance Lynn pitched his first full season since Tommy John surgery last year. Lynn has won over ten games every full season he's pitched and has a career ERA of 3.38. He and Cobb have similar numbers and both thrive in the middle of the rotation.
Lynn would provide good leadership to the youngsters like Berrios and Adalberto Mejia, and would also be a better option in the rotation over veteran Hector Santiago, who has posted a 4.96 ERA over the last two years. Lynn would also be an affordable option for the Twins and could easily receive a three-year deal like Cobb.
5 Who should they sign: Lance Lynn
Because the club has Ervin Santana at the top of the rotation and several younger pitchers getting ready to take on starting responsibilities, Lynn would be the perfect fit in the middle of the rotation. At 30 years old, he's still halfway through his prime and has arguably become the most consistent pitcher in the game since his first full season in 2012. Lynn could also prove to be a great mentor to the younger pitchers because of his time with veteran pitchers like Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright in St. Louis during his early playing days, so passing on that knowledge to youngsters in Minnesota makes him a prime fit with the Twins.
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