The Minnesota Twins made some moves this off-season that will give them the personnel to once again compete in the AL Central in the next two years. What still isn’t so clear is how they plan on piecing together a MLB pitching staff this season.
Scott Diamond is really the only viable starter returning from 2012. To back up their probable opening day hurler the Twins traded for Philadelphia Phillies‘ Vance Worley and made some pedestrian acquisitions by signing Mike Pelfrey, Kevin Correia and Rich Harden.
It’s getting to that time of the year again; the big names were swooped up a few months ago, most trades were conducted at the winter meetings and now clubs are left scraping the bottom of the free agent barrel in search of a couple more pieces. One name that has been associated with the Twins is Joe Saunders who finished 2012 with the Baltimore Orioles.
While Saunders only posted a 9-13 record, he did pitch well in September, something that surely gave the free agent some credibility. At this point, rumors suggest Saunders is leaning towards returning to the Orioles, however, he could be lured away with more guaranteed years.
The Twins will look for some consistency following a 2012 season where 12 different pitchers started games for the 96-loss team. With only one, Diamond, starting more than 20.
It appears to remedy this situation, the club plans on adding several mediocre arms in hopes of finding five that can consistently eat up innings. Diamond and Worley should anchor the front of the rotation with the back end consisting of some combination of Pelfrey, Correia, Harden, and long-awaited prospect, Kyle Gibson.
While many of these guys have had great success at some point in their careers, it may be optimistic to assume that the Twins are set for starting pitching this year. At the very least, to prepare for injuries or ineffectiveness, the club will need to add one more arm. Stay tuned if that arm is Saunders’ or if the team will go another route.