There was one surefire, slam dunk move that the Twins were going to make this offseason. To bolster the pitching rotation in 2013. they were going to re-sign Scott Baker, the injured pitcher that missed the 2012 season because of the patented Minnesota Twins surprise Tommy John surgery™, to a team friendly, incentive laden deal and have him and his rebuilt arm strengthen the rotation.
Well, so much for that. Baker signed with the Cubs on a 1 year, 5.5 million dollar deal that clearly blew the Twins out of the water.This certainly makes things more difficult for the Twins, and likely means some serious Deduno time next season in Minneapolis.
The picture is now painted for the Twins. If they want to add free agents, they will have to over pay. The one player that they could have hoped would have given them a discount was the home town player. I find it hard to believe that, if Baker is getting 5.5 million next year, Shaun Marcum or Joe Blanton would prove to be much more affordable, or willing to take less money to come to Minnesota. In fact, I bet it would take more money than what the market has to offer to convince a player to come to Minnesota of their own volition. Players give discounts for their current organization, or to teams that are close to winning. The Twins can”t offer that, either.
Now, it comes down to trades if the Twins want to find an affordable way to supplement their pitching attack. The relied upon signing of Baker isn’t happening, which means the Twins have another hole to fill. They will likely have to either trade another bat or keep Sam Deduno in the rotation. If the Twins feel like their offense is playoff caliber, I can’t imagine them gutting it too much more than they already intend to. Sure, the Twins will add one pitcher via trade, but probably not two. I can’t imagine them breaking the bank for a free agent starter either. Unfortunately, it seems like that’s what it will take.
The market has been set, and it is tilted away from Minnesota.