Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Twins at year's end

Today is the final day of 2015. It wasn't a bad baseball year at all, and certainly better for the Twins than the previous four.

It's been a while since the Twins made a noteworthy move, and I suspect the rest of the offseason will be quiet. Terry Ryan and company made their moves early:

  • They traded Aaron Hicks to the Yankees for John Ryan Murphy, a move that added a young option behind the plate and opened center field, presumably for Byron Buxton; and
  • They signed Korean slugger Byung Ho Park to, in a roundabout way, fill the lineup gap opened by Torii Hunter's retirement.

And we have the outlines of the 2016 lineup, rotation and bullpen:

C: Kurt Suzuki and Murphy
1B: Joe Mauer
2B: Brian Dozier
3B: Trevor Plouffe
SS: Eduardo Escobar
LF: Eddie Rosario
CF: Buxton
RF: Miguel Sano
DH: Park

Rotation: Tyler Duffey, Kyle Gibson, Phil Hughes, Tommy Milone, Ervin Santana

Bullpen: Casey Fien, Kevin Jepsen, Trevor May, Ricky Nolasco, Glen Perkins and probably two others, at least one a lefty.

The bench is a bit up in the air, but either Suzuki or Murphy will sit when the other catches, and Eduardo Nunez and Danny Santana are likely to have jobs. That leaves one spot, probably for an outfielder.

Obviously, this outline presumes that Buxton is the center fielder. I believe that's the best route, and I believe that's how the Twins will break camp.

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