Twins Offseason: Cruz and Simmons

The MLB so often holds promise to an exciting offseason with big name players looking for new homes, but what we see time and time again is that contract negotiations get stuck in the mud and there is a long silence between big signings.

Amidst all of that, the Twins just inked Cruz to a 1 year $13M deal and to me, this was such an important move to bring him back. I had mentioned this in my past post, The Case for Schwarber: A New Twins Mold:

"When we look at players with success in the postseason, I think its hard to look past Nelson Cruz and find a way to bring him back? He has a strong work ethic, he has been around the league, he can continue to mentor players like Miguel Sano, and most importantly he can hit in those clutch spots which seems like such a unique thing for a guy in a Twins uniform in my lifetime!"

The growing concern was if we had to give an aging star a multiple year deal to bring him back. But for a 1 year, $13M deal... this made all the sense in the world.

The leadership style of Cruz is the perfect counter balance to the edgy style of Donaldson. Both of which the Twins need, and I can't wait to see what a full year does for taking this Twins culture to the next level.

The other name that we brought in is Andrelton Simmons. And truly this was one player that I did not think we were going to get. And this was a 1 year deal that does exactly what the Twins management is trying to do... Bring in solid players without tying up the cap until we know what we have with players like Kirilloff, Lewis, and Larnach coming around the corner.

The big thing that intrigues me with Simmons is his Defensive ability. We have seen how much better the Twins play when Byron Buxton is in the lineup and Simmons is another type of those players. His defensive highlight reel is staggering and throwing him next to another elite defender like Donaldson, and being able to slide Polanco over to 2nd... we upgraded 2 spots in our infield.

And going back to the payroll perspective... with the Twins not shelling out big money to Starting Pitchers... the way around that is solidifying your defense and building a strong bullpen. While I believe that we will need to spend money on Starting Pitching down the road, it makes sense to wait until we know what we have with our young players coming up. And the addition of Simmons is only going to make our pitching look better when you factor in the shifts and his natural ability to close windows when playing it straight up at the SS position.

Twins fans are all too aware of how rallies can all of a sudden stop and potential to score runs vanishes. Simmons is the player that stops rallies and keeps teams within firing range. And when you pair that ability with the Bomba Squad producing runs... this is a great signing that I am so excited to see play out this year.