- Opening Day for the 2023 MLB season is March 30.
- The Twins will play their season opener against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium.
After a mediocre year in 2022, the Twins were active in the offseason — but will it be enough to get them on top of the AL Central?
The Twins ended the 2022 regular season with a record of 78-84, putting them third in the division behind the Cleveland Guardians and Chicago White Sox. Minnesota led the AL Central for the first half of the season, but injuries caused a fall from grace by the end of the year.
So, will 2023 be different?
Minnesota Twins Offseason Transactions
In arguably one of the biggest offseason stories, the Twins came out on top in the Carlos Correa saga (well, depending on how you look at it). After a tumultuous few months that involved both the San Francisco Giants and New York Mets pulling out of deals with the star shortstop, Correa will return to Minnesota in 2023 on a six-year, $200 million contract. Will an issue with his right leg pop up? Only time will tell, but he’s a huge asset to the team.
The Correa Cannon. ⚾️🔥#MNTwins pic.twitter.com/yFfLJBDldl
— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) July 9, 2022
On Dec. 20, the team signed Joey Gallo to a one-year, $11 million contract, apparently optimistic the struggling slugger can get his groove back in 2023. Splitting the season between the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers, Gallo batted .160 with an OPS of .637 and 19 home runs in 2022.
Christian Vázquez will also be joining the Twins in 2023, after signing a three-year, $30 million deal on Dec. 13 after entering free agency from the Houston Astros. Michael A. Taylor was acquired from the Kansas City Royals on Jan. 23 in exchange for minor league pitchers Steven Cruz and Evan Sisk, so he will be fighting for a place in the outfield alongside Gallo.
Starting pitcher Pablo López will join the Twins’ rotation, having been acquired from the Miami Marlins on Jan. 20, but that also was the team’s biggest loss of the season. In exchange for López and minor leaguers José Salas and Byron Chourio, the Twins parted ways with star second baseman Luis Arráez, which fans were disappointed in.
A little insurance, courtesy of Christian Vázquez!
📺: FOX and the FOX Sports App pic.twitter.com/uLQzhR4yRO
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) November 6, 2022
Minnesota Twins Odds
- Odds to Win AL Central: +250
- Odds to Win American League: +2000
- Odds to Win World Series: +4000
All odds are as of Feb. 13.
Minnesota Twins Win Total
The Twins’ win total for the 2023 season is 82.5.
I don’t think 83 wins are out of the question. The Twins only managed 78 last season, but injuries played a major part in that. If they can keep the roster healthy, two games over .500 certainly isn’t too much of a stretch.
Minnesota Twins Predictions
Prediction: The Minnesota Twins will not win the AL Central.
With Gallo joining the roster, Vázquez becoming the starting catcher, and Correa returning to shortstop, there’s a lot to like about the Twins lineup. Having said that, the team now has enough outfielders to support half the AL Central, so how much depth is too much depth?
Alex Kirilloff, Byron Buxton, and Trevor Larnach battled injuries in 2022, though all are expected to be ready for spring training. There’s also Gallo (who has won two Gold Gloves for his work in the outfield even though his slugging has been less than impressive), Taylor (who won a Gold Glove in 2021 and was a part of the 2019 World Series-champion Nationals), and Max Kepler (who admittedly hasn’t performed well since 2019). That’s a lot of outfielders to find playing time for.
Assuming he’s healthy, Kiriloff will likely be moved into first base, with Jorge Polanco at second, Correa at shortstop, and Jose Miranda at third. That’s not a bad infield, and it’ll be exciting to see Miranda play his natural position after having to learn first base for the majority of 2022. The loss of Arráez will likely be felt more on offense than defense, but still, this isn’t a bad list of players to have in a starting lineup.
Red-hot Miranda. 🔥🔥🔥#MNTwins pic.twitter.com/7KAWMmjKGd
— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) July 27, 2022
Looking at the starting rotation — Sonny Gray, Pablo López, Tyler Mahle, Kenta Maeda, and Joe Ryan — it’s good, but not great.
Having said that, it’s also arguably the best the Twins have had in a while. López and Mahle both battled shoulder issues in 2022, and Maeda is returning after Tommy John surgery, so there are a lot of variables.
Overall, do I think the Twins will win the AL Central in 2023? No, I don’t.
Like in 2022, I think the Guardians and White Sox will fight for the top two positions, with the Twins likely to come in third. The moves made in the offseason are a good start to set Minnesota up for the future. I think in a few seasons, and maybe a few trades to acquire an ace starter or two, and the Twins could be real contenders.
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