After two consecutive years winning the AL Central division, nothing has gone right for the Minnesota Twins during the 2021 MLB season. Between the injury struggles of the uber-talented center fielder Byron Buxton and the dismal on-field performance from many key players, this season is lost.
The Twins will look towards the future, as indicative of them trading starting pitcher Jose Berrios away at the trade deadline. The roster will be in flux during the offseason and here are three Twins players the franchise may move on from following the 2021 MLB season.
1. Michael Pineda, Starting Pitcher
Ever since Michael Pineda's All-Star campaign during his rookie season with the Seattle Mariners in 2011, he's largely been a disappointment. The 32-year-old aging starting pitcher hasn't seen much success during his three years in Minnesota, pitching to a 3.98 ERA. While that mark isn't terrible, he's going through his worst Twins season (4.13 ERA) this year and due for unrestricted free agency. Unless the Twins can grab a major discount, it's a better option to get younger in the rotation.
2. Andrelton Simmons, Shortstop
The Twins had high hopes when they signed Andrelton Simmons to a one-year, $10.5 million contract following his career-year at the plate in 2020 with the Los Angeles Angels. Simmons, never known for his prowess at the plate, fell flat on his face during this past year while slashing just .214/.277/.274 through 101 games. He's still an A+ defender, but with top prospects Royce Lewis and Austin Martin waiting in the farm system, it's time to move on and give them a shot. Simmons' contract will expire this offseason.
3. Max Kepler, Outfielder
The Twins opted to buyout Max Kepler with a contract instead of dealing with his arbitration. He's locked up until a $10 million team option during the 2024 season but it may be worth looking for trade value here. Kepler will be 31 years old by the end of his current contract and based on this year's team performance, the Twins are more than a couple of years away from contending again. Kepler has value as a slugging outfielder (16 home runs, 45 RBIs this season) and could garner some offseason interest in the trade market. It's an option worth at least exploring for the Twins.
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Adam Taylor McKillop is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Adam Taylor also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username atmckillop. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.