Berardino says the Twins are focusing on trying to acquire “front-line starting pitching” to help bolster a team that made its first postseason appearance since 2010 after earning the second AL wild card spot. The Twins lost to the Yankees, 8-4, in the wild card game, but finished the season with an 85-77 record — a remarkable 28-win turnaround from 2016, considering they went 59-103.
Berardino says Cole and Odorizzi are ideal for the Twins because they are both controllable for the next two seasons. The pair of 27-year-old arms are also not expected to make a ton of money after arbitration.
Cole was one of the hottest names on the trade market last season, but the Pirates did not pull the trigger on a deal because they were still in the hunt for the playoffs at the non-waiver trade deadline. Cole has gone 59-42 with a 3.50 ERA during his five-year career in Pittsburgh, with 19 of his wins coming during the 2013 campaign in which he was an All-Star and had 202 strikeouts in 208 innings pitched.
Odorizzi was also a name of interest for some teams, but the Rays held onto him because they were also in contention. Odorizzi has posted a 40-37 mark with a 3.82 ERA in his five seasons in Tampa.