Twins general manager Thad Levine confirmed on Sunday that his club will be active on the market for starting pitching in a radio interview with Jim Bowden and Jim Duquette on Sirius XM Radio. Levine made comments that the team is prioritizing Japanese stars Yu Darvish and Shohei Ohtani.
In addition to Darvish and Ohtani, Levine added that he has been in contact with the agents of Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb and Jake Arrieta, as it appears that the Twins are serious in their pursuit of all-star caliber starters. He also stated that they would be looking for bullpen arms, as Levine may be looking to revamp the Twins pitching staff.
As for Darvish and Ohtani, Levine said that both were priorities and said specifically that Ohtani was a “unique free agent” given his two-way ability to pitch and hit. Darvish, 31, struggled in the postseason, but pitched pretty well after being traded to the Dodgers going 4-3 with a 3.44 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and 11.1 K/9. Otani, 23, went 3-2 with a 3.20 ERA in five starts in Japan this year, and he slashed .332/.403/.540 at the dish in 65 games.
The Twins surprised everyone and went 85-77, clinching the second Wild Card spot where they fell to the Yankees in one game. If Minnesota was able to sign one or both of these free agents, they would be in a great position to compete once again in 2018 with a fairly young roster.