The offseason narrative surrounding the Twins centered around an old complaint — well-worn or well-earned depending on your perspective: Ownership and management haven’t spent enough on payroll, and the team was bound to suffer as a result.
Most of the Twins’ offseason acquisitions were met with a shrug or a yawn — followed by “wake me up when they sign a big name to a long deal.”
Some of the concern was legitimate given that a modest approach to free agency before the 2018 season produced a lot of duds and a lost year. But the message from Derek Falvey and Thad Levine was to preach a wait-and-see approach before going all-in on roster upgrades.
More than one-fourth of the way into the 2019 season, the critical voices have largely died down (or at least been refocused on the single notion of upgrading the bullpen).
Falvey and Levine either learned lessons from 2018, surrounded players with better coaches, had better players to choose from, got a little lucky or some combination of all the above.
Whatever the case, this Twins team feels very real. The numbers tell us that, but more so does the increasing expectation they are creating that every night might produce a win — and a lopsided one at that, as we saw this weekend in Seattle and plenty of other times this year.
Twins fans are coming around on their end of the bargain and getting giddily excited about a team worthy of their emotion.
Management and ownership can further hold up their end of the bargain with even more investment before the trade deadline at the end of July.
Add two impact pitchers by then, and everyone will be all-in — regardless of how long it took them to get there.
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A few people have asked me whether the Wolves would consider trying to trade the No. 11 pick in this year’s NBA draft if it meant they could also send out an undesirable big-money contract in the process.
I suppose that’s possible, but ...
1) The cap-strapped Wolves need cheap labor and young talent given that their 2016 and 2017 drafts are not helping them.
2) It’s presumably not a high enough pick to be in great demand.
3) If Gersson Rosas is truly willing to take a patient approach to roster-building, he’s probably better off either waiting for bad contacts to expire or dealing someone like Jeff Teague at the trade deadline for an asset instead of trading him now with an asset.
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Speaking of Rosas, one of the three other candidates he beat out for the Wolves’ president of basketball operations job was Trajan Langdon — who was just hired by the Pelicans to be their new general manager.
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The Warriors are undefeated since Kevin Durant injured his calf late in their series against Houston and look like they will coast into the NBA Finals.
It’s either a testament to Golden State’s depth, a commentary on how little they actually need one of the best players in the NBA or a little bit of both.
I’d say it seems like pretty good ammunition for folks who didn’t like it when Durant signed with the Warriors before the 2016-17 season. Then again, the Warriors might need him — or miss him — if they have to face the Bucks in the Finals.