The Twins were flying under the radar with a very quiet offseason before the Padres went and made two blockbuster pitching moves in the last 48 hours to give the fan bases of every contending team — Twins included — some major envy.
San Diego dipped deep into its prospect pool in a pair of reported trades, grabbing Blake Snell from Tampa Bay and Yu Darvish from the Cubs.
Snell won the AL Cy Young Award in 2018 with a sub-2.00 ERA. Darvish was lights-out in 2020. At their best, both are ace-quality pitchers — and both are under contract through 2023, giving San Diego the chance to have a dominant rotation for years to come.
Minnesota fans likely would have been thrilled to see either one wind up with the Twins. Seeing both of them headed to San Diego? Locally, it mostly serves as a reminder of just how little has happened this offseason so far for the Twins.
The baseball "hot stove" has been ice cold for the Twins. The MLB tracker is full of minor moves. Nelson Cruz remains unsigned. The two biggest moves have been subtractions: non-tendering Eddie Rosario and losing Trevor May in free agency to the Mets.
There is plenty of logic to the low-key approach. Waiting out the market tends to produce better value in both trades and free agency. And the 2021 season is full of financial uncertainty given the ongoing question of in-person attendance because of COVID-19.
Two of last year's biggest moves happened in mid-January (Josh Donaldson signing) and February (Kenta Maeda trade).
So there is still plenty of time to add to an offense that plummeted from No. 2 in runs per game in 2019 to No. 19 last season. Or to add another top-of-the-rotation pitcher to a staff trying to help the Twins win their first playoff game since 2004, with 18 defeats since then.
But right now? There's a whole lot of nothing. It's a silence that feels a little more disquieting after watching another emerging team with farm system depth like the Padres make a lot of late December noise.