The “Twins” trading system

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Guide:The Twins strategies

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“This is going to be a terrible night. “

The Twins are the Hardmode version of the Eye of Cthulhu. They are part of the trio of the mechanical bosses, alongside with The Destroyer and Skeletron Prime.

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Contents

Spawn Condition [ edit | edit source ]

The Twins can be spawned by fulfilling any of these conditions:

  • Smash a Demon / Crimson Altar . They will then have a 10% chance of appearing when night falls. Note that this condition is shared with the rest of the trio, and thus it’s not guaranteed if they have yet to be defeated, and will only work if The Twins have yet to be defeated;
  • Use a Mechanical Eye at night.

It must then be defeated before the night ends.

The Fight [ edit | edit source ]

The Twins, as the name suggests, are two separate monsters, both of which must be defeated. They have a combined health of 43,000 / 64,500 , shared between them. Retinazer, distinguished by its red iris and that it fires lasers. Spazmatism, distinguished by its green iris and that it fires cursed flames.

When reduced to 2/5 health, they will transform, gaining a slight boost in offense and defense. Only one Eye will transform; both must be reduced to 8,000 and 9,000 respectively for each to transform. When one is destroyed, the other will continue attacking in the same pattern.

It’s a good idea to take them out one at a time, because if one dies first, it will be much easier to defeat the other one.

Retinazer [ edit | edit source ]

In its first form, Retinazer will fire lasers at the player at a steady but somewhat slow rate. This is occasionally interrupted by charging attacks, which mirror that of its partner. Retinazer does slightly less damage than Spazmatism, but this is offset by its higher accuracy thanks to the speed of the lasers. When not charging, Retinazer will always be aligned diagonally with the player, positioned above them.

When it changes into its second form, it will no longer engage in charge attacks. Instead, its lasers will progressively fire at a faster rate as it loses health. This is occasionally supplemented by a weaker but much more rapid laser attack that tracks extremely well. To avoid this, try to fall as fast as you can, and you can be left unscathed. With wings it is possible to “zig-zag” up and down to dodge the lasers. This is made trickier as the fight goes on, with Retinazer using more rapid and fast lasers that are much harder to dodge.

Spazmatism [ edit | edit source ]

Spazmatism, like Retinazer, varies between firing Cursed Flames from a distance and engaging in charging attacks. The flames do more damage than the lasers, but are not as fast and thus easier to dodge. However, the Cursed Inferno debuff can be very dangerous for its high damage over time and its ability to stop health regeneration. Its charge attacks are faster and more agressive than Retinazer.

Spazmatism’s second form changes his attack pattern dramatically compared to Retinazer. Its cursed flame attack becomes a constant stream of flame, which will last for several seconds (and deal large amounts of damage). However, it does not chase the player quite as quickly as it does in its first form, making avoiding the attack somewhat easier. Once it stops spewing flame, it will charge with greatly increased speed, which also does a lot more damage. Dodging these charges is quite difficult. Much like Retinazer, fall as fast as you can while he is charging, and you should be okay. Misdirecting Spazmatism’s charges is easier than it sounds; if you jump as he slows down, he will charge over you. This causes Spazmatism to charge at you from either above or below, making him easier to dodge if you just run.

Which to Defeat First [ edit | edit source ]

The following lists shows Pros and Cons by defeating one of the Twins. Players generally kill Spazmatism first.

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Defeating Retinazer first:

Pros: Retinazer has a ranged attack, and defeating this Twin first will assist players who are bad at dodging, afraid of lasers, or have a relatively low movement speed.

Cons: Retinazer has many, many lasers to dodge, and, in addition, if you are a slow player, defeating Retinazer can be the more difficult of the two Twins to fight.

Defeating Spazmatism first:

Pros: Damage from Cursed Inferno can easily add up, so if you defeat him first, you won’t have to deal with that for as long. Keeping Retinazer in its first form can allow you to easily heal to full before killing it.

Cons: Attempting to defeat it as either a slow or melee player (unless you have a melee weapon that shoots a projectile like the Beam Sword or the Ice Sickle) can make dodging the eye fire more difficult.

General Strategies [ edit | edit source ]

General Tips [ edit | edit source ]

This content is transcluded from Guide:Practical Tips § Combat.

  • Starting the battle just after the sun sets (7:30 PM) will provide the maximum amount of time to defeat nocturnal bosses. (Do pause a moment to make sure the night won’t be a Blood Moon, or feature another boss spawning.) In Hardmode, the Moon Charm and/or Moon Stone are also useful at night.
  • Prepare your Boss-fighting arena with adequate lighting, Campfires and Heart Lanterns for health regeneration, and Stars in Bottles for mana regeneration if you use magic.
  • Sunflowers provide the Happy! buff to players within a 50-tile radius, which grants a +10% movement speed bonus and 17% reduction in enemy spawn rate.
  • Always carry at least one stack of the highest-tier healing potion available ( Lesser , Normal , Greater , or Super Healing Potions ). Relying only on natural Health Regeneration is not a good idea.
    • The same goes for Lesser , Normal , Greater , or Super Mana Potions , if you use Magic. The Strange Brew could also be used.
  • It is suggested to build houses for the Dryad and the Nurse NPCs in your arena. The former casts the Dryad’s Blessing buff, which increases your defense and provides you with a thorns-like effect, while the latter can heal and remove debuffs instantly, at the cost of some coins .
  • Bosses are displayed on the Minimap: Follow the boss’s icon to track it when you’re struggling to find it. You can identify the boss icons by checking their respective wiki pages.
  • Once you have freed the Mechanic in the Dungeon, you can use Wire to enhance your arena with Traps and helpful Heart and Star Statues . The former help to damage the enemies, though be careful to set them up correctly in order not to hurt yourself during the battle. The latter will spawn heart and star pickups, respectively. Connect these devices to timers .
  • It may be useful to summon and kill the Eye of Cthulhu or King Slime before summoning any harder boss in order to spawn an extra one-use pool of hearts.
  • Remember to use the Sharpening Station , Ammo Box , Crystal Ball , and Bewitching Table before you go to explore or battle bosses/invasions. These will give class-specific boosts that are useful to take. They give Sharpened , Ammo Box , Clairvoyance , and Bewitched , respectively.

Terrain preparation [ edit | edit source ]

The Sky above the surface is highly recommended for the Twins arena, as vertical movement is required to dodge most of the attacks.

  • A very long Sky Bridge (if possible made out of Asphalt or Frozen Slime Blocks ) is optimal. Continuously running with Spectre / Lightning / Frostspark Boots causes both to miss you with their projectiles very often, and keeps each Twin at a stationary horizontal position most of the time, allowing you to fire continuously at it without switching your aim. Wings will help dodge each of the Twins’ second phases. Using Asphalt can negate the need for Boots, while using them can allow you to avoid taking damage completely. However, try not to run too fast if you use Boots and Asphalt, as Retinazer may fall behind and despawn. Spazmatism, however, is fast enough to keep up. Regular stone blocks can be used too if you have obtained the Blessed Apple .
  • The standard Boss arena of several layers of Platforms may be of use, as it allows firing and maneuvering in any direction. A solid ceiling just above your top platform will block Retinazer’s beam attacks, as Retinazer always flanks from above.
    • Also, a wall on both sides of a small area can block Spazmatism’s cursed fire, but be careful not to run out of time from covering behind the wall. It is helpful to have a one block hole one block up to shoot through. This is more useful if you want to try tanking the boss with the above tip of heart statues. If you can tank the hits with the help of heart statues, you can gun down Retinazer while Spazmatism is only able to charge at you.
  • A safety box in the ground isn’t bad either, if you acquired the Daedalus Stormbow . That way you could attack Retinazer while its laser can’t hurt you in the box. In order to attack Spazmatism make the box one block from the surface and bring Holy Arrows , the impact from the stars could hurt it. Stay close to the edge so the Cursed flames can’t hurt you.
  • You can also use Minecart Track when building a sky arena to avoid the Twins attack while doing a ton of damage with ranged weapons.

Gearing up [ edit | edit source ]

If you already defeated at least one of the Mechanical Bosses, you can explore the Underground Jungle for 20 Life Fruits . These will increase your maximum life to 500, which can help to defeat the rest of the Mechanical Bosses.

Armor [ edit | edit source ]

  • Adamantite armor provides the greatest overall increase to all stats. Melee and ranged users should substitute in a Frost Breastplate to increase damage output and defense without sacrificing anything important.
  • Titanium armor is a great choice due to its also high stats and the Shadow Dodge buff.
  • Orichalcum armor provides very high critical strike chance and its set bonus can hit multiple parts.
  • Palladium armor provides lower stat bonuses, but the Rapid Healing greatly increases natural regeneration.
  • Hallowed armor becomes a great choice if you have already defeated a Mechanical Boss.
  • Spider armor is the best choice for summoners. However, it is unwise to rely on summons unless you have prepared a large area with background walls to aid the mobility of spider minions.
  • Frost armor and Forbidden armor provide weak stat bonuses, but allow you to mix different damage types.

Weapons [ edit | edit source ]

Accessories [ edit | edit source ]

Accessories that improve mobility are a must, since the Twins use quick attacks.

  • The Frostspark BootsandWings are a must, especially for the Sky Bridge method. They allow the player to dodge, and also allow the player to flee temporarily if health is running low.
  • Even though it doesn’t prevent Cursed Inferno, the Ankh Shield can still be used to prevent Knockback and for some useful extra defense.
    • The same is true for the Obsidian Shield and the Cobalt Shield . Knockback prevention is vital when trying to fight the Twins.
  • An Emblem of your respective class is a must have in Hardmode because of its big damage buffs.
  • If playing in Expert mode, the Shield of Cthulhu is an incredibly useful item as well, with its dash being great for dodging.
  • The Expert-exclusive Worm Scarf can greatly reduce damage taken.
  • The Charm of Myths provides a helpful boost to newer or slower players taking too much damage by reducing the cooldown of Potion Sickness as well as increasing passive health regeneration, it can also be used by quickswapping it from the vanity slot, since the effect only applies when consuming a Health Potion.
  • The Cross Necklace is another good choice, as the frequent charging attacks deal a lot of rapid damage, and the extra period of invulnerability mitigates a significant portion of this damage.
  • The Moon Charm is very helpful if you use Melee, as it will give a minor boost to all stats, raising your defense and therefore survivability, and also giving higher damage.
  • The Magic Cuffs are helpful if you’re using mana consuming items as you will take damage frequently from The Twins.

If possible, reforge all Accessories for damage, crit chance or defense bonuses. If money is no object (see Guide:Making Money), having all Accessories reforged to Warding, Lucky or Menacing provides an extra 20 defense, 20% crit chance or 20% damage (24% , since the Demon Heart allows you to have 6 accessories).

Potions [ edit | edit source ]

  • Regeneration Potion , Endurance Potion and Ironskin Potion will help prevent fatal damage. Two of each will likely cover the entire night.
    • Lifeforce Potion is harder to craft, requiring Prismite , but it can boost your health to 480 (600 if the health bar has been maxed out through the use of Life Fruit ).
  • Any food item providing the Well Fed buff is very useful.
  • Gravitation Potion can be especially useful, as it eliminates the need for any arena and may free up an accessory slot.
  • Swiftness Potion helps you evade the twins. Two should last the entire fight.
  • Featherfall Potion can greatly increase maneuverabilty in midair.
  • If you have access to a world with Corruption, a Wrath Potion is a good bonus, but not necessary.
  • For magic users, a Magic Power Potion and a Mana Regeneration Potion are must haves.
  • Archery Potion will greatly boost the damage and speed of Arrows.
  • Melee users greatly benefit from the effects of an Ale or Sake
  • Summoning Potion is absolutely vital for Summoners attempting this fight.

Miscellaneous [ edit | edit source ]

  • Because the Twins are vulnerable to many debuffs, melee players can take great advantage of Flasks. The Flask of Ichor greatly increases the damage output of all weapons, and the Flask of Poison , Fire , and Cursed Flames can give a very slight increase to DPS . Similarly, the Spider minions can keep them afflicted with Venom, rangers can use Frostburn or other special arrows, and magicians can use a Poison Staff or whatever other weapons they’ve acquired.
  • The Ice Rod is useful against Retinazer because the spawned ice blocks can block his lasers.

Specific Strategies [ edit | edit source ]

Close-ranged Unicorn Strategy [ edit | edit source ]

A strategy that is helpful for Melee players is a Skybridge using a Blessed Apple and any kind of yoyo (A Yoyo Bag is recommended). Running with the Unicorn and shooting the yoyo behind you will deal a lot of damage and you won’t get hit very much as the unicorn is slightly faster. Warning: Using this strategy may lead to the The Twins despawning if you go too fast.

Sentry Farming [ edit | edit source ]

After gaining access to the Tier 2 equipment sold by the Tavernkeep, the fight becomes much easier to do. Wearing the Squire armor and using the Ballista Cane will give the best results because of the high defense and health regeneration provided by the armor, as well as the Ballista Panic! buff doubling the firing rate. Acquiring one of the accessories dropped by the Ogre is recommended for this method. When building your arena, be sure to use platforms whenever possible to maximize the opportunities your Ballistas have to fire. Make sure that you have Heart Lanterns and Campfires set up to give yourself the most health regeneration. Having a good pair of Wings, the Cobalt Shield or its upgrades, and the Lightning Boots or Frostspark Boots are recommended for maximum mobility. The Summoner Emblem will make the fight go much faster, rounding out your accessories. A few Greater Healing Potion are all the healing you’ll need in case you get backed into a tight spot. Once the Twins have been summoned in, simply kite them around your Ballistas, taking damage periodically, preferably from Retinazer’s laser for minimal damage. With the best Modifiers on your gear and all the relevant buffs, the Twins will go down in two to three minutes. If you find yourself taking too much damage and needing to heal more, consider swapping out the Summoner Emblem with a Charm of Myths so you can heal more often.

Invincibility Machine [ edit | edit source ]

Warning: Many players will consider invincibility machines as cheating.

After beating up the biome Biome Mimics, you should have Fetid Baghnakhs and Daedalus Stormbow . With two Target Dummies and a block overhead you can make the invincibility machine. Get a Slimy Saddle and try to bounce on both dummies while keeping it rapid. After you summon the boss, use the Fetid Baghnakhs to quickly take out Spazmatism. Then use the Daedalus Stormbow to beat Retinazer.

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Twins Rumors

Derek Falvey On How To Get A Job In Baseball

By Tim Dierkes | April 4, 2020 at 1:22am CDT

I posed this question to many of MLB’s top-ranking baseball operations executives.В Just like the rest of us, these people are currently sheltered in place with their families trying to get some work done in these difficult and strange times.В The following ten execs kindly took the time to answer my question: Ross Atkins of the Blue Jays, Jeff Bridich of the Rockies, Ben Cherington of the Pirates, James Click of the Astros, Mike Elias of the Orioles, Derek Falvey of the Twins, Matt Kleine of the Brewers, Dayton Moore of the Royals, Brodie Van Wagenen of the Mets, and Dick Williams of the Reds.В Their answers are below.

My suggestion – dive into a topic within the game that interests you, learn as much as you can about it, and then generate a work product that shows you have the baseline skills and passion to impact a baseball operation as soon as you walk through the door. Don’t be afraid to try something because you might fail. Of all the resumes we get, it’s the ones that are accompanied by a work product (and therefore a willingness to put yourself out there) that generate the most interest.В – Derek Falvey, TwinsВ President of Baseball Operations

How The Delayed Season Impacts The Twins

By Steve Adams | April 3, 2020 at 11:24am CDT

All 30 big league clubs are waiting to see whether a 2020 season will be played at all, but assuming a season is able to take place in some capacity, the prolonged delay will impact some clubs more than others. We’ve already run through the Yankees, Angels, Phillies and Athletics in this regard.

Turning to the Twins, who’ll be looking to defend their first division crown since 2020, they’ll suddenly have the opportunity to get nearly a full season out of one of their most important pitching pickups of the winter: left-hander Rich Hill.

The 40-year-old Hill underwent “primary repair” surgery on his left ulnar collateral ligament over the winter and inked a one-year, $3MM deal with Minnesota (plus $9.5MM of available incentives), knowing that he’d miss the first few months of the season. Primary repair is a less invasive alternative to Tommy John surgery that can be pursued depending on the extent of the tear and its location within the ligament; Hill’s injury met the requisite criteria, and he was targeting a June or July return to the mound. It’s now possible he’ll be ready to join the Twins’ rotation early in a truncated season — if not from the very outset.

Manager Rocco Baldelli gave an update on Hill’s status in a recent interview with Steve Phillips and Eduardo Perez on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM, suggesting that Hill is rehabbing and throwing and has “done very well — about as well as you could ask for.” To this point, there’s no reason to think his initial rehab timetable needs adjustment.

Hill wasn’t the ace that many Twins fans hoped to see the front office add this winter, but on a per-inning basis he remains highly effective. The durability concerns with the veteran southpaw are very real even if his recovery from offseason surgery goes as planned, but there’s no denying how good Hill has been recently when able to take the mound. In 58 2/3 innings last season, the lefty pitched to a 2.45 ERA with 11.0 K/9 against 2.8 BB/9 — despite pitching part of the season with the ligament damage that necessitated his surgery. Hill only managed 327 regular-season innings over the past three years, but he logged a 3.30 ERA with just under 11 punchouts per nine frames in that time and also chipped in 37 innings of 2.43 ERA ball in the playoffs.

The postponement of Opening Day not only gives Hill more time to get up to speed — it also should allow the Twins to more easily manage his innings. It’s likely that rosters will be expanded at least early on, which should give Baldelli some extra relievers if the club wants to limit Hill to three to five innings per outing to begin the season. One of the Twins’ previously projected fifth starter candidates — Randy Dobnak, Devin Smeltzer, Lewis Thorpe or non-roster invitee Jhoulys Chacin — could potentially be paired with Hill in a tandem or piggyback type of arrangement.

Additional downtime will also allow the Twins to ensure that several key players are at full strength to begin the year. None of Byron Buxton, Jorge Polanco or Marwin Gonzalez was expected to open the 2020 campaign on the injured list, but each is recovering from surgery. Buxton went under the knife last September to repair a torn labrum and was only just about to get into Grapefruit League games when Spring Training was suspended. Baldelli has said Buxton would’ve been ready for Opening Day, but there shouldn’t be any doubt about his shoulder’s well-being now.

Polanco, meanwhile, underwent surgery to repair an ankle injury that dogged him throughout the 2020 season. He appeared fine at the plate, hitting .295/.356/.485 with 22 long balls, 40 doubles and seven triples, but it’s possible that the nagging ankle issue contributed to Polanco’s lackluster defensive ratings and his lack of stolen bases (just four). Gonzalez, meanwhile, underwent a debridement of the patellar tendon in his right knee over the winter and was a bit behind schedule in camp. He should be fully up to speed once play resumes.

There are also possible implications for suspended right-hander Michael Pineda, who still has 39 games remaining on a reduced 60-game ban issued late last year. That suspension will still be in effect if the 2020 season is able to be played, and there’s been no indication that it’d be shortened or prorated to reflect the reduction of games on this year’s schedule. If the season is canceled entirely, however, ESPN’s Jeff Passan has previously reported that drug suspension wouldn’t carry into the 2021 campaign. Pineda would seemingly be able to join the rotation from day one.

The hope in Minnesota is that by the end of whatever season we get, Jose Berrios, Jake Odorizzi, Kenta Maeda, Homer Bailey, Hill and Pineda will combine to make the bulk of the starts. With six starters, plus the trio of Dobnak, Smeltzer and Thorpe on hand as depth options (and perhaps Chacin as well), the Twins should be well-equipped to handle regular doubleheaders and fewer off-days in the accelerated regular-season schedule.

In a worst-case scenario that sees the season postponed entirely, the Twins could see holdovers Odorizzi, Gonzalez, Nelson Cruz and Trevor May all reach free agency. Meanwhile, Hill, Bailey, Tyler Clippard and Alex Avila could depart without ever formally suiting up in a game that counts.

Buxton Would’ve Been Ready For Opening Day

By Steve Adams | March 30, 2020 at 7:09am CDT

The Twins’ expectation is that center fielder Byron Buxton would’ve been in center field on Opening Day had the season commenced on time, writes Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. The 26-year-old underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left (non-throwing) shoulder last September, and manager Rocco Baldelli said in a weekend conference call that Buxton’s rehab from the procedure “could not have gone smoother.” Buxton was a bit limited early in camp during the first spring training, but he’ll be on a normal schedule if a second (likely abbreviated) training camp is able to come together. Injuries have plagued much of Buxton’s career — crashing into the center field fence on the regular and frequently laying out for diving attempts take their toll on a body — but he turned in a .262/.314/.513 slash line (114 OPS+, 111 wRC+) in 295 plate appearances when healthy last season. Despite playing in only 87 games, he tied for fifth among MLB outfielders in Statcast’s Outs Above Average metric.

Blaine Hardy Undergoes Tommy John Surgery

By Jeff Todd | March 27, 2020 at 7:34pm CDT

Southpaw Blaine Hardy, who was in camp with the Twins on a minor-league deal, will now be sidelined until 2021. He underwent Tommy John surgery last Friday, according to Phil Miller of the Star Tribune. (Hardy’s wife notes on Twitter that elective procedures were fully permissible in Minnesota at the time it was performed.)

The 33-year-old Hardy has thrown plenty of innings against the Twins over his six seasons with the Tigers. His tenure in Detroit wrapped up after 289 2/3 innings of 3.73 ERA ball.

While he has turned in solid overall results over the years, Hardy has had some ups and downs and never really wowed with the peripherals. All told, he has averaged 7.1 K/9, 3.2 BB/9, and a 43.1% groundball rate.

Hardy managed to get outs despite averaging less than 90 mph with his heater. Perhaps the Twins had extra ideas for how to maximize Hardy’s typical four-pitch mix. He’ll now have to mount a comeback next spring.

Extension Candidates: AL Central

By Jeff Todd | March 27, 2020 at 3:51pm CDT

It’s now official: MLB rosters are frozen. We won’t see any players coming and going for some times. And it’s unlikely that any new long-term extensions will be announced. But that doesn’t mean such deals won’tВ be explored. Some may already have advanced nearly to completion before the global pandemic intervened.

While we may have to wait to learn who the targets are and see what deals get done, there’s a silver lining: more time for rampant speculation! Okay, we’re not going to speculate here; rather, we’ll tick through some interesting possibilities on paper. Remember, we’ve seen an increasing prevalence of deals with less-experienced players (even some without any MLB service) and with new player types (early-career relievers and utilitymen).

In the present MLB environment, value is king and the old forms are fading. We’ve already checked in on the NL East, NL Central, NL West, AL East, and AL West. To round things out, here are some possible extension candidates from the AL Central …

Indians

Francisco Lindor is the big story. Unfortunately, that ship seems to have sailed: he informed the team he’d like to halt talks since the sides weren’t making progress. Unless there’s a change of heart and another attempt during the current pause, Lindor is not going to sign onto a long-term deal (at least, before he has reached his final season of arbitration eligibility later in 2020).

There are a few other interesting candidates. Top hurlersВ Mike Clevinger and Brad Hand would be of interest, but the Cleveland org may not be able to afford these high-end veterans. Perhaps a few others would be more achievable targets for the cost-efficient Indians. OutfielderВ Oscar Mercado has only 139 days of service under his belt, meaning he’s two full seasons away from likely Super Two arbitration qualification. Young starters Shane Bieber and Adam Plutko are each in the 1+ service class, so they shouldn’t cost all that much and could convey significant upside.

Royals

There are certainly some interesting questions for the K.C. organization to consider. Slugger Jorge Soler had an eye-popping 2020 … but is he going to keep it going and should the team lock into a player who profiles best as a DH? And how about exciting young shortstop Adalberto Mondesi? There’s no real limit to his ceiling but he had some struggles last year and is still working back from a shoulder injury.

The situation is equally uncertain on the pitching side. Righty Brad Keller has had success through two full MLB seasons but isn’t exactly a top-of-the-rotation arm. You could perhaps make a case for relievers Scott Barlow and Tim Hill, though there doesn’t seem to be a pressing reason to push for a deal with either.

Tigers

The Detroit MLB roster turned in a roundly awful 2020 season. But it still has a few potential targets. The versatileВ Niko Goodrum could be a part of quite a few rosters around the game, though there’s no particular need to lock into him for the long haul. There are more interesting candidates on the pitching side: starterВ Matthew Boyd and relieverВ Joe Jimenez. The former has a whole lot of upside and three more seasons of team control remaining; perhaps the club could take a bit of a gamble. As for Jimenez, 2020 is something of a boom or bust year — rack up a lot of saves and he’ll get a big first-time arbitration payday; stumble and he may not do very well at all. Perhaps he and the club could take share the risk over a longer term.

It’s probably a bit too soon to consider the top of the farm system for deals. But this time next winter, the Tigers could have a host of interesting candidates.

Twins

Both of last winter’s extensions turned out well; the team struck again more recently with Miguel Sano. Perhaps the most obvious remaining candidate is quality young righty Jose Berrios, who is entering his first season of arbitration eligibility. Now that he’s in line for bigger money, it’ll cost more to do a deal. The sides have struck out in previous talks. Byron Buxton is also a 3+ service-class player. There’s likely too much uncertainty in his outlook to structure a deal, but it’s not out of the question.

It’s tempting to stake out a case for a deal with breakout catcherВ Mitch Garver, but he’s already 29 years of age and still a full season away from arbitration eligibility. OutfielderВ Eddie Rosario is two seasons from the open market, but that also gives him greater leverage for a higher price tag. Would the Twins really want to commit?

How about a few wild cards? InfielderВ Luis Arraez should at least be a nice utility player for years to come. There might be upside in an early deal for the plate-discipline magician. And relieverВ Taylor Rogers is another interesting target. He’s still three seasons from free agency but gets more impressive with each successive campaign. The Twins will owe him a big raise on his $4.45MM salary if he keeps racking up saves; perhaps a deal could suit both sides.

White Sox

The South Siders have already extended a wide swath of their roster. You might wonder whether there are any candidates left. But the team is exceptionally aggressive in this arena and can’t be counted out on exploring deals with just about anyone of interest.

The most obvious candidate at this point is righty Lucas Giolito. We recently broke down his case for an extension. You could perhaps argue for fellow starters Reynaldo Lopez and Dylan Cease, or even injury rehabbers Michael Kopech and Carlos Rodon, but there’s likely too much uncertainty in each of those situations for the sides to see eye to eye. The same is true of outfielder Nomar Mazara.

If you’re looking for a sleeper candidate … how aboutВ second baseman Nick Madrigal? The Sox haven’t been shy at all with pre-MLB extensions and the former fourth-overall pick is just about ready for a run at the game’s highest level.

Twins Option Sean Poppen, LaMonte Wade Jr.

By Connor Byrne | March 27, 2020 at 12:46am CDT

  • The Twins optioned right-handed reliever Sean Poppen and outfielder LaMonte Wade Jr., Betsy Helfand of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tweets. Poppen had a rough 8 1/3-inning major league debut last year, but he logged solid production as a member of Triple-A Rochester, with which he pitched to a 3.84 ERA, struck out just over 10 hitters per nine and induced grounders at a 57 percent clip. The disciplined Wade impressively drew more walks than strikeouts at both the Triple-A and big league levels last season, though low batting averages and a lack of power limited his impact.

Rookie Radar: AL Central

By Jeff Todd | March 24, 2020 at 10:51am CDT

The delayed start to the 2020 season will obviously have a wide range of massive effects on Major League Baseball. Among them: a totally different promotional timeline for some of the game’s most exciting young players. We will never know how things would’ve unfolded. And we don’t yet even know what the parameters are for an altered season. But there’s no doubting the impact.

Typically, opportunities open as rosters evolve over the course of a grueling, 162-game season. Some top prospects force their way up to the majors; others are called upon because a need arises. In a shorter campaign, there’ll be less attrition … though we may also see relaxed roster rules and changes to allocation of service time that could create opportunities.

Still, with more time to examine rosters and think about the state of the game, there’s an opportunity to stop and appreciate the young talent on the cusp of the majors. We’ll run through the most interesting prospects pressing for near-term MLB action. Having already looked at the American League West, let’s head to the AL Central:

Indians

Third baseman Nolan Jones won’t be tasked with a big league job out of the gates, but could be an option if there’s a need and/or he develops as hoped. Soon to turn 22, Jones has done nothing but produce in the minors. He’s due for a bit more seasoning at Triple-A but is close to ready.

Otherwise, most of the best-regarded Cleveland farmhands are further off. But there are some other prospects of note who are immediate factors. RelieversВ Emmanuel Clase and James Karinchak could hold key bullpen roles, though the former will first need to get to full health. Southpaw Logan Allen is a swingman option. First baseman Bobby Bradley and outfielder Daniel Johnson are both on the 40-man roster and ready for MLB chances after strong seasons in the upper minors. (Bradley also made a brief 2020 debut but struggled in the bigs.)

Royals

The rebuilding Royals need not be in any rush, but top pitching prospects Brady Singer and Jackson Kowar could force the organization’s hand. The former sprinted to Double-A in his first professional season; the latter in his second. They both looked plenty comfortable at the penultimate level of the minors and will likely dictate their own timelines.

Otherwise, there are only a few players with significant “prospect” billing who seem likely to be near-term options. Outfielder Nick Heath and third baseman Kelvin Gutierrez are both on the 40-man roster, so could be called upon to fill any injury gaps. Outfielder Khalil Lee is considered a higher-upside young player, though he’ll need to polish some things up if he’s to force his way onto the MLB roster in 2020. The pitching staff could call upon inexperienced arms including Scott Blewett, Chance Adams, and Richard Lovelady.

Twins

The Minnesota organization just keeps getting more intriguing. Depending upon the development of some top prospects and needs at the MLB level, it could be another year for interesting graduations … or one to watch and wait.

Top prospectsВ Royce Lewis and Alex Kirilloff both have the ability and the positioning to press for the majors in the near term. But will they force the issue … or will there be an opening? The Twins aren’t in need of help at shortstop or in the outfield, at least on paper, but both have star-level upside and will get their chance when the time is right.

Outfielder/first baseman Brent Rooker doesn’t have a clear path to the bigs just yet but could get a look if a need arises. Though he is no longer considered an elite prospect,В infielder Nick Gordon is also a near-term option. His situation is helped by the fact he already has a 40-man roster spot. Likewise, having already debuted, lefty Lewis Thorpe is perhaps the best-regarded Minnesota pitching prospect who’s an immediate possibility for the majors, though we’ll surely see fellow lefty Devin Smeltzer and right-hander Randy Dobnak in 2020 as well. Both impressed in their 2020 debuts. Flamethrowing righty Jorge Alcala allowed two runs in 20 innings between Double-A, Triple-A and the Majors after moving to the ’pen in late July.

Tigers

The Detroit organization is banking on its pitching factory. We’ll begin to see the results in the immediate future. Top starting prospects Matt Manning, Casey Mize, Beau Burrows, and Alex Faedo are all nearing readiness. And the team also has some promising relievers on tap, including Bryan Garcia, Anthony Castro, and perhaps Rule 5 choiceВ Rony Garcia. Precisely when and how these arms will be slotted into the MLB staff remains to be seen. In the starting staff, especially, the organization has others in line first. But mid-season movement is highly possible (depending, in no small part, upon what shape the 2020 season takes).

Though the position-player side of the farm isn’t as loaded, there are quite a few near-term candidates for MLB roles. InfieldersВ Isaac ParedesWilli Castro, and Sergio Alcantara all have 40-man spots and can be called upon as soon as there’s a need or desire to do so. Ditto outfielderВ Daz Cameron, a player who has had ups and downs in the minors but still possesses a fairly lofty ceiling. CatcherВ Jake Rogers had an abysmal debut with the bat but hit well in the upper minors last year and is considered a quality defender.

White Sox

Last but certainly not least … the South Siders are stacked with young players who’ll be given MLB trials in the near term. Recently extended center fielder Luis Robert leads the charge as one of the game’s most touted prospects. But there are other blue-chippers as well. Given the delay in the season, high-upside righty Michael Kopech will have a chance to finish rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. And recent first-rounder NickВ Madrigal has little left to show in the upper minors. He could take over at second base and push Leury Garcia into a utility role.

Those are the big names, but there are others as well. InfielderВ Danny Mendick had a nice cup of coffee last year and could also be a platoon option at second base or take on a utility job. With a 26th roster spot to work with, bat-first catchers Zack Collins and Seby Zavala could play interesting roles. RightiesВ Zack Burdi and Ian Hamilton will have to overcome health troubles but could end up playing significant roles in the bullpen if they’re able.

Video: Why Joe Mauer’s Monster Contract Was Worthwhile

By Tim Dierkes | March 24, 2020 at 1:39am CDT

Ten years ago, the Twins signed star catcher Joe Mauer to the fourth-largest deal in baseball history. MLBTR’s Jeff Todd explains why the contract made tons of sense at the time, in today’s video.

Transaction Retrospection: Joe Mauer’s Extension

By Mark Polishuk | March 21, 2020 at 7:42pm CDT

Though negotiations between J.T. Realmuto and the Phillies are currently on hold, the idea of a contract extension between the two sides has been gestating for months.В As such, there has already been a lot of speculation about how a Realmuto deal (if one is reached) will shake up the pay scale of catcher contracts.В The latest reports indicated that Realmuto was looking for an extension that would pay him more guaranteed money than Buster Posey’s eight-year, $159MM extension with the Giants, which is the second-biggest deal ever given to a catcher.

The largest catcher contract in history?В That agreement came exactly ten years ago today, with the Twins making the official announcement a day later.В Minnesota had inked Joe Mauer, its star player and local hero, to an eight-year, $184MM extension that covered the 2020-18 season.В Not only was it was the largest deal ever signed by a catcher, but it was the fourth-largest contract in baseball history as of March 2020 — only Alex Rodriguez’s two mega-contracts with the Rangers and Yankees, and Derek Jeter’s ten-year, $189MM extension with the Yankees topped Mauer’s $184MM payday.

Could Realmuto and his representatives try to top Mauer’s contract?В Even before the coronavirus pandemic added an extra layer of uncertainty over baseball and the world at large, it didn’t seem overly likely, though Realmuto’s camp had some interest in topping Mauer’s $23MM average annual value.В Like Mauer at the time of his extension, Realmuto is just a season away from free agency, but Realmuto recently turned 29 years old, while Mauer was only entering his age-27 season at time of his deal.

Plus, there’s also the fact that the Phillies would naturally be gunshy about signing a catcher to that large a contract given how things played out in Minnesota.В Unfortunately for both Mauer and the Twins, the fairytale story of the St. Paul native staying with his hometown team and leading them to a World Series title didn’t come to pass, as 2020-18 was a lean period the franchise.В After reaching the postseason six times between 2002-10, the Twins only had one playoff appearance and two winning seasons total over the course of Mauer’s extension.

That period also saw Mauer’s production decline, though some dropoff was inevitable given the high level of Mauer’s first seven MLB seasons.В From 2004-10, only six players topped Mauer’s 34.2 fWAR, as he developed into one of baseball’s best all-around players.В Those seven years saw Mauer hit .327/.407/.481 with 81 home runs over 3578 PA, while amassing a resume that includes four All-Star appearances, four Silver Slugger Awards, three Gold Gloves, three AL batting titles, and four top-eight finishes in AL MVP voting.

Mauer’s best season came directly before his extension, as he was named AL MVP after hitting .365/.444/.587 (leading the American League in all three categories) with 28 homers over 606 plate appearances.В As per Fangraphs, Mauer’s 2009 was tied for the fifth-best season ever for a catcher in terms of fWAR, with 8.4.

These numbers add context to the extension and perhaps serve as a bit of a reminder — Joe Mauer was an awesome player in his prime.В Just about any big-market team in the game would have happily given Mauer eight years and $184MM given the opportunity to extend him, and the fact that a smaller market club like the Twins also felt comfortable in taking the plunge speaks to Mauer’s value at the time.

Of course, the Twins faced unique pressure to retain Mauer given his roots, as the idea of a literal homegrown superstar leaving for another franchise would have been a particularly tough blow for Minnesota.В It should be noted that the Twins’ extension with Mauer was met with near-unanimous praise from both their own fans and the baseball world in general, with many comparing Mauer to the likes of Tony Gwynn, George Brett, or Cal Ripken Jr. as a one-team star who would define a franchise for a generation.В ESPN.com’s Buster Olney described the extension as “going to be viewed as a strong development for Major League Baseball, at a time when there are growing concerns about the disparity between teams like the Yankees and Red Sox, and teams that generate less revenue.”

A decade after the fact, that disparity certainly remains despite the large amount of new revenue (from TV contracts and online media) coming into the sport, as it still stands out as notable when a non-major market franchise makes a particularly big splurge to sign a free agent, acquire a big contract in a trade, or ink one of its own stars to an extension.В In the latter case, teams have become more and more proactive about extending their players earlier in their careers, well before they get even a year away from free agency as Mauer did.

From 2020-18, Mauer still provided above-average (113 wRC+, 114 OPS+) production by hitting .290/.372/.405 over 4382 plate appearances.В The problem was, however, that this production was less impressive coming from a first baseman than it would have been from a catcher.В Minnesota shifted Mauer out from behind the plate after the 2020 season due to a number of concussions and knee problems, and Mauer never played catcher again until his very last game, when he caught a single pitch in the ninth inning before being substituted out.

Mauer’s contract made him a particular target for criticism during the Twins’ struggles in the 10’s, which was an unfair burden given that Minnesota’s issues had much more to do with a number of trades and signings during the decade that provided far less return than the Mauer extension.В It’s easy to say in hindsight that the Twins erred in keeping Mauer, though that also makes the assumption that the club would have spent that extra $23MM per season on more canny roster upgrades….or that the Twins would have even stretched their payroll to that extent whatsoever.

Ten years later, the Mauer extension is perhaps best seen as a defensible investment that didn’t quite pan out.В Given the perfect storm of age, production, and added hometown value that went into the contract, it may yet be a while before another catcher tops it, with Realmuto’s potential new deal with Philadelphia standing as the closest challenger in years.

Latest On Byron Buxton

By Connor Byrne | March 11, 2020 at 12:12am CDT

Twins center fielder Byron Buxton is still on the mend from the left shoulder surgery he underwent last September, but he’s making progress. Buxton faced live pitching Tuesday for the first time since August, Phil Miller of the Star Tribune was among those to report.

Twins hitting coach Rudy Hernandez took an optimistic tone after Buxton’s session at the plate, saying the 26-year-old “looked good” and is “going in the right way.”

While the Twins and Buxton are hopeful that he’ll be ready by Opening Day on March 26, neither side is setting a date for his season debut. Considering Buxton’s importance to the club, that’s understandable. After all, despite the time he missed, the former No. 2 overall pick did help the reigning American League Central champion Twins to one of the finest regular seasons in their history last year. The defensively brilliant Buxton slashed .262/.314/.513 (111 wRC+) with 10 home runs, 14 stolen bases and 2.7 fWAR over just 87 games and 295 plate appearances.

For most of the games Buxton sat out last season, the Twins turned to right fielder Max Kepler in center. That figures to be the plan again at the start of this season if Buxton isn’t healthy enough to take the field on Opening Day. The Twins also have LaMonte Wade Jr. and Jake Cave as center field-capable players, while utilityman Marwin Gonzalez could hold down right if Kepler has to fill in for Buxton.

The “Twins” trading system

Individual Instagram personalities with a collaborative YouTube channel filled with vlogs, life updates and Q&As. The original username of the YouTube channel was alanalan9635.

Trivia

They have amassed over 3.6 million subscribers to their YouTube channel. The twins also joined the YouTube group Sunset Park.

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