Sep 27, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Minnesota Twins second basemanBrian Dozier
(2) receives congratulations from first basemanJoe Mauer
(7) after he hits a home run in the eighth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
5: Minnesota Twins (68-94)
The Minnesota Twins will retain their spot in the AL Central cellar next year, but make no mistake about it, they are an improved team. A new manager in Hall of Famer Paul Molitor takes over the team from Ron Gardenhire, who was at the helm since 2002 could infuse new life into the players.
The signings of starting pitcher Ervin Santana and former Twins player and fan favorite outfielder Torii Hunter, combined with a strong farm system and pieces like former MVP Joe Mauer, home run derby participant Brian Dozier and all-star closer Glen Perkins, the Twins have good pieces in place.
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However, they have not won more than 70 games since 2010, their first year at Target Field. The rotation behind Santana and last year’s ace Phil Hughes is shaky. It is worth noting, however, the last time they dipped into the big-market starting pitching free agent pool it did not go well, with Ricky Nolasco flopping in the Twin Cities.
With a good young core of players such as Kennys Vargas, Danny Santana and Oswaldo Arcia with top prospects Miguel Sano, Alex Meyer and Byron Buxton, the Twins are still a couple years away from contention.