Twins starter Jake Odorizzi will accept the 1-year Qualifying Offer worth $17.8 million, according to Ken Rosenthal.
That will keep him in Minnesota for at least one more season.
That means that if you’re looking to fill out one of those traditional 5-man rotations, with some depth tacked on the back end of it, Minnesota is at least 40% of the way there. José Berríos and Odorizzi will very likely be 2 of those 5 pitchers, and the Twins still have room to add more arms if they choose. Whether that’s on the rest of the free agent market or through trades, Twins President of Baseball Operations Derek Falvey said last month that the club would “target impact pitching” this winter.
Minnesota also will have some internal options worthy of consideration.
But for the time being, the Odorizzi domino is the first on-field roster choice taken care of.
From our previous analysis on Odorizzi and his decision with the Twins:
In his two years with the Twins, the steady righty made 62 starts. He’ll turn 30 this winter. He pitched 164 innings and 159 innings this year, including taking off the final week of the season once the Twins had things wrapped up in the AL Central. He made a big jump in strikeout rate, to 27.1%, and he cut down the number of walks (8.1% on the year).
If you polled people around the country to name the Twins’ strikeout leader I’m guessing most of them would say Berríos. That title belongs to Odorizzi in 2019, and he rates 10th in the American League in strikeout rate among starters with at least 150 innings (right behind Lance Lynn and Trevor Bauer). Actually, Odorizzi has punched out hitters more often than Berríos in 2018-19 combined, despite his first season in Minnesota being described as a struggle.
Now, obviously there’s more to life on the mound than striking out hitters. You could argue that Odorizzi was the team’s most effective starting pitcher this season, and if we’re talking about retaining players from the 2019 club, he would seem like the type of pitcher who takes priority.
For more on what the Twins could gain or lose depending on today’s decisions, check out this column: