Olney: How the Twins built their best possible offseason

From ESPN - March 13, 2018

Derek Falvey tore down walls when he took over the Minnesota Twins front office in the fall of 2016. On the fourth floor of Target Field, offices were taken apart and more cubicles were constructed to eliminate barriers between departments and employees, to keep everybody working together.

Falvey and Thad Levine, his chief lieutenant, aimed for more collaboration, for more information. They have been very busy this winter, and their work has drawn much praise from rival executives. They got a lot done and got better at low cost, said one American League executive, who added that a case could be made that the Twins are the most improved team in baseball.

Said an agent: They are smart, disciplined, composed, and they stay after it.

Minnesota didnt make a lot of transactions in the winter of 2016-17, but along the way, Falvey and Levine constructed a research and information apparatus for the front office, which was greatly utilized this winter. Its as if the Twins have been selectively raiding estate sales in what has been a dead winter market, and Minnesota has augmented the team around the strong core of players who rallied in the last two months of the season to earn a wild-card spot.

When the Rays were unable to obtain the trade value for Jake Odorizzi that they hoped for, Tampa Bay pivoted and worked to dump his $6.3 million salary -- and the Twins plucked the right-hander while giving up very little in prospect return.

A bunch of relievers got three-year deals at the winter meetings, and that was the hope for Addison Reed. But the Twins waited and landed the right-handed veteran for $18 million over two years.

After offers failed to materialize for Logan Morrison, his asking price fell to $6.5 million, and the Twins landed the first baseman/designated hitter, who had a .353 on-base percentage and 38 homers in 2017.Right-handed starter Lance Lynn rejected the Cardinals qualifying offer of $17.4 million last fall in hopes of a big-money multiyear deal, but that did not happen. On Saturday, Lynn took the Twins offer of $12 million for one year, a deal that will become final once he passes his physical examination.


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