Derek Falvey, the Twins' president of baseball operations, admitted during a virtual TwinsFest Town Hall Meeting Saturday his team still had work to do this offseason before reporting to Fort Myers, Fla., for Spring Training.
Part of that work could involve the return of designated hitter Nelson Cruz. Falvey spoke of conversations with Cruz as part of Saturday’s hour-long session where fans were able to ask questions about all things Twins.
“During the course of the offseason, there has been a lot of uncertainty early on about a universal DH, what that would mean,” said Falvey of Cruz. “Obviously, given his position and impact [he] would have, he and his agents have rightfully earned the opportunity to go through the offseason and think through what fits would work. He’s been in a few different places over the course of time.
“We’ve made no secret that we continue to have dialogue, and good dialogue, around that. I can say, without too much beyond that in terms of the internal conversation with Nellie and his agents, it remains active and productive on that front.”
Cruz remains an interesting player scenario going into the 2021 season. He turns 41 on July 1, but the most productive seasons of his 16-year career have been the last seven. Cruz has spent the last two with the Twins, providing great leadership and exceptional middle-of-the-order production with a 1.031 OPS, 41 homers and 108 RBIs in ’19 and a .992 OPS, 16 homers and 33 RBIs during an abbreviated ’20 campaign.
A universal DH clearly would open Cruz’s market. Falvey spoke with encouragement concerning the Twins' additions of starting pitcher J.A. Happ, late-inning reliever Hansel Robles and shortstop Andrelton Simmons, but made it clear the team is not finished.
“I feel like, through the course of the offseason, we’ve had some really productive conversations ultimately leading to a few really great additions,” Falvey said. “There’s still more work to be done.
“That’s strange to say on Jan. 30, but that’s just the reality. It’s the way the market has played out. So, we still have a few weeks before we get to Fort Myers, but we are really excited about the team we are going to have on the field.”