Derek Falvey, the Chief Baseball Officer of the Minnesota Twins, joined ESPN 1500’s Darren ‘Doogie’ Wolfson on Friday afternoon.
As the MLB offseason is underway there are a number of questions surrounding the plans of the Twins heading into 2019. Falvey returned from the MLB GM meetings in California on Friday. Upon his return he answered questions on a variety of topics, including the pending situation of whether or not Joe Mauer will return for the 2019 season.
“Certainly, we’ve had conversations with Joe, just around his thoughts, and future, and otherwise,” Falvey said. “He continues to have conversations internally with his family. We’ve prepared rationally, and the way we have approached that is both ways. To keep that in mind as we have those conversations. I do anticipate we’ll certainly get to a resolution here in the near-term and Joe will certainly be at a place soon where I’m sure he feels good about which direction he wants to head in 2019 and beyond.”
The Twins are coming off of a disappointing 2018 season of 78 wins, but Falvey believes that the team can be closer to the 2017 playoff version of itself come 2019.
“When you look at our club, and certainly winning 85 last year was a great step for our group. Now, this year, winning 78, when you say that out loud at the end of the year and you look up at our roster and the injuries we dealt with and some of the underperformance in different spots, doesn’t feel like it was that far off from that team. Certainly, we feel like with continued health and performance and a jumping back from our young core, to being what we believe they can be, we do believe we an approximate that,” Falvey added. “The trajectory of our team, we still feel is bright. We have a young core of players who we think are going to impact us here. We need to find ways to add around it, to supplement it, but we also need to be open-minded.
“[90 wins] has to be our goal. We never really think of it as an exact win number. To get into the playoffs most years you have to be in those 90s, and certainly to win divisions you do.”
Falvey also had a number of injury updates in the interview with Wolfson. That included some news on starting pitcher Michael Pineda.
“[Pineda] is somebody who we are going to count on next year as a big part of his pitching rotation. His knee is fully recovered and in a place where he should be good to go come spring.”