The aggressive moves of the White Sox this offseason have pushed the team into what appears to be some version of win-now mode.
Win-now mode involves checking in on what division rivals are doing. After years of not caring about what the rest of the AL Central was doing, things have changed.
That brings us to the Minnesota Twins, the reigning division winners, signing starting pitchers Rich Hill and Homer Bailey. The Twins, like the White Sox, needed starting pitching depth this offseason and got some with these two veterans.
Hill, who will turn 40 during spring training, and Bailey, 33, aren’t the same level of pitching additions the White Sox got in Dallas Keuchel and Gio Gonzalez, but they do fill a need for the Twins. Both are on one-year deals. Bailey got $7 million guaranteed while Hill is getting $3 million with performance bonuses that could go up to $9.5 million.
Hill will miss the first chunk of the season while still recovering from a forearm strain. When he was healthy last year, he was good. He had a 2.45 ERA in 13 starts over 58.2 innings with 72 strikeouts for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Bailey was far more average last season with a 4.57 over 31 starts with the Kansas City Royals and Oakland A’s.
The Twins aren’t looking for top-end arms. Jose Berrios and Jake Odorizzi had strong seasons in 2019. So did Michael Pineda, although he will miss the first month-plus of 2020 for a drug suspension he started serving Sept. 7 of last season.
Adding Hill and Bailey gives the Twins more starting rotation depth in their quest to retain the AL Central crown. As White Sox fans can attest after watching the 2019 season, not having enough starting pitching depth can be crippling.