The Minnesota Twins had a solid season, winning 87 games and securing their first AL Central division title since 2020. They also won their first playoff series since 2002 before falling short against the Houston Astros in the ALDS.
Minnesota is expected to lose right-hander Sonny Gray in free agency, and it's looking very likely that they will have to deal away some key pieces in a trade to replace their ace and have someone slot into the rotation next to Pablo Lopez.
Twins President of Baseball Operations Derek Falvey hinted at the possibility of trading Jorge Polanco. Jon Morosi of MLB Network also believes it is a strong possibility
Here are three teams that could upgrade at second base with a trade for Polanco.
3. Chicago White Sox
Trades within a division are exceptionally rare. But with the Twins expected to lose Gray, there could be a match on the south side of Chicago.
The White Sox lost 101 games and are currently listening to offers for right-hander Dylan Cease. With Elvis Andrus and Tim Anderson both free agents, they could stand to upgrade their middle infield. Polanco could give them a true second baseman with a solid bat and defensive versatility.
The switch-hitting utilityman hit .255 with 14 home runs and 48 RBI during the regular season and also posted a 2.0 WAR. He could give the White Sox some help on the offensive side as they begin to retool for 2024.
A move such as this would also likely give the Twins their ace in the hole to replace Gray.
Polanco is a valuable asset that won't come cheap, but the White Sox are certainly a team that could benefit from adding a young, proven bat to their lineup and fill the hole in the middle of the infield.
It also wouldn't signal a total and complete rebuild and could actually help the White Sox avoid something such as that.
2. Cleveland Guardians
The White Sox are not the only team in the AL Central that may have a spot for Polanco should the Twins move him. In fact, there could be a fit in Cleveland as well.
With Shane Bieber in the final year of his contract, the popular consensus is that he will be traded before the start of the regular season. Cleveland does already have Andres Gimenez at second base, but with Amed Rosario gone, they could shift him over to shortstop and give Polanco second base.
The Guardians took several steps back in 2023 after winning 92 games and an AL Central title the previous year. This time, they finished with a record of 76-86 and came in third place in a weak AL Central division, missing the postseason.
Cleveland does still have a strong core in place that includes Gimenez, Jose Ramirez, Josh Naylor, Steven Kwan, Triston McKenzie, and Emmanuel Clase, even if Bieber is traded. Polanco would only add to an already strong young core and help set the Guardians up for success in the future.
The likelihood of Bieber signing an extension with the Guardians is slim.
1. Seattle Mariners
Despite missing the postseason in 2023, the Seattle Mariners have the best of problems, that being an excess of starting pitchers.
Seattle has a few arms that could be discussed in trade talks. Bryce Miller, Logan Gilbert, and Bryan Woo are names that could be dealt. Gilbert is the closest of those three to an ace-caliber pitcher, which is something Minnesota would need if Polanco is indeed dealt.
Seattle has a hole at the second base position. While Josh Rojas is a viable option, they still need some more offense, and Polanco could certainly provide that. If a trade is made, Seattle would still have plenty of depth in their starting rotation and would also have some added offensive punch.
The Mariners won 88 games this season, but fell just short of the playoffs one year after ending their 21-year drought.
Mariners fans are certainly hoping another drought hasn't begun, but adding a bat or two could help them ensure that they don't experience something like that ever again.
Polanco would fit in quite nicely with in the Mariners strong lineup with Ty France, Eugenio Suarez, Julio Rodriguez, Jarred Kelenic, and J.P. Crawford.