FORT MYERS, FLA. – It’s not the splashy move that the Twins hoped to make, but still it’s one that was needed.
The Twins added righthander Jake Odorizzi on Saturday night in exchange for minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios, adding him to a group that includes Ervin Santana (once he’s healthy), Jose Berrios, Kyle Gibson and a host of people vying for the fifth spot in the rotation.
After swinging and missing on signing Yu Darvish as a free agent, the Twins turned to the Rays for Odorizzi, who is not an ace but deepens their rotation.
“I would say Jake is someone we targeted going back to last year,” Twins Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey said Sunday. “He’s a guy who has had a lot of success in the American League East. We knew a lot about his makeup and who he was as a pitcher.
“At some point during this offseason with the uniqueness around free agency and some trades, it just took a bit longer than normal. But we had interest in him throughout the winter.”
The Twins also had interest in Rays righthander Chris Archer but were unable to meet Tampa Bay’s demands. It’s a topic that could be revisited before the trade deadline.
Other starting options remain on the free-agent market, such as righthanders JakeArrieta, Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb. But indications are that the Twins are done adding to the staff, unless they are presented with something they can’t pass up.
“I would think so,” Falvey replied when asked if he thought he had enough arms for the rotation.
But Falvey added that he’s not turning his phone off.
After monitoring trade talks and free-agent pursuits during the offseason, manager Paul Molitor was pleased to see an addition for his rotation.
“It was a nice call last night,” Molitor said. “There’s been a lot of noise about possibilities we were trying to pursue in terms of deepening our pitching. Obviously, Jake’s name has been out there for a while.”