If the offseason starting pitching market is divided into tiers, the 1A and 1B are Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg — two aces who figure to command astronomical salaries and haven't been linked to the Twins.
Zack Wheeler was probably at the top of the next group, but on Wednesday he agreed to a deal with the Phillies. That's a tough miss for the Twins.
The price tag reportedly was 5 years and $118 million. He will also cost a team draft pick compensation after turning down the Mets' $18 million qualifying offer (the same offer that Twins starter Jake Odorizzi accepted). And while Wheeler was durable and effective the past two seasons, he missed all of 2015 and 2016 recovering from Tommy John surgery.
But Wheeler, 29, is a hard thrower who would have immediately upgraded the Twins rotation and given them a strong proven top three along with Odorizzi and Berrios in 2020.