HIBBING — It was nice to see that Jake Odorizzi wanted to stay with the Minnesota Twins next season.

At least the Twins have Jose Berrios and Odorizzi in their starting rotation, and as much as I would like to think Berrios is a No. 1 starter, I don’t think he’s there yet.

That means the Twins must hit the open market and pick up at least one No. 1 starter.

Of course, we know the track record of the Twins spending money. They haven’t exactly opened up the pocketbook on those ace pitchers.

So who could the Twins go after?

Gerrit Cole is available, as is Stephen Strasberg, Both of them turned down qualifying offers for their respective teams.

Of course, they will probably break the bank when they start negotiatin with teams, so the Twins might not be interested.

The next pitcher on the list is Hyun-Jin Ryu, and fourth on the list is Zack Wheeler, who I believe the Twins have already had conversations with.

From there the pickings are slim.

I don’t think Kyle Gibson will be back, which is unfortunate, and Michael Pineda is also on that list.

Gibson is so hit-and-miss. He can look good for a couple of games, then it looks like he can’t get a batter out.

Pineda is an interesting case.

He was perhaps one of Minnesota’s better pitchers until he got pinched for a diuretic and got suspended for like 60 games. He’ll carry that suspension into next season, but will the Twins be willing to take on that suspension with a new deal?

If it’s a one-year offer, that wouldn’t be so bad. He’s only 30 years old, so he still has an arm that can be useful in the league.

Madison Bumgarner is also available, but what does he have left? He’s been good in the playoffs, but is he reliable through a whole season? That remains to be seen.

Other than that, I suppose it’s a hit-or-miss proposition with the other pitchers.

But what if the Twins are looking for positions other than pitchers?

Anthony Rendon is available to play third base, as is Josh Donaldson and Mike Mousta-

kas. Not bad choices,

especially since Tom Tintor doesn’t think Miguel Sano is the right choice for that spot.

Shortstops are thin, but Didi Gregorius is out there.

If Sano is moved to first, that would solve that issue, but Eric Thames is available. He wouldn’t be a bad addition. The Twins could put Mitch Garver at first, too.

Will the Twins make some trades? Who knows?

That’s why this time of the year is so exciting. Free agency starts and the winter meetings aren’t too far behind.

The Twins aren’t that far away from being a World-Series contender.

A better starting staff, and a few improvements here and there, and the Twins will be back in the playoffs next year.

———

The Minnesota Gopher football team saw their undefeated season come to an end with that loss to Iowa.

What does that mean now?

Absolutely nothing.

I never thought the Gophers were going to win the National title anyway.

Now, that’s in the past.

The Gophers can still win the Big Ten West, but they must take care of business against Northwestern next week.

Don’t let one loss turn into two and so on and so forth.

The Wildcats aren’t very good this season, which is somewhat of a surprise, but that’s alright. They’re beatable.

Relax. Minnesota will be going to a decent bowl game, and this team will be good for years to come.

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