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Twins Shrewd Extensions This Offseason Have Worked Out Incredibly Well

TORONTO, ON - JULY 23: Max Kepler #26 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates their victory with Jorge Polanco #11 during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on July 23, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Minnesota Twins v Toronto Blue Jays | Tom Szczerbowski

The Minnesota Twins, who hold a 36-17 record in the waning days of May, are the top dogs in the MLB.

They sit a whopping 10 games ahead of the second-place Cleveland Indians in the AL Central and have dominated every facet of the game. So what's fueling their strong season?

Well, two of their shrewd, under-the-radar offseason extensions to Jorge Polanco and Max Kepler have worked out incredibly well, as both have played a critical role for the Twins early on.

Polanco, who was signed to a five-year, $25.75 million extension, leads the team with a .988 OPS and the entire American League with 67 hits. He's also played some quality defense, registering three defensive runs saved at shortstop.

The equally economical five-year, $35 million deal given to Kepler has also worked out swimmingly thus far. He's slugged 12 home runs this year to the tune of a career-high .546 slugging percentage and a 132 wRC+.

Minnesota's choice to put their faith in their young talent by signing them to proactive long-term deals is paying dividends.

They're playing the best baseball the fans at Target Field have seen in years, and it's thanks to guys like Polanco and Kepler keeping them in prime position to take the division for the first time since 2010.