Yesterday (Thursday) was the deadline for teams to request outright waivers on a player prior to the Rule 5 draft. It means those players would clear waivers by December 9, which is when we're likely to hear who got the ax. But that's not the only way the Twins could clear roster space in the coming weeks. In addition to outrighting players, the way the roster looks means one or two guys could be more likely to be on the trade block, and a few players are out of options. Here's how it breaks down.
Pre-Rule 5 Outrighting
These are the five guys who I think have the greatest chance of being kicked off the roster this weekend. There are arguments you could make against removing any of them - from the need for starting pitching even if it's just a warm body, to the fact that you can't really count Ryan Doumit as too much of a catcher so there's less redundancy for Fryer, to the desire to hold onto two Chrises (is that right?) because you believe in their offensive upside.
But the Twins do need to clear roster space. The 40-man roster is full, the Winter Meetings and the Rule 5 draft are next week, and there are still way too many "easy upgrades" that can be made just by trimming the fat and adding a serviceable player..
Some of these seem like more obvious choices than others. Ryan Doumit, for example, has Josmil Pinto as the team's starting catcher and also has to stand by and watch as the organization thinks about bringing in another one. In the outfield, he's made redundant by other might-or-might-not-hit-but-definitely-can't-play-decent-defense outfielders in Josh Willingham, Chris Parmelee, and Chris Colabello.
It's easier to be dubious about the pitching. For a team desperate for starting pitchers this winter, why would they turn around and attempt to make a trade? Because if they don't try to get value from somebody, they very well get no value at all from the spare parts. Here's why.
Out of Options
Chris Parmelee, Sam Deduno, Scott Diamond, Vance Worley
Basically, each of these players will be exposed to waivers if the Twins, at any point, want to remove them from the Major League roster. It means they would all need to make the roster on Opening Day in order to avoid the possibility of being lost.
Parmelee aside, you're probably already doing the math in your head for starting pitchers. Deduno, Diamond, Worley, Ricky Nolasco, Phil Hughes, Kyle Gibson, Andrew Albers, Logan Darnell, Kris Johnson, and even Trevor May. Now also consider that the Twins are still focused on bringing in another starting pitcher. You can almost forget about removing a position player from the 40-man in order to add another pitcher, because all it does is muddy up the waters that much further.
Obviously not all of these things need to happen right away. Step one is getting to Monday to see who the team has chosen to view as the most expendable, and we'll go from there.
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