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The 40-Man Roster

It's early, but with departures of a few players last week, are any holes beginning to develop?

Pending free agents and players with options for 2008 will be left off of my rosters, while players entering arbitration and those carrying "serf" status will remain on the list.

Name                Status               Active Roster

Scott Baker                              Yes
Ricky Barrett      
Nick Blackburn                           Yes
Boof Bonser                              Yes
Julio DePaula                            Yes
Matt Garza                               Yes
Matt Guerrier       Arbitration          Yes
Jose Mirajes        
Pat Neshek                               Yes
Glen Perkins                             Yes
Denny Reyes         2008:  $1.00 MM
Juan Rincon         Arbitration          Yes
Johan Santana       2008:  $13.25 MM     Yes
Errol Simonitsch    
Kevin Slowey                             Yes
Oswaldo Sosa        
Total Pitchers:  16

Name                Status               Active Roster

Joe Mauer           2008:  $6.25 MM      Yes
                    2009:  $10.50 MM
                    2010:  $12.50 MM
Mike Redmond        2008:  $0.95 MM      Yes
                    2009:  $0.95 MM (t)
Total Catchers:  2

Name                Status

Jason Bartlett      Arbitration          Yes
Chris Basak
Brian Buscher                            Yes
Alexi Casilla                            Yes
Justin Morneau      Arbitration          Yes
Nick Punto          2008:  $2.40 MM      Yes
Total Infielders:  6

Name                Status               Active Roster

Michael Cuddyer     Arbitration          Yes
Garrett Jones                            Yes
Jason Kubel         Arbitration          Yes
Darnell McDonald
Denard Span
Jason Tyner         Arbitration          Yes
Total Outfielders:  6

60-Day Disabled List

Name                Status
Jesse Crain         60-Day DL
                    2008:  $1.05 MM
                    2009:  $1.70 MM
Francisco Liriano   60-Day DL
Jose Morales        60-Day DL
Alejandro Machado   60-Day DL

Excluding the four players on the 60-Day, the Twins currently have 30 players on their 40-Man roster.  Joe Nathan has a club option for 2008 worth $6.00 MM.  Carlos Silva and Torii Hunter, the Twins two largest free agents, are also off the list.  Rondell White definitely is not coming back.

Where does this leave Minnesota in regards of needs to fill?  There are the obvious holes at third base and designated hitter in your starting lineup, but looking up and down the 40-Man roster you don't see a lot of depth in regards to major league experience.  Winning with youth isn't impossible, but that youth needs to be talented and it also needs to be surrounded by players good enough to produce.  Taking a realistic look, it's obvious that the Twins have a long way to go before staking their claim as a competetive team in 2008.

Bill Smith's first winter on the job is the equivalent of jumping in head first.  While financially he isn't in the fiscal pickle Terry Ryan inherited from Andy McPhail, that doesn't make his first year any easier.  He's faced with a pending free agent center fielder who is the most popular athelete in the state, a disgruntled and outspoken southpaw who happens to be the best pitcher in baseball and is in the last year of a contract, and an offense that is in desperate need of upgrades throughout the starting nine and the bench.  Really, the phrase "one day at a time" was coined for people in Smith's situation.

Once the off-season officially begins and the very first moves fall into place, it will become easier to piece together exactly what the Twins are looking to do and exactly which direction the organization plans on taking the team.  Free agents like Morgan Ensberg or Mike Sweeney will become popular names once again, at least in propaganda pools; but more importantly it will be interesting to see what kind and caliber of player, as opposed to what players specifically, begin to fill out the empty spots on the 40-Man roster.

We'll start browsing potential and possibly affordable free agents this week.  Speculation is the rule until November.