Now that the World Series is over, the MLB off-season is officially here—and that means free agency, which officially began at 8:00 am CT this morning. We’ll be looking at potential free agents the Twins could go after in the near future, but for now, let’s look at the 2017 Twins players who will be hitting the free agent market.
The following five players on the Twins 40-man roster are eligible for free agency in the 2017-2018 off-season.
The Twins have already officially declined Glen Perkins’s $6.5 million option for 2018, meaning he’ll get the $700,000 buyout instead and become a free agent. While it’s still possible for the Twins to bring Perk back on a lesser deal (perhaps even a minor league contract), it’s not probable. Perkins spent almost a year and a half out with injury, and wasn’t the same pitcher when he returned. He may wait to see if any teams are interested in him, or just retire.
Perkins’s departure will take $5.8 million off the Twins’ books (his 2017 salary, minus the buyout).
Remember Hector Santiago? Besides a brief moment to begin the 2017 season, Santiago has been pretty disappointing since coming to the Twins from the Angels in the 2016 Ricky Nolasco trade. It’s highly unlikely the Twins will attempt to bring Santiago back.
Santiago’s departure will take $8 million off the Twins’ books.
Though he struggled a lot in the beginning of the year, Belisle improved in the second half, even taking over as closer after Brandon Kintzler was traded to the Nationals. He’s 37, which isn’t young for reliever, but the front office may bring him back on a new deal for his veteran presence.
Belisle was paid $2.1 million in 2017.
The Twins signed Bartolo Colon in early July after he was released by the Braves. It worked out pretty well for the Twins, who only had to pay Colon the guaranteed league minimum—$535,000—while the Braves had to foot the rest of the $12.5 million of the deal they original signed with Colon. Ha!
The Twins’ front office has expressed interest in possibly re-signing Colon for 2018, as everyone in the organization seemed to enjoy him, and he had a positive impact on the clubhouse. However, it remains to be seen how much the Twins would have to pay Colon, if Colon would rather sign with another team, and if Colon, 44, even wants to play in 2018 at all. He might just retire.
As mentioned, only $535,000 will be coming off the books for Colon.
The Twins signed Dillon Gee to a minor league deal in mid-June, so, like Colon, he was only paid the league minimum once called up. The 31-year-old managed a 3.22 ERA with 31 strike outs and 1.27 WHIP over 36.1 innings for the Twins, which isn’t bad, but he also spent time in the minors and was used in a somewhat limited role. It’s unclear if the Twins are interested in bringing him back in 2018.
As mentioned, only $535,000 will be coming off the books for Gee.
Which, if any, of these players would you like to see the Twins bring back?