After spending nearly all of 2017 on the disabled list, the Twins announced today that they’ve place hard-throwing righty J.T. Chargois on outright waivers. If you’re not as familiar with baseball-speak, that means the Twins are trying to remove Chargois from the 40-man roster.
#mntwins have placed RHP J.T. Chargois on waivers, per person with direct knowledge, in apparent attempt to outright him and clear a 40-man spot. Chargois, 27, made 2 ROC outings in 2017 due to stress reaction on outside of his throwing elbow.— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) February 22, 2018
Outrighting Chargois seems like a reasonable move to try and clear a 40-man roster spot, since the nebulous nature of the stress reaction in his elbow may prevent him from being claimed by another team. What’s more confusing is... why are the Twins clearing a 40-man roster spot? The team already made space for new additions Jake Odorizzi and Anibal Sanchez by moving both Miguel Pineda and Trevor May to the 60-day DL, so it seems like everyone is accounted for. Heck, the Twins could have probably just moved Chargois to the 60-day DL as well to make 40-man space, though the exact current health status of his arm is unknown.
Given the fact there’s no immediate need for a roster spot, and the timing with Chargois’s injury, I think the Twins are making this move because they think Chargois can pass waivers unclaimed. It would be a proactive and strategic measure to create future space on the 40-man should a non-roster invitee make the big league team or the Twins sign a free agent to a big league contract. Yes, the Twins could probably also just move Chargois to the 60-day DL, but this saves the team the headache of who to boot from the 40-man once Chargois is healthy and ready to be activated.
When healthy, Chargois has been a promising bullpen arm. The 27-year-old has a fastball that can reach 97 mph and a very impressive slider, and was once seen as a potential future closer. It’s just been the injuries that have kept him out of the picture as of late.
So it’s not quite clear what is going on here. The Twins could just be trying to pull a crafty move, or maybe they’re about to sign Lance Lynn?