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How will Twins fill open spots on 60-man roster?

The roster is out, but there are 3 open spots...

MLB: ALDS-New York Yankees at Minnesota Twins
Who’s ready for some Jorge Polanco in their life?
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Now that the Minnesota Twins are done being the too-cool-for-school kids and have submitted their 60-man roster for the abbreviated 2020 season something like 20 hours after the deadline, it’s time to spend way too much time analyzing the squad.

Yours truly took a stab at the 60-man last week, and I ... did pretty well. On the position players, that is. I did terribly with the pitching staff.

Long story short, I was correct on every single position player I predicted would make the 60-man. But I went pitching-heavy, leaving off journeyman middle infielders Drew Maggi and Jack Reinheimer.

The other mistake is that I missed that Fernando Romero isn’t currently on the 40-man roster. He remains on the restricted list due to visa issues that came up prior to Spring Training way back in February. Otherwise, I simply thought the Twins would go heavier on pitching prospects than they did.

Overall, 12 of my 17 picks were correct. Wait, only 17? The math is supposed to be the 40-man roster, plus 20 players, right?

Yes, it is, but the Twins only announced their 40-man plus 17 players. Remember, Romero is on the restricted list, and Michael Pineda, who is still serving his PED suspension, is on the suspended list. Neither is included in the 40-man number, meaning that they don’t officially count against the 60-man limit, either.

That means that the Twins still have three open roster spots. Let’s take a look at what we know so far and what might happen next.

Spot No. 58 is for Michael Pineda

Let’s go ahead and call this one: Pineda will surely return after he sits out another 39 games. Spot No. 58 is clearly reserved for him. That’s not really in question, so let’s work with two open spots, not three.

Are the Twins skeptical of Romero’s return?

There still isn’t a resolution to Romero’s hopeful return to the states, and perhaps the Twins don’t see an end in sight.

Just in case, they saved him a spot on the 60-man, but they appear to have the ability to back-fill his spot if things don’t trend in the right direction. I’m betting they are considering his placeholder fluid at this stage.

Leaving breathing room for potential trades

In order for teams to take non-injured or ill players off their non-40-man, 60-man rosters, they’ll have to be traded or released. Additionally, only players on the 60-man rosters can be traded, which will severely limit potential deadline moves.

That could make, say, a potential 2-for-1 trade complicated without an extra spot. This gives them some extra space to help facilitate any potential moves. It will be interesting to see how many teams league-wide leave a spot open for this reason.

The Twins surely plan to activate both Pineda and Romero as soon as they are each able to play, so this scenario means the Twins really only have the one spot.

More likely than not, it seems like the Twins are trying to leave options open. Perhaps after “summer camp” gets underway this week and the team gets to see everyone in person, there will be a better sense for everyone’s level of health and conditioning. Depending on how camp goes, the Twins could make a move to fill spot No. 59 (again, counting No. 58 as Pineda’s).

Remember, other teams are busy making moves, too, so this could be a scenario similar to the end of football training camps in August, when teams leave a spot to see what else shakes out league-wide. Maybe there’s a player or two on the fringes of another team’s 60-man roster that the Twins have an eye on.

At any rate, there’s no rush to fill that spot, and we shouldn’t expect the Twins to do it until much closer to the August 31 trade deadline, leaving them sufficient time to be creative with their roster.