The Rule 5 draft is on the horizon, and Major League Baseball marked November 19th as the deadline for all 30 teams to submit their 40-man rosters. As a result, a flurry of under-the-radar activity swept its way across the transaction wire — most of it meaningless to the average fan. However, here at Twinkie Town, you’re not the average fan! You’re the best, and we love you.
While the moves below may not mean much to, say, a Diamondbacks aficionado, most Twins fans will be familiar with the significance of the additions and subtractions below. There’s some old friends underneath, as well as some faces that may require a little memory-jogging, so strap on your sneakers and let’s hit the trails.
The @Twins added 6 to roster:— Dustin Morse (@morsecode) November 19, 2021
RHP Blayne Enlow
RHP Cole Sands
RHP Chris Vallimont
RHP Josh Winder
INF Royce Lewis
INF Jose Miranda
OF Jake Cave
Outrighted to AAA:
LHP Devin Smeltzer
OF Kyle Garlick
LHP Charlie Barnes
UTL Willians Astudillo
Roster at 40
Before diving in too deep to that tweet, let’s take a gander at the 40-man roster.
MIN - 40-Man SP
Twins fans are clamoring to see the debuts of Jordan Balazovid and Jhoan Duran, but the addition of Chris Vallimont and Blayne Enlow to the 40-man roster means we have a couple new arms to prepare ourselves for. Vallimont was a 5th-round Marlins pick in 2018, targeted by Falvine during the Sergio Romo deal a year later. Blayne Enlow is a Tommy John recipient who was one of the new brass’ first targets as part of the 2017 Amateur Draft.
Cole Sands and Josh Winder are joining the roster, as well — the starting pitching clearances to accommodate the four combined moves involved the outrighting of Devin Smeltzer back to Triple-A St. Paul, and the designating for assignment Mr. Charlie Barnes and his 10.9 H/9.
MIN - 40-Man Bullpen
|Ralph Garza Jr.||RP||MLB|
No real changes here, although it’s worth reminding ourselves that Jharel Cotton would be in the mix for 2022, and that Ralph Garza Jr. was not a fever dream.
MIN - 40-Man Infield
Royce Lewis is finally on the 40-man, as is midseason minor-league darling Jose Miranda, who had himself a heck of a start over at CHS Field. There aren’t any significant changes to the infield, as Lewis and Miranda are pretty predictable additions. However, they’ve combined to force out fan favorite Willians Astudillo, who would remain in the organization should the rest of baseball pass on his -0.7 bWAR.
MIN - 40-Man Outfield
On Friday, the Twins outrighted Kyle Garlick and came to terms to keep Jake Cave around. For all the carouseling performed by the outfield in 2021, it’s worth noting that most of those guys will be back on the roster and expected to contribute again in ‘22 — some certainly in a more meaningful way than others. Larnach and Kirilloff hope to get more at-bats than the 475 they combined for last season, which would limit how often the Gilberto Celestino types actually need to be penciled into the starting lineup.
Of course, there are signings, trades, and other unexpected roster moves yet to be made, and the winter has barely gotten started.
The Twins have not yet shown their cards in terms of which direction they’re pivoting in, but with each passing day and each passing roster deadline, we get, if not a clearer picture, at least one from a slightly better camera from a previous generation of technology.