The Twins currently have 49 players on the 40 man roster since 9 of them are on the 60-day IL so they don’t count. But they will count in the offseason since the 60-day doesn’t exist then, so a big roster crunch is coming. There’s guys to protect from the 40-man, I don’t know who and haven’t looked into it, but that’s a thing. Plus spots will be needed for free agents. So some guys will need to get cut. I’ll take a look at that right here, no predictions, just a rundown. First, here’s the 40-man (Joe Ryan was double listed by mistake on Baseball Reference.
Expiring Contracts: Michael Pineda, Andrelton Simmons, Nick Vincent, Kyle Barraclough, Alex Colome
These 4 get us down to 45 already, so that’s a start. Still means that there are 5 cuts before even being compliant, let alone for free agency and Rule 5.
At catcher, there’s Garver, Jeffers, and Rortvedt. 3 obvious keeps. Garver is a stud and the other 2 are young and 3 catchers is reasonable.
In the infield, Sano, Donaldson, and Polanco have money committed to them so they’re here to stay unless they’re traded. Arraez is for sure a keep. Maggi is for sure a DFA, hopefully he’s back on a MiLB deal. I love Astudillo, but he seems like a good cut candidate since he’s had a bad year. I could see him survive since he still checks some boxes and has some use. Nick Gordon is really interesting. He’s young and could be a good pre-arb utility man, but has several things going against him. If Polanco is gonna stay at 2B, which is likely, Arraez is already the utility man, plus Gordon has had some nice stretches, but hasn’t proven he belongs yet. And I believe he’s out of options, so things are tense there. Adrianza survived as a utility man with no options for years, but his glove was at least more established. Still, I’d bet on Gordon surviving.
In the outfield, Kepler has money committed, so he’s in. Buxton is obviously never getting DFA’d, and Larnach and Kirilloff are here to stay for now. I’d bet on Celestino staying, he’s still young and with options, hit well in the minors, and can play CF. Refsnyder is an easy cut, was a fun story but the magic ran out and he’s back to a AAAA guy. Cave feels like a non tender, but one I don’t feel good about. He’s been bad for 2 years, but 2018-19 plus the fact that he might be bad due to injury gives me hesitation. Garlick is interesting. We liked him enough to carry him last offseason and he showed some nice power, but he’s a 29 year old with few at bats and was only OK. Probably a DFA, though. Then we get Rooker. He’s a former 1st rounder with options, but he already was looking sketchy with high Ks and his age giving him a short window to prove himself. He’s only had 218 plate appearances, but continues to look AAAA. Might be a DFA despite the options and draft pedigree.
Starters are interesting because it’s a dire need yet also few look worth keeping. Maeda and Dobnak have money guaranteed. Ober and Ryan are keeps, Balazovic, Strotman, and Duran are the prospect keeps. Albers is a DFA. Then things get weird. There’s Smeltzer and Thorpe, the fringe prospects of 2019, and Jax and Barnes, the fringe prospects of 2021. The thing is, all 4 have looked like they don’t belong in the MLB in their time up, but we need some depth for the rotation. I guess I’d keep 2 of the 4, probably Smeltzer and Jax. There will be acquisitions here, so maybe things clarify with that.
The bullpen is a mess. Rogers and Duffey are back unless we don’t feel like paying late arbitration money. Thielbar is probably back. Moran, Garza, and Alcala are back. Then there’s a glut of veteran guys to pick between. Coulombe, Farrell, Gant, Gibaut, and Minaya. Who and how many? I’ll start with a Gibaut DFA since he only went 6.2 innings and wasn’t anything special. I think I’d keep Minaya, he’s been the same guy he was with the White Sox, a high K and high BB guy who is acceptable. I think Gant is a non tender since he’s shown the least, but his versatility as a starter could let him stay. Coulombe has been in 2021 what he has been his whole career, an average middle reliever. I’d keep him but I could definitely see grabbing someone else instead. Farrell has the weaker track record and fewer innings, but has looked solid. He’s probably still a cut, but intriguing. Then we have the 2 young question marks, Stashak and Colina. Stashak was a stud in 40 innings from 2019-20, then added Ks but lost his control and got rocked, then got injured. Feels like he’s worth keeping, but there could be others worth keeping more that push him off the roster. Colina has 1 career game and missed all of this year. It’s basically a JT Chargois situation, and I have no idea on if he should be DFA’d or not.
So there was a look at the roster crunch and all the tough decisions to be made. With free agency and Rule 5, there are a lot of cuts to be made. A few are easy, but a lot will be pretty interesting.