Happy Rule 5 Deadline Day TT’ers. We had family visiting this weekend, so you’re getting something a little lighter from me this week. I’ll be back to the numbers and analysis next week with a deep dive into Jorge López. This week is a busy week in the baseball off-season, with awards being announced, the deadline to add prospects to the 40-man roster to protect from the Rule 5 Draft, the qualifying offer decision deadline, and the non-tender deadline on Friday.
1. 40-Man Roster Deadline
After a hiatus last winter due to the owner’s lockout, the Rule 5 Draft is back this offseason. Later today, 6 p.m. eastern time, is the deadline by which eligible players must be added to their respective Major League organizations’ 40-man rosters to protect them from being made available for selection in this year’s Rule 5 Draft, which will occur December 7 during the Winter Meetings in San Diego.
Players are Rule 5-eligible if they were signed at 18 or younger and have been in pro ball for at least five years or were signed at 19 or older and have been in the pros for at least four years. If a player is taken in the Rule 5 Draft, he joins the 26-man roster of his new Major League club and must remain there for the entire season (barring injuries) or be offered back to his original organization.
The Twins currently have 36 players on the 40-man roster and have several Rule 5 eligible prospects currently ranked in their Top 30 by MLB Pipeline, including OF Misael Urbina, RHP Matt Canterino, 2B Edouard Julien, RHP Casey Legumina, RHP Sean Mooney, UT Michael Helman, and RHP Steven Cruz. Of these, Julien is a no-doubt add with Canterino maybe just a tick beneath that. Urbina is an interesting case because he’s not played above A-ball, but has a high ceiling. Cruz is the kind of tantalizing power arm that is becoming less scarce as high velocity becomes more common.
Beyond the Top 30, other candidates the Twins might consider adding include C/1B Alex Isola, LHP Brent Headrick, IF Yunior Severino, and LHP Evan Sisk, among others.
Update: The Twins announced they have added Julien, Canterino, Headrick, and Legumina to the 40-man roster
Something else to watch for today is trades. Several clubs have more players they’d like to add to their roster than they have open spots, meaning they’ll need to create openings. The Rays and their (seemingly always) teeming farm system have several middle infielders that might need protection and they are just one of the organizations that have reportedly been engaged in lots of trade discussions this week.
2. Top Free Agent Lists
Last week it was popular across many of the major baseball outlets to publish their top free agent rankings and expert predictions. While even the most plugged-in of these experts’ predictions are little more than dart throws in the dark, they might be somewhat useful in the aggregate for understanding various players’ markets. Here are a few of them:
For those that provided contract estimates, Carlos Correa’s average deal was estimated to be for 8 or 9 years and an average of $270M. Carlos Rodón’s average was 5 years, $135M. Catcher Willson Contreras was 3 or 4 years, ranging from $45M on the low end to $84M on the top. RHP Chris Bassitt was predicted to the Twins by multiple MLB Trade Rumors writers on a 3-year deal worth about $54M.
At any rate, you can use these estimates to inform your own Twins' off-season plan.
3. Twins Shine in Arizona Fall League
The Twins had seven minor leaguers participating in the Arizona Fall League that just wrapped up, headlined by Julien and Austin Martin, who were both named to the All-League team for their efforts.
Julien was also named the League’s breakout player of the year after leading the AFL in batting average (.400), on-base percentage (.563), ranking second in slugging percentage (.686), and walking more times than he struck out (22 K / 23 BB). Julien also stole six bases.
Martin regained a little of his prospect shine after a disappointing second AA season by hitting .373/.454/.482 with 10 steals in 21 games. Martin added six doubles, and a homer, and also walked more than he struck out (7 K / 8 BB).
C/1B Alex Isola was in the AFL to make up plate appearances missed due to injury this season and work on his defense behind the plate. He hit .228/.343/.316 in 67 PA.
LHP Danny Bentley was focused on developing his command this fall and threw 11.1 innings with a 3.18 ERA, but walked 14 against 9 strikeouts.
RHP Francis Peguero missed a lot of the regular season and was said to be working on the shape and depth of his slider in the AFL. He worked 11 innings with a 2.45 ERA and a 9-8 K-BB ratio.
RHP Jon Olsen was working on a sweeping slider and threw 13.2 innings, allowing 15 hits, and a 5.27 ERA, with 17-10 K-BB.
RHP Ryan Shreve was adding depth to his sinker in the AFL and had a 1.84 ERA across 14.2 innings with 12 strikeouts and 8 walks.
4. Previously on Twinkie Town
- Ben wondered how many of the top free agents the Twins might sign
- Zach had the details on the AL MVP debate
- Brandon rounded up the rumors and moves from the rest of the AL Central
- Ben saw similarities between the Phillies' magical playoff run and the 2023 Twins
- Jon continued his silver linings series by examining the Twins' tragic bout with injuries in 2022
- Community members BH-Baseball and twinssdfan gave us their off-season plans, joining those from Mauer718 and Rich’s Pitches
Choose your 2023 starting shortstop, all free agents edition pic.twitter.com/4N1z5QKzUB— Twinkie Town (@TwinkieTown) November 7, 2022
Which player above do you want starting at SS next season?— Twinkie Town (@TwinkieTown) November 7, 2022
A: Xander Bogaerts, B: Dansby Swanson, C: Trea Turner, D: Carlos Correa
5. Twins Links
- ICYMI: Luis Arráez was awarded an American League Silver Slugger for his outstanding 2022 campaign at the plate
- The Twins brand refresh reveal is coming on November 18 with an event at the Mall of America
Also included in the link above were a host of player development staff promotions, including:
- AA-Wichita hitting coach Derek Shoman was promoted to MLB assistant hitting coach, joining Rudy Hernandez and David Popkins
- Farm Director Alex Hassan was promoted to vice president of hitting development and procurement
- Assistant director of player development Drew MacPhail becoming the Twins’ new director of player development
- Run creation coordinator Frankie Padulo is transitioning out of the dugout and into the front office as the new assistant director of player development
- Senior manager of Minor League operations Brian Maloney was promoted to director of Minor League and high-performance operations
- Senior manager of international administration and education Amanda Daley was promoted to director of player education.
- The Twins and OF Kyle Garlick avoided arbitration, with a $750K one-year deal. It will be interesting to see if Garlick sticks on the 40-man roster through the non-tender deadline later this week
- Steve Adams of MLBTR held an open chat about the Twins' Offseason outlook late last week and covered all the big questions
- Right-hander Cody Stashak cleared waivers and was outrighted off the 40-man roster by the Twins. Stashak, as a player with more than three years of MLB service time, exercised his right to elect free agency
- Several other Twins minor leaguers elected free agency, including RHP Luis Rijo, SS Wander Javier, LHP Danny Coulombe, RHP Jhon Romero, and C Jair Camargo
- Super Agent Scott Boras held court at last week’s General Manager meetings and addressed the Twins' chances of landing his client, Carlos Correa. The Twins will be in the discussion, but it will be expensive and the other suitors will be plentiful
Things Scott Boras called his client and free agent Carlos Correa:— B/R Walk-Off (@BRWalkoff) November 9, 2022
• the Dior of defense
• the Hermes of hitting
• the Louis V of leadership
• the Prada of the postseason pic.twitter.com/OR7V1ixJp5
6. Around Baseball Links
- Seattle’s Julio Rodríguez and Atlanta’s Michael Harris II were named the Rookies of the Year. Despite strong seasons from Twins’ rookies Joe Ryan, Jhoan Duran, and José Miranda, none of them received any votes on a packed AL ballot this year
- The Miami Marlins announced Caroline O’Connor was promoted to President of Business Operations. With GM Kim Ng running baseball operations, Miami is believed to be the first major professional sports organization to have women operating the entirety of the team's day-to-day business
- The World Series Champion Houston Astros are looking for new decision-makers after letting go of GM James Click and one of his top assistants, Scott Powers. It’s clear that Astros owner Jim Crane was ready to move on, despite the organization’s success with Click in charge. ESPN’s Jeff Passan had the story from sources inside the Astros organization
- Former MLB Outfielder Yasiel Puig has pled guilty to lying to federal agents about illegal sports bets and now faces a potential 5-year prison sentence
- A glove purported to have been used by Babe Ruth sold for a record price at an auction
- Pete Rose wrote a letter to Commissioner Manfred asking for forgiveness and to be considered for election to the Hall of Fame
- The Athletics and Reds will play an exhibition series in Las Vegas next spring, which many see as a pilot step toward a team (likely the A’s) being based in Las Vegas.
- Long-time ESPN play-by-play announcer Dan Shulman is stepping away from his national role and focusing on being the primary announcer for the Toronto Blue Jays on SportsNet in Canada. Shulman will still be the lead announcer for ESPN’s college basketball broadcasts