Minnesota Twins start offseason with a flurry of transactions

SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 6: Relief pitcher Randy Rosario
SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 6: Relief pitcher Randy Rosario /

The Minnesota Twins have been extremely busy already in just the first week since the World Series ended. Who all was moved?

The Minnesota Twins entered the offseason after a playoff appearance in 2017 knowing that they had to create roster space on the 40-man roster and also make other moves early on in the offseason. Here’s a quick rundown of all the goings-on.

Claimed on waivers and lost

Lefty reliever Randy Rosario has struggled in the major leagues, but he has raw talent to be an excellent reliever down the road, but he was a late conversion to the bullpen after spending significant time in the system as a starter. He was claimed by the Chicago Cubs when the Twins attempted to put him through waivers to remove him from the 40-man roster.

Divisional rival Chicago White Sox claimed outfielder Daniel Palka off of waivers when the Twins attempted to move him off of the 40-man. Palka was acquired in a trade with the Diamondbacks that sent backup catcher Chris Herrmann to the D-backs in the 2015-2016 offseason. Palka has hit fairly well in two seasons in the Twins system, but he hasn’t been able to crack the major leagues.

Lefty Nik Turley was a revelation this season, signing as a minor league free agent, and then performing exceptionally well in the minor leagues, with 92 innings thrown, with a 2.05 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, and a 29/124 BB/K ratio. He struggled in the major leagues, though, with an 11.21 ERA over 17 2/3 major league innings. He was claimed by the Pirates after the Twins placed him on waivers.

Previously on the 40-man roster, elected free agency

The first one we learned about this offseason was the announcement that Glen Perkins would have his option declined by the Twins and would become a free agent.

The other free agents declared on Thursday, November 2nd. Pitchers Dillon Gee, Hector Santiago, Bartolo Colon, and Matt Belisle will all draw a level of interest, but not likely going to be top-level free agents.

Lefty reliever Ryan O’Rourke, catcher Chris Gimenez, and utility man Niko Goodrum were each designated for assignment, but because they had enough service time in the minor leagues, they were able to become free agents.

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Minor league free agents

Taken from an extensive list from Baseball America, the Twins have 19 minor league free agents this offseason. A number of these may re-sign with the club, but for now, they’re available to sign with other clubs.

Pitchers: Henry Centeno, Chris Heston, David Hurlbut, Kam Mickolio, Yohan Pino, Dereck Rodriguez, Matt Tracy

Catchers: Carlos Paulino, Yeison Perez, Davinson Pimentel

Infielders: Tommy Field, Matt Hague, Leonardo Reginatto, Jonathan Rodriguez, Andy Wilkins

Outfielders: J.B. Shuck, Ryan Strausborger

The biggest name on this list of guys is definitely Dereck Rodriguez. The son of Hall of Fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez, Dereck started in the organization as an outfielder, and after three years attempting that, he changed course to the mound, and he’s made excellent progress since.

Hopefully the Twins can reach a deal with him to bring him back. While he’s not major league ready right now, there is certainly major league-caliber talent in his arm, and he could have a future role in a major league bullpen or as a back-end starter.

Next: Twins FA Pitching Options

One odd ball

While other players were lost through waivers or free agency, the Twins sold the contract of right-handed reliever to Japan and released him.