The Minnesota Twins made a flurry of moves Tuesday night as they added and subtracted from the 40-man roster and made a minor trade as well.
The Minnesota Twins had a busy couple of days as they got their 40-man roster set for the Rule 5 draft and the upcoming Winter Meetings. Ahead of the deadline, Rule 5 eligible Nick Gordon and LaMonte Wade were added to the 40-man roster on Monday night. Tuesday night there was a flurry of other moves that had an impact on the Twins roster.
The Twins were not finished adding players to the 40-man as they also chose to protect 2B Luis Arraez from the Rule 5 draft. Arraez is a prospect that has seen his stock really rise over the 2018 season. He is now the Twins 15th ranked prospect according to MLB.com after being ranked 23rd before the season began. We here at Puckett’s Pond ranked him as the Twins 14th prospect in our midseason rankings.
The Twins signed Arraez out of Venezuela and his bat has carried him the most through his baseball career. After being slowed by an ACL tear in 2017, the second baseman returned to the baseball field in 2018 and had a solid season between Single-A Fort Myers and Double-A Chattanooga. Between the two levels Arraez hit .310/.361/.397 and a .758 OPS.
Arraez is currently participating in the Venezuelan Winter League and in 28 games is hitting .331/.369/.413. There is enough of a chance that someone outside of the Twins would have seen Arraez and been intrigued enough by him in the upcoming Rule 5 draft to hand him a roster spot. Depending on who the Twins sign this offseason, Arraez does have an outside chance of getting to the majors at some point in 2019 but will likely be ready closer to 2020.
Alan Busenitz headed to Japan
While our attention was mainly focused on what players the Twins would be adding to their 40-man roster, Alan Busenitz was involved in a move that removed him from it. After a season where Busenitz seemed to consistently be moving up and down between the majors and Triple-A Rochester, Busenitz was granted his unconditional release and is signing with the Rakuten Eagles in Japan.
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Busenitz will be best remembered for his performance down the stretch of the 2017 season as the Twins were headed to the playoffs. He was a big part of a Twins bullpen that felt like the band of misfit toys as they all surprisingly found success for our favorite team. Busenitz’s 2017 second half featured a 1.96 ERA as he became a solid option next to Trevor Hildenberger and Taylor Rogers. After seasons of dominating Triple-A it wouldn’t be surprising to see Busenitz find some consistency in Japan and return to a major league bullpen at some point in the future.
Lastly the Twins made a trade of minor league players. The Twins sent pitcher Nick Anderson to the Miami Marlins for infielder Brian Schales. The Minnesota native Anderson had a pretty strong season at Triple-A Rochester in 2018 and saw his K/9 rate jump up to a career high 13.2. He never was called up in September but Anderson was certainly a player many wanted to see take the mound for the Twins as they closed out their disappointing 2018.
In return the Twins receive Schales who helps address a pretty barren third base position throughout the organization. Schales hit .258/.354/.403 with 27 doubles and 10 home runs this past season in the Double-A Southern League. Schales will report initially to Triple-A and he right now becomes part of the first wave of minor league infield reinforcements with Gordon.