4 Twins players fighting for their futures ahead of 2024 season

A few guys are fighting for more than just a 26-man roster spot in Spring Training.

Minnesota Twins v Baltimore Orioles
Minnesota Twins v Baltimore Orioles / Jess Rapfogel/GettyImages
1 of 4

While the Minnesota Twins are starting to figure out what the Opening Day roster will look like, some players are looking further down the line at where they might fit in.

Only 26 players will end up making the final roster, and already the team has sent home eight non-roster invites as the screws start to tighten. The good news is that most of the roster seems to be set with only a few potential spots up for grabs -- and even those seem to be small races.

Minnesota needs to figure out what the deal is with the No. 5 spot in the starting rotation, and what happens if Anthony DeSclafani isn't ready to start the season. Similarly, the eighth spot in the bullpen is up for grabs but only a few of players are legitimate candidates for it.

A handful of guys are fighting for their future in a different way, as they're hoping to remain in the picture long-term rather than simply fighting for a spot on the Opening Day roster.

4 Twins players fighting for their futures ahead of 2024 season

Jordan Balazovic

It's been a rough few years for Jordan Balazovic, from an off-field incident last year that set him back to getting DFA'd this winter to make room for new players. What makes where things have gotten so much harder to take is that he looked like a rising star just a handful of years ago.

Back in 2019 he was a Top 100 prospect who posted a 2.69 ERA while striking out 129 batters in 93 2/3 innings at Single-A. Just two years ago he was a Top 5 prospect in the farm system, ranking alongside the likes of Joe Ryan and Royce Lewis but he didn't even come close to making the Top 30 in this year's list.

His fall from grace was hard and swift, as he posted a 0-7 record across 21 starts and 70.2 innings at Triple-A with a bloated 7.39 ERA to boot. Making matters worse was his 1.939 WHIP, 35 walks, and 21 home runs allowed, which in combination with breaking his jaw in an altercation last spring not only put him on Rocco Baldelli's bad side but has called into question his future with the Twins.

Balazovic didn't do himself any favors this spring. While he struck out six batters in four innings of work, he's posted a 11.25 ERA and 2.150 WHIP. It's not the end of the line just yet, though. While things aren't exactly going great, he wasn't among the first eight roster cuts the Twins made and the team did bring him back after he cleared waivers so there's still a level of investment. It's up to Balazovic, though, to make the most of it.