DFA a reliever
If the Twins decide that Thompson and Duarte aren’t going to be DFA’d to make room on the 40-man roster, then the next logical place to look is somewhere in the bullpen.
FanGraphs recently ranked the Twins bullpen as one of the strongest in the league, and it’s a deep unit as well. Minnesota has 16 relievers on the 40-man roster right now, which feels like a number that can get cut down to make room for Santana and Jackson.
Not for nothing, but Jackson would be a one-for-one, as he’s a middle-to-late innings reliever who will replace whoever gets DFA’d from the bullpen group. Duarte is also in the bullpen, which makes him the ripest candidate to get plucked.
For the sake of this argument, let’s assume Duarte stays. Who would be next on the pecking order that subtracting them doesn’t counteract the addition of Jackson?
Jordan Balazovic is an interesting candidate, as he’s already seemingly been on thin ice for a while Rocco Baldelli failed to protect him and called the reliever out after he broke his jaw last spring after getting punched during a night out. He threw 24.1 innings for the Twins last season, posting a 4.44 ERA and a 1.562 WHIP. He walked 12 batters while striking out 17, which leaves a lot to be desired but perhaps there’s reason to see if he can find his footing this season.
Jorge Alcalá also makes sense as a potential candidate to lose his spot, especially since he underwhelmed in his return from injury last season. Both players aren’t currently on the 26-man roster or projected to be on the Opening Day roster which also works in favor of replacing them.