After waiting weeks for some sort of action, the Minnesota Twins finally made a move to sign some bullpen help. Former Cincinnati Reds reliever Jeff Hoffman was signed to a minor-league deal, with an invite to Spring Training and a contract loaded with pitching incentives.
With Hoffman in the mix, though, a situation is created where someone else is going to be the odd man out when the season begins. MLB insider Robert Murray is reporting that Hoffman is expected to make the Opening Day roster, which means someone else might not.
"Right-hander Jeff Hoffman and the Minnesota Twins are in agreement on a minor-league contract that includes an invitation to spring training. Hoffman has a very good chance of making the Opening Day roster, according to a source," Murray reported.
The question then becomes who will be that bubble player who doesn't make the roster on Opening Day?
One potential fix could result in no one losing a roster spot at all. Two players were already expected to being the season on the IL, opening up two spots on the 40-man roster and theoeritcally the 26-man roster as well.
Chris Paddack has already been moved to the 60-day IL which cleared the way for Donovan Solano to be added to the 40-man roster. He's expected to begin the season in the Majors and figures to be an important part of the Twins depth.
The other player is Royce Lewis, who will hit the IL once the season starts. His roster spot could be given to Hoffman which means the Twins have effectively replaced Paddack and Lewis with players at their respective positions.
Minnesota Twins depth chart: Jeff Hoffman contract details
Here’s the full breakdown of Hoffman's contract with the Twins:
- $1.3 million if Hoffman is in the majors.
- Opt-outs on March 28, May 15 and June 15.
- $50K at 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50 games.
Those incentives are lottery tickets the Twins are taking out on Hoffman, who had a career year last season with Cincinnati. He posted a 3.83 ERA and 1.410 WHIP in 35 appearances, and seems like the type of middle reliever Minnesota could use to help bolster a unit that is looking for a bounce back season in 2023.