Opening Day is almost here, and the Minnesota Twins are making moves to finalize what the roster will look like on Thursday in Kansas City.
While surprise risers like Willi Castro are expected to make the big league roster at the start of the season, other familiar names won't even be in a Twins uniform when Opening Day rolls around. In a last-minute trade, Minnesota traded reliever Danny Coulombe to the Baltimore Orioles.
According to Orioles beat writer Dan Connolly, the Twins are sending Coulombe to Baltimore for cash considerations.
"Orioles are acquiring veteran left-handed reliever Danny Coulombe from the Twins, according to a source," Connolly reported. "Coulombe, 33, on a minor-league deal can opt out if a team is willing to give him a 26-man roster spot. And appears O's are willing to do so."
It's not a huge trade, but it's one that might raise some eyebrows around Twins Territory.
Minnesota was already plotting an immediate future without Coulombe, as he was assigned to Triple-A on Sunday which was confirmation that he wouldn't be making the Opening Day roster. The move comes as a bit of a surprise given how outstanding Coulombe looked in Spring Training, especially juxtoposed against the anxities fans have about the bullpen.
Coulombe finished the spring with 13 strikeouts and no runs allowed in nine apperances. It looked like he was in line to make the 26-man roster for Opening Day but appears to have been edged out by both fellow lefties Caleb Thielbar and Jovani Moran.
What this indicates is that the Twins know exactly what they want the bullpen to look like heading into the season. For what it's worth, Coulombe wasn't originally projected to make the Opening Day roster when Spring Training began so it's not as though losing him was a major shakeup.
But Minnesota lost a guy who both proved his worth down in Fort Myers and was a great depth piece to lean on should things not work out with an already shakey bullpen situation this season.