All eyes will be on the World Series when it starts on Friday, but the Minnesota Twins are paying attention to what needs to be done this winter to ensure the team is still playing this time next year.
What the team does with Sonny Gray isn’t the only question that needs to be answered, even if it seems to be the linchpin for other moves. The Twins need to figure out how to fill out the starting rotation, find some help in the lineup, and pad the bullpen this winter and to do so the front office needs some space.
Money isn’t really an issue for the Twins, although the expected payroll is still up in the air thanks to the drama going on with Sinclair and Bally Sports North. Aaron Gleeman over at The Atheltic recently tossed out $40 million as the low end of what the Twins might have to spend this offseason but there are contracts the team still needs to decide on that don’t belong to Gray.
Three of those contracts were tossed away this week.
Minnesota outrighted three players, all of whom elected free agency rather than be accept a demotion off the 40-man roster.
Twins outright 3 players ahead of busy offseason
Among the three players released was Andrew Stevenson, who was part of the Twins postseason roster in both the AL Wild Card and ALDS. He made a brief appearance as a late defensive substitution in the Twins Game 2 win over Houston, and also spent some time in the lineup late in the season.
Stevenson played in 25 games for the Twins down the stretch and slashed .189/.250/.216 in 37 at-bats. He’s not the only outfielder who Minnesota moved on from, as Jordan Luplow was also let go after spending 32 games with the team this season. He was claimed off waivers in August, and was part of the late season roster shuffling done to make up for no moves being made at the trade deadline.
Unlike Stevenson, he wasn’t added to the postseason roster.
Jose De Leon was also removed from the 40-man roster and elected to hit the open market this winter. He was called up back in May but suffered a season-ending injury while warming up to make his debut against the Tigers.
Moving off these three players doesnt’ save the Twins a ton of money, but it does open up three spots on the 40-man roster that can be filled this winter.