Monday, March 25, 2013

Making Room on the 40 Player Roster

The Twins made what appear to have made their final cuts of everyday players. Wilkin Ramirez looks like he has won a spot as a fifth outfielder and bat off the bench. Its still possible the Twins will grab someone off waivers or carry an extra pitcher. But they do not have a lot of flexibility on their 40 player roster. Here are the non-roster players apparently still in competition for roster spots:

Non-roster Players 
Wilkins
Walters
Deduno

In order to keep any of these players, the Twins will need to move someone off the roster. This means moving them through waivers where any other team can claim them. If a player clears waivers, they can be sent to the minors or, in some cases, become a free agent.

The Twins don't have any obvious candidates who would pass through waivers unclaimed. But here are some possibilities, in descending order of likelihood:

Tyler Robertson

If Robertson does not win a spot in the bullpen, the Twins may try to pass him through waivers. But has a lefty who is very hard on lefties, he would be a likely target for some team to claim as a LOOGY. I believe Robertson would also be one of those players who could declare himself a free agent if he cleared waivers.

Tim Wood

Wood was signed as a minor league free agent last winter and then added to the roster to protect him from the rule 5 draft. I am not sure on the rules for waiving a player who is injured, but if he does not win a bullpen spot he would be another candidate for opening a roster spot.

Caleb Thielbar

Thielbar was added to the roster last fall. It seems unlikely the Twins would expose him to waivers so quickly, but he didn't really stick around the major league camp very long.

Pedro Hernandez

Hernandez was part of the deal for Liriano. He pitched well in spring training. Again, he seems like a doubtful candidate unless the Twins think they can slip him through waivers.

Alex Burnett

In the unlikely event Burnett does not win a spot in the bullpen, the Twins could try to slip him through waivers.

Cole De Vries

If De Vries loses out in the rotation battle and doesn't get a job in the bullpen he might be a candidate for opening a waiver spot.

Joe Benson

The Twins might be ready to give up on Benson, but it is very unlikely. More likely would be an attempt to move him in trade.

Most of the players on that list beyond Robertson and Wood are not guys the Twins are likely to give up on. What that means is that they have very little flexibility in providing openings for the three non-roster players still in competition for spots on the opening day 25 player roster. That lack of flexibility will also come into play when and if Harden and Perez, neither of whom is on the major league roster, are healthy. We may see the Twins trying to move some players in trade just to open up roster spots.

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