Of the eight, the biggest name was former closer Capps, who was acquired by the Twins by trade in 2012 and has signed two consecutive contracts with the Twins. The Twins had a $6 million option (with a $250,000 buyout) on Capps for next year, but he had been hurt for most of this last season, hurting his chances of making anywhere near that money on the free agent market.
Capps release does suggest that the Twins arenít currently talking with him about re-signing him yet again. They have a similar option on pitcher Scott Baker which they are also assuredly going to decline, but they did not do so yesterday, likely because they are in talks to re-sign him according to Terry Ryan.
Of the other seven players released only one did not ever make it to the majors Ė relief prospect Carlos Gutierrez, who was claimed by the Chicago Cubs. Gutierrez was a first-round pick by the Twins in 2008, but stalled out in AAA and eventually underwent season-ending shoulder surgery this July. It is not clear when heíll be able to pitch again.
The cuts included five other pitchers:
- Esmerling Vasquez is a somewhat wild reliever who was converted to a starter midway through the year in Rochester. The 28-year-old had good success in that role but struggled with his control in a September promotion to the Twins.
- PJ Walters was a 27-year-old starter had spent time with the Cardinals and Blue Jays prior to this season. He had success in his initial few outings, but eventually was sidelined with a shoulder injury. He also struggled this September when he returned.
- Kyle Waldrop is also a first round pick by the Twins, but underwent shoulder surgery in 2008. He has since become a pitcher who lives and dies by getting ground balls. He appeared in 17 games with the Twins this season, all of them in relief.
- Jeff Manship bounced back from a injury-plagued 2011 to stay mostly healthy this year, but the 2.91 ERA he posted in Rochester didnít translate to the majors. His threw relief in 12 games, posting a 7.89 ERA.
- Finally, Luis Perdomo joined the Twins last offseason from the Padres organization. Heís traditionally struggled with his control, but made progress in Rochester only to see that progress disappear in the majors. He appeared in 15 games, pitching seventeen innings and walking 12.
The only batter trimmed was outfielder Matt Carson, who had been a bit of a surprise when he was called up to the majors in late August. The 31-year-old outfielder received 66 at-bats, hitting .211 with just one extra-base hit.
While these represent moves represent the lionís share of 40-man roster moves, more can be expected. When Carl Pavano declares free agency within the first couple of days of the World Series, he will be dropped. Some arbitration decisions could lead to more openings. And if Scott Baker and the Twins fail to each an agreement, that would result in another opening.
If youíre interested in some of the Twins prospects that may fill some of these spots, Seth Stohs has an essay in the TwinsCentric 2013 Offseason Handbook that list the top candidates likely to be rewarded a spot. It is shipping now at a 30% discount until the end of the World Series.