• Roster Reconstruction Begins


    On Wednesday, the Twins started their offseason reconstruction by removing several players from the 40 man roster.

    First, they declined Matt Capps’ option for the 2013 season by buying it out. There is no surprise there.

    Next, the Twins drooped several players from their 40 man roster. Pitchers PJ Walters, Esmerling Vasquez, Luis Perdomo, Kyle Waldrop, Jeff Manship and outfielder Matt Carson are no longer on the 40 man roster.

    In the one semi-surprise move of the day, the Twins lost Carlos Gutierrez to the Chicago Cubs. The Twins removed their hard-throwing former first-round pick from the 40 man roster. Unlike the other players, Gutierrez was claimed by another team, the Chicago Cubs.

    Coming off of shoulder, the Twins were likely hoping to sneak Gutierrez through and keep him around in 2013. However, they also know the rules of the game and were willing to take a chance that he would be taken.

    Because Scott Baker and Carl Pavano were on the 60 Day DL, the Twins ended the season with 42 players on their 40 man roster. With these eight moves, the Twins 40 man roster currently sits at 34. Pavano will come off of the list minutes after the World Series ends and he becomes a free agent. Also, the Twins will have to make their decision on the 2013 option of Scott Baker. There is little chance that they will pick up the $9.25 million option. However, it is also possible that the Twins and Baker would agree on a new contract in which he would stay on the roster.

    In late November, the Twins will need to add minor leaguers to the 40 man roster that they want to protect from potentially being selected in the Rule 5 draft. With the roster at 32 players (by that time), the Twins could technically add as many as eight players to the 40 man roster. That isn’t likely. They will likely save a spot or three for potential free agent signings and claims. Also, if they want to make a Rule 5 selection of their own, they will need to have no more than 39 on their roster.

    So, who is eligible for the Rule 5 draft? On a high level, it is anyone who signed when they were less than 19 in 2008 or if they were over 19 in 2009. Generally speaking, that means that high school players drafted in 2008 and college or junior college players drafted in 2009. Many international signings happen with 16 or 17 year olds, but occasionally there will be a 19 or 20 year old signed as well.

    Specifically, here is a list of the players that are eligible for the Rule 5 draft:
    Aaron Hicks, Kyle Gibson, Danny Santana, BJ Hermsen, Bruce Pugh, Michael Tonkin, Tom Stuifbergen, Adrian Salcedo, Evan Bigley, Danny Lehmann, Nick Blackburn, Anthony Slama, Caleb Thielbar, Bobby Lanigan, Daniel Turpen, Dan Sattler, Rene Tosoni, Nathan Hanson, Dan Rohlfing, Andrew Albers, Steve Hirschfeld, Jose Gonzalez, Dakota Watts, David Bromberg, Blake Martin, Marty Popham, Steve Liddle, Danny Ortiz, Danny Rams, Ricky Bowen, Nelvin Fuentes, Michael Gonzales, Jhon Garcia, Manuel Soliman, Rory Rhodes, Luis Nunez, Kelvin Ortiz, Wang-Wei Lin, Jairo Rodriguez, Tim Atherton, Jhonathan Arias.

    Also, six-year minor league free agents that have already signed with the Twins are also eligible. They include Deibinson Romero, Brian Dinkelman, Jhonathan Goncalves, Josmil Pinto, Edgar Ibarra and Miguel Munoz.

    In the Offseason Handbook (which is now officially available), I wrote an article giving more details on nine guys that I think should be at least considered to be added. In reality, the top five or six on that list are the players that I think will be most strongly considered.

    So of all of those names, who do you think the Twins will add to the 40 man roster, and why? Feel free to add comments or ask questions.
    This article was originally published in blog: Roster Reconstruction Begins started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 54 Comments
    1. Mr. Ed's Avatar
      Mr. Ed -
      Like the typo

      Next, the Twins drooped several players from their 40 man roster.

      Appropriate description for a collection of pitchers who contributed to a droopy season.
    1. AM.'s Avatar
      AM. -
      I'd add Hicks, Gibson, Hermsen, Salcedo, Bromberg, and Slama.
    1. Teddy's Avatar
      Teddy -
      AM, I can only say that your first three will definitely be on the list. The first five SHOULD be on the list.

      I can also definitely say that Slama will not be on the list. He is as gone as Gutierrez. I don't understand why the Twins won't give him a legitimate shot, but if they wouldn't call him up with his numbers the past two years, there's no reason that they will waste a spot on the 40 for him this offseason.
    1. Teddy's Avatar
      Teddy -
      ...and one more thing:

      Alexi Casilla should be non-tendered. That opens up one more spot on the list.
    1. roger's Avatar
      roger -
      Good morning Seth. I think there are two locks (Gibson and Hicks). Then there are three more of which I think they will add one or two. They are Hermsen, Pugh and Tonkin. Pugh passed through last year, yet was much better this year. Tonkin is very good, but how many Hi-A relievers get picked? Hermsen I think will also get added.

      Santana is another prospect who could be lost, but again was a Hi-A player. Not many A ball players get selected.
    1. SweetOne69's Avatar
      SweetOne69 -
      Correction: The roster stands at 35, not 34.
    1. NoCryingInBaseball's Avatar
      NoCryingInBaseball -
      Kyle Gibson-SP and Aaron Hicks-OF are no-brainers, but with some room to spare (for now) I would include at least five more prospects. My list includes Adrian Salcedo-SP (who looked good a year ago, but a lousy year…could be due to elbow and shoulder injuries), Michael Tonkin-SP (Twins need pitching prospects, especially one that throws in the mid-90s), Bruce Pugh-RHP (seems like a good bullpen prospect), and David Bromberg-SP (yet another pitcher who is trying to come back from injuries). I would like to include Danny Santana- SS (even with Levi Michael ahead of in on the depth chart, he seems to have some hitting potential) on my list, however since pitching prospects are the most important, I would include BJ Hermsen- SP, the Iowa kid that was Twins minor league pitcher of the year in 2012.

      Kyle Gibson
      Aaron Hicks
      Adrian Salcedo
      Michael Tonkin
      Bruce Pugh
      David Bromberg
      BJ Hermsen
    1. SarasotaBill's Avatar
      SarasotaBill -
      Presently at 35
      Minus Pavano & Casilla
      Plus: Rule V pick & (2) SP Free Agent
      Even: Trade Span or other player on 40 for SP

      Four Spots: Hicks, Gibson, Hermsen, open

      Open - could be Blackburn if he pitches well in ST or other.
    1. Boom Boom's Avatar
      Boom Boom -
      So... if Nick Blackburn is selected in the Rule 5 draft, does the selecting team pay his $5 million salary? 'Cause that would be great if someone would do that for the Twins.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      I really like Bromberg. Good kid. Has talent. But he was dropped from the 40 man a year ago and no one took him, and he struggled in 2012 as well, so they wouldn't lose him if he's not added.

      regarding Slama, there doesn't appear to be much worry about losing him in the Rule 5 draft either. He was taken off the 40 man after the 2011 season and no one claimed him or selected him. Unlikely he'd be lost in the Rule 5 this year either. (and frankly, if he is, I'd be incredibly happy for him!)

      I think with Tonkin pitching well in the AFL, he may have to be added as well. Young, throws 95ish, good secondary pitches, sinker...

      I'm starting to think that they won't add Hermsen, but will add Pugh and Tonkin. Obviously I don't know, but that's just a gut feeling.

      And, I wouldn't say that Santana is below Levi Michael on a SS depth chart. Santana played more at SS than Michael did. He also has a much stronger arm.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Agreed, non-tender Casilla. Agreed, they will not protect Slama. Agreed, they will sign Baker to a new deal in the next 7 days.
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      as for signing scott baker they should offer a 1 million dollar contract,with incentives for each month he is in the majors,say 1 million per month.
      gibson and baker should not be canidents to break camp with the twins but should be in rochestor till they are proven healthy and winning .
      as for the stache (pavano) he came into the leaque throwing 96mph and last game pitched struggled to throw 86mph...this 3 time arm injured pitcher should be avoided at all costs,while i think he knows pitching better then most of our players you cant sucseed on heart only
    1. Forever34's Avatar
      Forever34 -
      Bummer about losing Gutierrez. Didn't see Delois Guierra (spl?) on the list. Does that mean the crown jewel is safe and they no longer need to waste a roster spot for him? I thought there was some rule about how long a guy can stay on the 40-man without making the major league roster. I'm not an expert on all these roster rules.

      Doubt Slama will be put on the roster. The only good thing about that is that if that happens we will know once and for all whether he is the prospect we all think he is. If no one bites, clearly the Twins FO is right to think of him as a non-major league caliber pitcher. My gut tells me at least one team will since he is as finished a prospect as you can get and some bad team will be able to keep him on their 25-man all year.
    1. zenser's Avatar
      zenser -
      I can see Hicks and Gibson being added for sure. I also think Hermson and Thielbar have a legitimate shot of getting added. Maybe Pugh or Lehmann ?
    1. Rosterman's Avatar
      Rosterman -
      Offer Baker a $1 mil contract with $1 mil for each month in the majors? Baker can get that with any team. So we need to match loyalty with some sort of two-year contract with real-based incentives. Many teams would take a low-ball chance on Baker.

      Hermsen is interesting. In the Rule 5 world you have to keep a player on your majo league roster all season. The number of teams capable of doing this are usually 7-8. Maybe a team like the Astros could really gamble and keep 3-4 players, and they would be one to add Hermsen. That's the crap shoot. Hermsen has to be protected and he is sloted as being a memebr of the Twins by 2015, surely.

      Seth, what is the requirement for minor league Rule 5...where the Twins grabbed Marty Popham last season. They have to be A-ball or below and be added to AA/AAA rosters for the season? The Twins seem to lose a couple of guys this way each year.

      Gutierrez was a loss, but he wasn't going to contribute in 2013 and was in the same situation as Slama, getting older and injured. Now the Cubs have to keep him on their roster. And he probably won't stay. See him in the minior league free agent pickings sooner rather than never.

      The Twins can free up more roster spots with arbitration. Casilla, Butera. Not sure if they will stick with Swarzak.

      Then they still have names like Guerra, Oliveros and Joe Benson who could be dropped for free agent signings if push came to shove. Even players like DeVries and Deduno could be switched out to major/minor contracts if the right free agents were signed.

      So there is lots and lots of roster space to work work (not to mention Hernandez and Escobar, or Florimon...none of whom should be in demand if ran thru waivers, seriously, or not easily replaceable).

      Guess doesn't speak well for the roster in general. The Twins still have 25-guys, but HOW MANY ARE IN DEMAND by anyone?
    1. Winston Smith's Avatar
      Winston Smith -
      Not a lot of quality in any of these guys. Looks very thin for another year or 2. How many of the 30+ remaining players could be or might be called quality major leaguers? Maybe half?
      As for Baker don't you want to see him pitch at least a little before you give him any money?
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by Forever34 View Post
      Bummer about losing Gutierrez. Didn't see Delois Guierra (spl?) on the list. Does that mean the crown jewel is safe and they no longer need to waste a roster spot for him? I thought there was some rule about how long a guy can stay on the 40-man without making the major league roster. I'm not an expert on all these roster rules.

      Doubt Slama will be put on the roster. The only good thing about that is that if that happens we will know once and for all whether he is the prospect we all think he is. If no one bites, clearly the Twins FO is right to think of him as a non-major league caliber pitcher. My gut tells me at least one team will since he is as finished a prospect as you can get and some bad team will be able to keep him on their 25-man all year.
      Guerra is out of options, so (unless something changes later in the offseason) he will head to spring training. He will have to make the Twins 25 man roster and stay on it. Or, he'll have to be DFAd and put through waivers. If he clears, he can go back to Rochester. If he is claimed, that team will have to keep him on their active roster.

      As for Slama, the FO has already been proven right as he cleared waivers a year ago and wasn't selected in the Rule 5. That's not to say that he couldn't be claimed in the Rule 5, but we'll see.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      So a player that clears waivers cannot be good? Nothing is proven on Slama until he actually pitches in the majors, or never pitches there. But I have little doubt he will pitch for a different team next year.
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      So a player that clears waivers cannot be good? Nothing is proven on Slama until he actually pitches in the majors, or never pitches there. But I have little doubt he will pitch for a different team next year.
      november 1st i will head down to mazatlan to watch slama and wise play in a 3 game series2-4th november
      i hope if the twins arnt going to give tony a shot or he gets picked in the rule 5 draft ....
    1. Jim Crikket's Avatar
      Jim Crikket -
      I think the point is that, whatever the Twins think they've seen in Slama that makes them skeptical of his ability to be a Major League pitcher, it would appear other organizations have seen the same thing. I've never been to a minor league game where there weren't at least half a dozen (and sometimes as many as 20) scouts on hand to evaluate the players on both rosters and it would just appear that there haven't been too many of them rushing to call their GM to encourage them to try to get Slama from the Twins.

      That being said, I do think he deserves a legitimate shot somewhere and I hope he gets it with some organization this spring.
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