• Roster Decisions: 40 Man Roster

    By Wednesday afternoon, the Minnesota Twins, and all other major league teams) will need to submit their 40 man rosters. The Twins current 40 man consists of 36 players, 19 pitchers and 17 position players. Since season’s end we have seen several removed from the 40 man roster, such as Clete Thomas (Phillies) and Pedro Hernandez (Rockies) who have signed with other teams and Doug Bernier who remained with the Twins.

    The Twins have also added RHP Duke Welker and LHP Edgar Ibarra before he could become a minor league free agent.

    There are several players on the current 40 man roster who you or I may believe could come off, but they are there for a reason. You see, the players who get added to the 40 man on Wednesday can’t be removed until at least spring training. If the Twins were to sign a couple free agents, they need to be able to make room for them on the roster. So there are players on the 40 man roster who may not feel real comfortable until they get to spring training.

    Of course, as they have in the last three seasons, the Twins may also choose to make a Rule 5 selection. Last year they added Ryan Pressly and three years ago it was Scott Diamond. Both have already exceeded the results of most Rule 5 picks. If the Twins want to make a Rule 5 pick this year they must have fewer than 39 on the roster.

    Photo by Tim Gale

    So, who is eligible for the Rule 5 draft? Players who signed at age 18 or younger during the 2009 season or players who signed at age 19 or older in 2010. Jorge Polanco signed with the Twins as a 16-year-old in July of 2009, so he is eligible. Miguel Sano signed as a 16-year-old, after the season, in October of 2009, so he is not eligible--the Twins could add him, but it would make no sense.

    Here are some others who could be added to the 40 man on Wednesday. Most likely no more than two or three will be added.
    Jorge Polanco – Played in Cedar Rapids in 2013, primarily playing second base, but getting time at shortstop when Niko Goodrum was injured. He’s very talented and continues to improve. He appears to be the biggest lock to be added.

    Max Kepler – After an elbow injury the first half, he played for Cedar Rapids in the second half, spending time in left field, center field and at first base. He’s got good power and at 6-4 and 220 pounds is very athletic and has immense potential. He is probably the second most likely to be added.

    Alex Wimmers – The Twins first round pick in 2010 out of Ohio State where he was back-to-back Big 10 Pitcher of the Year. Unfortunately, he has not pitched much or well since signing and he rehabbed from Tommy John surgery in 2013. That said, his first round pedigree makes him a possible add.

    Logan Darnell – 6th round pick in 2010 out of Kentucky. The lefty has worked his way up the system with a solid three-pitch mix. He is a very aggressive starter, looking to get outs quickly.

    Kennys Vargas – The first baseman from Puerto Rico looks like former Twin David Ortiz. He is long and not real swift, but he can hit and he has tremendous power. He spent 2013 in Ft. Myers.

    AJ Achter – The right-hander was the Twins 46th round pick in 2010 out of Michigan State. Since moving to the bullpen in 2012, he has performed better than any other reliever in the Twins farm system. He pitched in New Britain and Rochester during the season and ended the year with a stint in the Arizona Fall League.

    There are others who are interesting and also eligible for the Rule 5 draft if not protected. Here is a list of all eligible players, courtesy of the Twins Daily Rosters & Payroll page.
    LHP - Pat Dean, Aaron Thompson, Ryan O’Rourke, Jose Gonzalez, Chad Rodgers, Hein Robb,

    RHP - Lester Oliveros, Adrian Salcedo, Dakota Watts, Deolis Guerra, Virgil Vazquez, Tim Atherton, Mark Hamburger, Matt Hauser, Dallas Gallant,

    OF - Mike Kvasnicka, Daniel Ortiz, Wilkin Ramirez, Jermaine Mitchell, Evan Bigley, Lance Ray, Nate Roberts, Romy Jimenez, Adonis Pacheco,

    IF – Doug Bernier, James Beresford, Deibinson Romero, Jason Bartlett, Reynaldo Rodriguez, Nate Hanson, Brad Boyer, Andy Leer, Michael Gonzales, Rory Rhodes, Jonatan Hinojosa,

    C – Dan Rohlfing, Jairo Rodriguez, Kyle Knudson, Michael Quesada.

    So, there you have a look at the players the Twins will need to protect on their 40 man roster by Wednesday afternoon or risk losing in the Rule 5 draft.

    Who do you think will be added? Who do you think could be lost if not protected?

    Tonight at 8:30, Hangout with Jeremy Nygaard and myself on YouTube for our weekend Twins Talk. You can interact by asking questions. Tonight, we’ll be discussing the 40 man roster as well as any Twins rumors of the day and week. Join us here. We'll also take your questions.
    Comments 36 Comments
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      Well as a fan of section 219 , I will quote howard, there are only a dozen or so players worth keeping on the 25 man roster., so there is plenty of dead wieght that can be jettisoned prior to setting the 40 man roster, in fact I am surprised Ryan hasnt been working the Phones trying to package some of these players to obtain prospects we dont have to protect or to get players we would want to protect...My keepers start with pitching ,Cause thats our biggest need, Dean ,Darnell and Wimmers and we should keep 2b-ss Polanco and Vargas
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      I guess the below guys stand a chance to be added or risk being taken:

      Polanco - Surely
      Kepler (maybe - But there is little chance he could stick on a 25 man roster unless he gets stashed with a phantom injury)
      Vargas (strong maybe - some team would have to be really sold on his bat)
      Darnell (double strong maybe - His handedness could give a team a cheap team controlled LOOGY)
      Beresford (triple strong doubtful, but some team could take a chance on his bat/glove)

      everyone else should not be protected because they won't be taken. - However I am not sure how the minor league portion of the draft works
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      I am so baffled by the existence of Eric Fryer and BJ Hermsen on the 40-man, that I don't know how to think about limiting this to four guys. I wouldn't even consider Welker, and either Presley or Mastroianni has to go, so there could be up to 8 more guys added for me.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by clutterheart View Post
      everyone else should not be protected because they won't be taken. - However I am not sure how the minor league portion of the draft works
      Like the MLB 40 man roster, the Twins will have a 39 or 40 man AAA roster and a 39-40 man AA roster. Polanco needs to be added to the 40 man roster this year. Last year at this time, he would have been on the AAA roster, and the year before on the AA roster. Also, if the Twins don't put Kepler or Wimmers or Vargas or whoever on the MLB 40 man roster, they will certainly be on that AAA roster. Of course, if a player is selected in the minor league portion, he does not need to be offered back to the other organization, and he can be used on any roster in his new team's organization.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
      I am so baffled by the existence of Eric Fryer and BJ Hermsen on the 40-man, that I don't know how to think about limiting this to four guys. I wouldn't even consider Welker, and either Presley or Mastroianni has to go, so there could be up to 8 more guys added for me.
      Again, if the Twins are busy in Free Agency, they're going to need guys like those to remove from the 40 man. Again, if you add 8 guys, who are you going to remove from the 40 man roster when you sign a pitcher?
    1. Uncle Jesse's Mullet's Avatar
      Uncle Jesse's Mullet -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      Again, if the Twins are busy in Free Agency, they're going to need guys like those to remove from the 40 man. Again, if you add 8 guys, who are you going to remove from the 40 man roster when you sign a pitcher?
      I'll take a shot at this:

      - BJ Hermsen
      - Eduardo Escobar
      - Duke Welker
      - Eric Fryer
      - Liam Hendriks

      Additionally, the following players might be tradeable for players that wouldn't need to be immediately added to the 40 man:

      - Glenn Perkins
      - Trevor Plouffe
      - Anthony Swarzak
      - Oswaldo Arcia
    1. JP3700's Avatar
      JP3700 -
      Drop: Hermsen

      Add: Polanco, Kepler, Vargas, Wimmers, Oliveros, Darnell, Achter

      Depending on how many spots they plan to fill, those would be my guys, in that order. Wimmers and Oliveros are question marks as far as health. I know Wimmers had minor elbow surgery and Oliveros only threw 3.2 innings in Venezuela. Any idea why Seth? I haven't been able to find anything on it.
    1. Oldgoat_MN's Avatar
      Oldgoat_MN -
      The only guy I am absolutely sure you'd lose is Achter. He may be ready to sit in an MLB bullpen already. A team could very well determine to keep him on their roster all year.

      I really like Oliveros, too, though I cannot remember why. I'd protect him.

      The others are not going to take a roster spot in 2014, unless someone gambles on Polanco like we did with Santana.

      But hey! I don't know!
      Who out there sees someone else we would really lose?
      And this is only my 40-man roster ideas. I get depressed that there are minor league drafts I have to protect guys from.
    1. beckmt's Avatar
      beckmt -
      Depends on how many you want to add. My guess is the Fryer and Hermsen are gone, then you could drop many of the following group, Diamond, Albers, Collabella, Mastro. I would be trying to trade Fien, Hendriks, Duensing Parmelle. Problems like this are good to have, if you have a very good farm system, you will lose players. Pirates lost like 6 a couple of years ago. I would add Polanco, Kepler and Achter for sure. Wimmers and Olivares are strong candidates for a bad team to take a flyer on a stash in the bullpen for a year. With the current pitching crunch do not consider Vargas and issue as he is 1-2 years away at least and stashing a hitter is much more difficult than a mop pitcher for a year.
    1. SarasotaBill's Avatar
      SarasotaBill -
      (36) present roster
      (2) Free Agent Pitchers
      (1) Rule 5
      (2) Polanco, Kepler

      The Astros are so bad they may stash Kepler on their roster for a year if not protected.

      The Twins would need to drop Hermsen or Albers when they sign the second free agent.
    1. USAFChief's Avatar
      USAFChief -
      With the growth of major league pitching staffs, it's gotten extremely difficult to keep position player rule 5 picks if they can't contribute. Pitchers are much easier to hide. With that said:

      I doubt any major league team is going to keep Polanco on its 25 man roster...no need to protect him. Same for Kepler.

      Wimmers, Achter and Darnall are the most likely to be lost, IMO, so Id start with adding those three.
    1. Rosterman's Avatar
      Rosterman -
      In regards to free agent signings.....if you sign a lefty, you remove Albers. If you sign a righty, you remove Worley or Hendriks. If you sign a catcher, you remove Fryer or even Herrmann (Rohlfing is the same as Herrmann and a year younger). If you need another spot, you can always exchange a free agent for Colabello. Then you still have Parmelee and Mastro on the bubble. You also have folks like Welker who could be removed during the summer months. Right now, the Twins have to get to the magic 39 number (I see Hermsen also getting jettisoned). And remember, Danny Santana is still there. Does he need to stay? Yes, any player removed from the 40-man roster must also go thru waivers. But with most 40-man rosters set, you should ore easily get guys thru who are not eligible for minor league free agency. Again, any free agents signed CAN replace aging prospects who have not panned out. Oh, Vargas is probably moot now that Mauer has moved to first base.
    1. SarasotaBill's Avatar
      SarasotaBill -
      Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
      With the growth of major league pitching staffs, it's gotten extremely difficult to keep position player rule 5 picks if they can't contribute. Pitchers are much easier to hide. With that said:

      I doubt any major league team is going to keep Polanco on its 25 man roster...no need to protect him. Same for Kepler.

      Wimmers, Achter and Darnall are the most likely to be lost, IMO, so Id start with adding those three.
      If another team left a top ten talent like Polanco or Kepler off their 40 man, I would want the Twins to pick and stash him for a year. It's not like the Twins will be in contention in 2014. This is how the Jays got Jorge Bell from the Phillies.

      Every Twins decision should be based on 2015 to 2020.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      Like the MLB 40 man roster, the Twins will have a 39 or 40 man AAA roster and a 39-40 man AA roster. Polanco needs to be added to the 40 man roster this year. Last year at this time, he would have been on the AAA roster, and the year before on the AA roster. Also, if the Twins don't put Kepler or Wimmers or Vargas or whoever on the MLB 40 man roster, they will certainly be on that AAA roster. Of course, if a player is selected in the minor league portion, he does not need to be offered back to the other organization, and he can be used on any roster in his new team's organization.
      That ^

      Most of these guys will not be targeted at the MLB portion of the draft but at the AAA portion, which means being on the Rochester roster protects them.

      I have a hard time seeing any team give a 25-man roster spot to Polanco or Kepler. Too raw. Or Wimmers. Too hurt. Vargas maybe because of his power.

      The kind of players that teams might select in the major league portion of the draft are pitchers for situational relievers in the majors (Darnell, Dean, Achter - think Pressly) and maybe to fill some holes, but the semi-MLB ready players the Twins have (Romero, Ramirez etc,) were all free agents and could have been signed by a team if was aggressive.

      I'd put Vargas on the roster. Switch hitting 40 HR power does not grow on trees. That leaves the Twins with 3 open spots. And I'd switch Darnell with Hermsen, just because. The rest are fine on the AAA roster. Maybe take Colabello off too.

      Another thing that one needs to consider, is that, because this is the roster shakeup time and people are taken off and going through waivers, the Twins would need a spot or two open for their annual waiver claim dumpster diving...
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      I think Logan and Polanco are for sure adds. Logan is a starting pitcher at AAA. And a lefty. Someone would take a flier on him. After that, I don't think it matters much. I do think they'll leave one spot open for a potential rule v pick but as others have noted, they can dump a few guys off the 40 man roster pretty easily - Hendriks, Herrmann, Hermsen, Parmelee, Colabello.
    1. jay's Avatar
      jay -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
      I am so baffled by the existence of Eric Fryer and BJ Hermsen on the 40-man
      Don't let it bother you too much, it's just a matter of timing (although one could argue that shouldn't even really matter with these two).
    1. SarasotaBill's Avatar
      SarasotaBill -
      If the Astros felt Polanco was a top ten Twins prospect, then why wouldn't they select him?
      They're not going to win 60 games with or without him.

      I would protect Kepler for the same reason but I can understand rolling the dice that he's too far away.
    1. Siehbiscuit's Avatar
      Siehbiscuit -
      Polanco needs to be protected. This kid will be given every opportunity to be the Twins SS of the future! Why would the Twins (or any team) not protect a good-hitting middle infielder?

      Kepler can be left unprotected. He is too far away and he will not be picked up. He hasn't even played much A-ball let alone contributing to an MLB club.

      Wimmers is a longshot to turn it around. Don't waste a spot.

      Darnell and Achter are close and should be protected.

      Vargas is has a 70 power tool. I would try and make room for him.

      In summary:

      Protect (in order of importance): Polanco, Achter, Darnell & Vargas

      Leave unprotected: Kepler & Wimmers

      Drop: Hermsen, Mastroianni & possibly Chris Herrmann (if they feel the need to protect Kepler or Wimmers)
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
      With the growth of major league pitching staffs, it's gotten extremely difficult to keep position player rule 5 picks if they can't contribute. Pitchers are much easier to hide. With that said:

      I doubt any major league team is going to keep Polanco on its 25 man roster...no need to protect him. Same for Kepler.

      Wimmers, Achter and Darnall are the most likely to be lost, IMO, so Id start with adding those three.
      Logic would agree with this. However at the same time, if a prospect like Polanco or Kepler were available for the Twins to nab, there would be plenty of us begging the team to do so. Many of us were hoping the team would take a flier on Braulio Lara last year and the Marlins actually did, though they soon returned him.

      I agree that Wimmers, Achter and Darnell are most likely to get picked up. I would think Achter would be pretty close to a cinch to get picked in fact. If the Twins strong bullpen wasn't still intact, he'd probably be among the favorites to win a spot coming out of spring training anyway.

      I'd probably gamble that Kepler won't get picked up, it's a long shot that he would, but his corner OF/1B availablility does provide some bench versatility. The lack of versatility is why we should not worry about Vargas getting picked. I'd also wonder about Wimmers and Oliveros but the Twins should at least have the advantage of being the only team with a reliable evaluation of their recovery timetable. If they are ready for a full season workload, they both have a strong shot at being claimed.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      The pitchers should generally be kept (remove Hermsen first). The reason Kepler and Polanco are not going to be selected isn't just because of having to have them on the bench. It is that you then have a player with basically a wasted year with little development. I doubt any team, even the Astros, are willing to use a roster spot on someone who isn't ready before 2016 (and maybe 2017, given the year wasted).
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