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  • 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. beckmt's Avatar
      beckmt -
      With the number of players to be protected, the number of current Twins who need protection is low. Drop the marginals as I stated above and protect the player you want to protect. I do not see Darnell as better than Diamond or Albers, so I would not protect him. The rest of the players stated above are choices, but would be dismayed if the Twins gave up on significant bullpen pieces. May see waivers or a few minor trades today or tomorrow, but most low talent clubs will not give much for bullpen pitchers they may be able to get off the waiver wire in the next couple of days.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by SarasotaBill View Post
      If the Astros felt Polanco was a top ten Twins prospect, then why wouldn't they select him?
      Because he is 2-3 years away from the majors and will just have to sit on the bench. The kid is not even ready for AA.
    1. twinsfan34's Avatar
      twinsfan34 -
      With teams like the Twins and Astros out there who have very little talent, I could still see grabbing a Polanco and putting him on the MLB roster.

      He can play defense already. Don't think he can hit .220 like their current SS's?

      Oh wait, we're the Twins.
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      I want to say some team did this in the last decade - the Mets, I think - they grabbed some 21 or 22 year old OFer with tools who was totally overwhelmed but they kept him at the ML level all year, got him into a number of games and he was just horrible. Then the next year they sent him to AA and he was still horrible and he never made it back. I don't think any team will take an A ball hitter and stick him on their ML roster. (But that doesn't mean they couldn't try and work out a trade after poisoning the well a bit).

      But in the Twins case, I just don't see why they'd need to risk anything. Polanco and Kepler will get another option year b/c of their youth so we don't really lose anything by protecting them this year and we have enough guys that we can remove if needed.
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      Nobody is going to pick up Polanco or Kepler, while both are nice prospects, neither one project to be world beaters that are worth keeping on your bench for a full year. It is much easier to grab a pitcher and keep him as your mop up guy (since they are the most interchangeable players on the 25 man roster) Limiting an already small position player bench size by having a guy who can't play (insert Butera joke here) is a really poor move.
    1. iastfan112's Avatar
      iastfan112 -
      Polanco- he plays a MI position and would be at least an outside shot to be Rule 5 drafted and stick.
      Logan Darnell- Had a nice AZL last fall and followed it up with a pretty solid season in the upper minors. As a lefty he seems like a candidate to be selected as well.
    1. Siehbiscuit's Avatar
      Siehbiscuit -
      The Astros and Cubs are likely the only two teams that have had and currently have a worst MLB roster than the Twins. If these guys (Polanco, Kepler, all the pitchers) can't win a spot on the Twins roster, why would the other teams want them? Kepler is WAY too raw. Polanco is worth protecting on the 40 man (not the 25 man) only because he may be the SS of the future. The pitchers aren't that special, but can you ever have too much pitching?
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      Yeah, I don't see Kepler being protected. That will happen next year I'd imagine, but given the time taken to develop him and the fact that he's only played at CR, I don't see it happening. I could be wrong though. The pitchers most definitely. I think Polanco is in the same boat as Kepler.
    1. jorgenswest's Avatar
      jorgenswest -
      Everth Cabrera was selected from Low A by the Padres.

      Polanco could be selected. Spend a year as utility. Get seasoning in minors in 2015.

      With the large pitching staffs, utility infielder and the bullpen are the only spots to stash players. Protect Polanco.
    1. Chance's Avatar
      Chance -
      So, correct me if I'm wrong, we could protect Kepler and Polanco on the AAA 40 man. Is that not what Seth said earlier?

      I don't see how Darnell would not get picked up so I'd add him. I want to see him make a couple starts for the Twins before he is dangled infront of some other team. Also, I would add most of the guys on that list if I could find/make room. Most (the prospects) seem to possess some tools that other organizations might find desirable. We will surely leave room open to draft a starter.

      Do we draft 4th?
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by Chance View Post
      So, correct me if I'm wrong, we could protect Kepler and Polanco on the AAA 40 man. Is that not what Seth said earlier?
      If they don't protect them on the MLB 40 man, they would certainly protect them on the AAA roster. That means they could get drafted in the MLB Rule 5, but if they get through that, they would not be able to be taken in the AAA or AA portions.
    1. old nurse's Avatar
      old nurse -
      I would think it would be easier to stash someone on the AAA roster than the major league roster and not hurt their development. Might even be easier if they are a PCL affiliated AAA team. Polanco is not Everth Caberra.
    1. Rosterman's Avatar
      Rosterman -
      I just saw that Baltimore did an add to their roster, bringing their 40-man roster to 32. That's a lot of empty space. Looks like someone will be looking Rule 5. The basis for Rule 5 is that a team must have space on their 40-man (1 empty space going in) and they would grab someone better than anyone that they have to protect in their own organization. Two can play at that game. If there is anyone better than anyone in your organization available, you grab them. What makes the Rule 5 more interesting is the higher price paid for draft choices. Do you grab another team's multi-million dollar investment if available?
    1. beckmt's Avatar
      beckmt -
      If you feel it is worthwhile go for it. This is a cheap roster upgrade.
    1. spycake's Avatar
      spycake -
      Baseball America classifies Polanco as an "Extremely Likely" addition for the Twins 40-man:


      Everth Cabrera example invoked. (My take: Cabrera was ~2 years older, and coming off a 73 SB season in the minors.)

      Possible additions: Vargas, Kepler, Darnell, Achter

      Edit: got its own thread here: http://www.twinsdaily.com/showthread.php?t=9498
    1. Halsey Hall's Avatar
      Halsey Hall -
      So Souch and Ruesse just sad that Hermson off, and Kepler, Polanco, Vargas and Logan Darnell added.
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