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Free Agency / Re-Signings 2020-21 Offseason

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2020 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook Available NOW!

Twins Minor League Talk 28 Nov 2020
The 2020 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook will be now available.By clicking here, you can order the paperback version of the PDF/E-Book...
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Jhoan Duran Headlines Twins Roster Additions

The Minnesota Twins have announced that right-handed pitchers Jhoan Duran and Dakota Chalmers, infielder Travis Blankenhorn and outfielders Luke Raley and Gilberto Celestino have been added to the team's 40-man roster.

The Twins roster now sits at 37 players.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (Dakota Chalmers photo from Alexis Farinacci, Ft. Myers Miracle)
Jhoan Duran was the obvious choice. He split the 2019 season between Ft. Myers and Pensacola. He is touted for his fastball which has hit triple digits on multiple occasions. He is viewed as a starting pitcher. The Twins acquired him in July 2018 from the Diamondbacks in the Eduardo Escobar trade.

Dakota Chalmers came to the Twins in August 2018 from the A's in exchange for Fernando Rodney. Chalmers had recently undergone Tommy John surgery, but he is touted for having a big fastball. He also has the makings of plus change up and curveball. He returned to action in the second half of 2019 for the Ft. Myers Miracle. When their season ended, he and Jordan Balazovic were promoted to Pensacola for their playoff run.

Gilberto Celestino joined the Twins in July 2018, with Jorge Alcala who was added to the roster in September, in the Ryan Pressly trade. After a slow start, he was on fire his final two-plus months in Cedar Rapids. He ended the season with a couple of weeks in Ft. Myers where he continued to hit. He also plays an elite caliber centerfield.

Luke Raley came to the Twins with Devin Smeltzer in the July 2018 Brian Dozier trade from the Dodgers. He missed most of the 2019 season but returned to play in the Arizona Fall League.

Travis Blankenhorn was the Twins third-round pick in 2015 out of high school in Pennsylvania. He spent about two weeks in Ft. Myers this year before hitting 18 homers for Pensacola.


The biggest name left off of the roster is Wander Javier. The Twins signed the shortstop from the Dominican Republic in 2015 for a $4 million signing bonus.

Griffin Jax and Luis Rijo are two starting pitchers who could potentially be lost in the Rule 5 draft.

Share your thoughts on the Twins decisions. Here is our listing of players who were eligible to be protected.

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44 Comments

A bad team should absolutely take Jax. They have nothing to lose, and a starting pitcher to gain.
    • Vanimal46, SF Twins Fan, Tomj14 and 1 other like this
Agreed that a bad team should take Jax and I would root for him. That’s a tough one but I agree with the decision. Javier - just got a feeling that is going to come back and bite us but I understand trying to sneak him through. He’s never healthy
    • mikelink45 and wabene like this

Wander Javier is worth gambling losing in the Rule 5 draft even though I'm a big fan of his potential.After his last 2 injury marred seasons I'd be surprised if someone grabbed him.This should give him a year back with the Twins to rebuild some value.I agree with Mike on Jax and i could even see someone grabbing Luis Rijo.  

    • mikelink45, Vanimal46, SF Twins Fan and 1 other like this
The Raley add is redundant as the 40 man currently stands today. Pretty good bet 1 or 2 corner OFs are traded this winter.

Jax is probably the only other player who will get selected in the rule 5 draft. Javier sticks and hopefully makes the decision more difficult next year.
    • alphanumeric, Dman, SF Twins Fan and 3 others like this
Rijo and Javier are unlikely as they both finished at Low A. They are too far away to know if they are worth keeping in the majors all year unused to send back to the minors and occupy a 40 man spot.

Jax on the other hand seems the most likely to be picked although even that is fairly unlikely given his struggles at AAA and low upside.
    • birdwatcher, Twins33, Roaddog and 2 others like this

While I like Jax he seems to be 5th starter material and with K's being low and other guys that look like they might have higher ceilings not far behind him I can see the Twins taking the risk.It wasn't that long ago that a lot of this board berated the previous FO for hanging onto pitch to contact guys versus stirke out pitchers so I am not gonna complain too much about this one.That being said I feel like his stuff might play up in the pen and he has good control so he could be targeted by a rebuilding team.

 

A little more concerned about Rio.He has some really good secondaries but doesn't seem to have the velocity yet.Pretty young too and likely not able to help a MLB team at all.So hoping he gets passed by.

 

Also wondering about Moran.His WHIP is high so hopefully other teams leave him alone.

 

Wells is a wild card at this point since he is coming off of injury so guessing team will pass on him as well.

 

Only real surprise for me is Celestino.He must be better than I realized.Maybe his defense is just too good to risk losing him to a team using him as 4th outfielder this year.I don't think his bat will play in MLB yet.

    • wabene likes this
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nicksaviking
Nov 20 2019 07:00 PM
I’m only surprised Blankenhorn was added, not because he shouldn’t have been, but because he was the only guy added that this front office didn’t acquire; I might have guessed Rjio instead.

I’m not worried about Jax, if he can’t strike out AA batters he’s probably not going to be terribly attractive. The TD community would lose it’s collective mind if the Twins added someone like him.
    • h2oface, Dman, DocBauer and 4 others like this

Wander Javier is worth gambling losing in the Rule 5 draft even though I'm a big fan of his potential. After his last 2 injury marred seasons I'd be surprised if someone grabbed him. This should give him a year back with the Twins to rebuild some value.


Concur! Even Detroit can't punt on a roster spot all season. He'd challenge Chris Davis for most consecutive PAs without a hit.

https://mlb.nbcsport...ith-rbi-single/

 

The Raley add is redundant as the 40 man currently stands today. Pretty good bet 1 or 2 corner OFs are traded this winter.

Jax is probably the only other player who will get selected in the rule 5 draft. Javier sticks and hopefully makes the decision more difficult next year.

 

Totally agree with you.They can't keep that many 4th outfielders on the 40 man as they are likely going to need more room for pitching and another catcher.While l like Lamonte's eye at the plate he doesn't seem to have much power.I think he is the guy to try and trade.I guess we will see what happens but it doesn't make sense to carry all of them especially with Kirilloff, Rooker and Larnach not that far away.

    • mikelink45 likes this

Duran and Graterol have a higehr ceiling than Jax. Smeltzer, Poppen and Thiroe are ahead of him.

 

A good story, the military guy drafted and able to play during his service time. Some team will grab him.

 

The Twins have add to an abundance of outfielders. Decisions have to be made on Cron and also the status of Rosario. So Raley protect them as someone ready to step up, if you feel Cave and Wade aren't the future. Celestino could be the future and one would like to think that he could come north as a fourth outfielder if injuries happen...playing the corners OR centerfield.

 

You want a free $4 million player...grab Javier and make him your 26th. Cheap investment for Rule 5 monies. Who knows, out of the gate he might surprise a non-contending team that can take the chance putting him on the field.

 

 

    • nclahammer likes this

 

Rijo and Javier are unlikely as they both finished at Low A. They are too far away to know if they are worth keeping in the majors all year unused to send back to the minors and occupy a 40 man spot.

Jax on the other hand seems the most likely to be picked although even that is fairly unlikely given his struggles at AAA and low upside.

 

They may not be drafted, but not because they finished at Low A... 

 

Jax doesn't have much upside, but he's probably fairly close to being big-league ready. Ceiling probably a #4 starter... 

    • rdehring likes this
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Bill Tanner
Nov 20 2019 07:48 PM

Hat tip to Seth.  Pretty much nailed the analysis of the givens, probables, and bubbles.

    • Seth Stohs, goulik, Dman and 2 others like this
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diehardtwinsfan
Nov 20 2019 07:50 PM

So no Tyler Wells? That surprises me.

    • jrod23 likes this
With the 26 man roster, it may be easier for rebuilding teams to stash a player but I just don’t see it happening with a player that hasn’t been above A ball so I don’t think Javier or Rijo will be taken and kept all year, but I can see Jax being stashed away. I can also see a rebuilding team giving Wiel a spin and seeing what he does. I mean, why not? It’s a free trial and worst case scenario you send him back to the Twins AAA. Same scenario for Reed.
    • DocBauer likes this

 

So no Tyler Wells? That surprises me.

 

He might not be the same pitcher after surgery and he wasn't a sure thing to make it to MLB even after his great 2018.He would be a big gamble for a team to take when they can probably find other pitchers not recovering from injury (less risk).Personally I think he bounces back but hard to say how long it will take.

They could have probably slipped Raley & Blankenhorn through the rule 5 draft. It's good to see that they have 3 open spots for free agents.

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diehardtwinsfan
Nov 20 2019 08:51 PM

 

They could have probably slipped Raley & Blankenhorn through the rule 5 draft. It's good to see that they have 3 open spots for free agents.

Blankenhorn maybe, but Raley is practically ML ready. Someone steals him. Blankenhorn has a bit more upside and is still pretty close to being ready. I could see him going either way. 

    • goulik, Dman, gagu and 1 other like this

Jax is the only surprise name left out, in my opinion. He doesn't have the upside a lot of the other guys on this list have, so I suppose he might make it out unscathed on draft night. 

 

Celestino is the only one I'm surprised was added. He's probably not going to be ready until 2022 at earliest and 2022 will be his final option year. He was bad at Cedar Rapids for a good 3-4 months last year. I wouldn't be surprised if he gets DFA'd before making it to the majors.

 

They should be able to sneak Rijo and Javier through the draft and wait until next year to roster them. 

    • rdehring likes this

seeing Raley make it, they are almost certainly going to trade/release another outfielder this winter.Should be interesting.

    • wabene likes this

 

seeing Raley make it, they are almost certainly going to trade/release another outfielder this winter.Should be interesting.

Especially with Rooker at AAA and then Larnach and Kiriloff at AA, it seems like something will have to give at some point. That's not even to mention the other 4th OF candidates like Cave and Wade.

 

 

A little more concerned about Rio.He has some really good secondaries but doesn't seem to have the velocity yet.Pretty young too and likely not able to help a MLB team at all.So hoping he gets passed by.

 

 

Assume you're talking about Luis Rijo. He was hitting 95-96 in 2019, so that's pretty good for a 20-21 year old. 

    • Steve Lein, Monkeypaws, Dman and 3 others like this

 

Blankenhorn maybe, but Raley is practically ML ready. Someone steals him. Blankenhorn has a bit more upside and is still pretty close to being ready. I could see him going either way. 

 

Yup, Raley can play in the big leagues now, and he even played a bunch of CF in the spring and in the season. He's much more well-rounded than Rooker. 

 

Blankenhorn is just such a great athlete, and he started figuring things out more in 2019. If he can keep that up, he has a chance to be really good... and his versatility will help too. 

    • Steve Lein, DocBauer, JLease and 6 others like this

 

Celestino is the only one I'm surprised was added. He's probably not going to be ready until 2022 at earliest and 2022 will be his final option year. He was bad at Cedar Rapids for a good 3-4 months last year. I wouldn't be surprised if he gets DFA'd before making it to the majors.

 

They should be able to sneak Rijo and Javier through the draft and wait until next year to roster them. 

 

Kepler was added after the 2013 season, and he didn't debut until the final weeks of 2015. 40-man roster spots aren't just for guys who can contribute next year. It's also for those types who can be big-time impact players in the next couple of seasons. Kepler and Polanco were both added after 2013 in Cedar Rapids... Polanco wasn't a regular until 2016. 

 

Of course, a few years before that, they added Deibinson Romero and Estarlin de los Santos after their 2008 season in Beloit. Doesn't always work out. 

    • birdwatcher, TRex, 70charger and 7 others like this
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Richard Swerdlick
Nov 21 2019 04:53 AM
I find it exciting that the Twins farm system has so many quality prospects that makes for difficult decisions. Falvine are really building something special.
    • birdwatcher and In My La-Z-boy like this

 

Assume you're talking about Luis Rijo. He was hitting 95-96 in 2019, so that's pretty good for a 20-21 year old. 

 

Isn't it a little bit dangerous to leave a guy like that unprotected then?He might be able to hold down a bullpen spot for the year at the MLB level and then they could work him back as a starter.He is young enough and talented enough it looks like.Granted his K 9 isn't that great for his level but it isn't bad either.

    • dbminn likes this

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