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Roster Reconstruction Begins

Attached Image: hicks_gibson600.jpg
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.[PRBREAK][/PRBREAK]

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.


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