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Twins Add Three Players To 40 Man Roster

On Monday night, the Minnesota Twins (and teams around MLB) needed to add players to their 40-man roster. By adding these players, they will not be eligible to be selected in the Rule 5 draft next month. They will be at Twins MLB spring training.

The Twins added left-handed pitchers Lewis Thorpe and Stephen Gonsalves and right-handed pitcher Zack Littell.
Image courtesy of Kelly McGlohon
Pitching was the theme of the Twins 40-man roster additions. Adding three pitchers to the roster continues the front office's theme of finding and retaining quality pitching.

Stephen Gonsalves was the easiest choice of the group. The lanky left-hander from California has been the Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year in 2016 and 2017, and he was the runner-up in 2015. He was invited to spring training in 2017. He had a 9.7 K/9 rate in 2017 in AA and AAA. He will be 23 years old through the majority of the 2018 season.

Gonsalves was excited to learn that he had been added, but knows it comes with more work. He told Twins Daily, "I'm very thankful for the call I received this morning, but this is only a stepping stone to my dream to become a big leaguer. Now it's time to push even a little harder and fight for a jersey."

The Twins acquired right-hander Zack Littell from the Yankees in a late-July trade for Jaime Garcia. On the season, he went 20-1. He went 9-1 with Tampa in the Florida State League. He went 5-0 for Trenton, the Yankees AA team, and then he went 5-0 with Chattanooga. That's 19-1, so I included a playoff win that he got to make it an even 20. His combined ERA was 2.69 and he averaged 8.1 K/9. Littell will be 22 through the 2018 season.

Littell was also excited to learn that he was added to the roster. "It’s awesome to get this news, and I couldn’t be more excited about this year. Obviously this isn’t the end goal, but this step feels really good to have accomplished and motivate me even more to keep going."

Injury always makes 40-man decisions interesting, and the Twins had a couple such decisions. One made the roster.

Lewis Thorpe was a Top 10 Twins prospect as a 19-year-old after a nice showing in Cedar Rapids. Unfortunately, he missed over two seasons due to a Tommy John surgery and a bout with mono. He returned this year, and moved up to Ft. Myers, and he looked good again. He posted a 2.94 ERA in 77 innings in Ft. Myers. He walked 31, but he struck out 84. Thorpe will turn 22 on Thursday.

Thorpe was a little surprised when he got the call today. "It felt awesome when I️ got the call today. I️ was in shock and was just so excited." He continued, "After having two-and-a-bit years out of the game, it’s just a relief they still believe I’ve got what it takes to still get there. I’m very excited for 2018, to see what it has to offer me. I’ve still got to work hard because I️ haven’t made anything yet."



So, there are several players who are more likely to be selected in the Rule 5 draft including Nick Burdi, Jake Reed, Lewin Diaz, Kohl Stewart, Luke Bard, Ryan Eades, Brian Navarreto and Mason Melotakis.

What do you think of the Twins decisions tonight?


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127 Comments

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nicksaviking
Nov 20 2017 07:00 PM

Reed and Burdi much more likely to be selected than Bard, they're just younger, but I do think Bard could be selected if the right team sees the right numbers. He's got some good stuff.


I'd hate to lose those guys but I figured with Burdi's injury and Reed's decreased strikeouts and increased walks last year, both looked iffy to stick. Worth a selection in the draft though.

The Yankees traded 2 or 3 guys today/recently.  How do they compare to the likes of Reed?  Rainy day project for someone.

 

For me, this says a lot about the caliber of prospects some of these guys are, which is to say less than I hoped.  Goes a ways towards explaining why a guy like Reed didn't get a look last season.  He'll probably get taken, and probably be okay...just not as good as whatever free agent the Twins plan on signing.

 

The Three Chosen Ones were no-brainers for me.  Burdi's injury clouds things, and Diaz...just not sure what to make of that one.  

    • Vanimal46 likes this
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jorgenswest
Nov 20 2017 07:02 PM
Yankees added more international money today.
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Deduno Abides
Nov 20 2017 07:03 PM

So that they've got guys to drop when they need to later in the offseason. I'd keep Slegers, but I'm shocked Boshers is still rostered.


Right now, Boshers is one of the four best lefty relievers in the organization and none of them have really distinguished themselves. Boshers isn’t on the team because of absolute talent, but because of relative value. This should likely change before spring training or shortly thereafter, especially if Tyler Jay looks good and healthy.

Slegers probably has more upside than Boshers, but his roster spot also may depend on what happens during the offseason and how healthy Trevor May is. Also, there are younger pitchers who could pass him, but not yet. In his behalf, his results have been good and he may be receiving the benefit of the doubt, if Falvine think he was given incorrect coaching because of his height. Right now, Slegers is probably slotted as the first starter in Rochester to get a chance at Target Field, if needed.

It will get tight in Rochester, however. Behind Slegers, there are Gonsalves, Romero, Littell, Enns and Jorge, with Thorpe possibly pushing from AA, and who knows what’s going to happen with Stewart. Also, again depending on the offseason, Mejia and possibly Duffey could need spots in Rochester’s rotation, if a couple of solid starters are signed. At some point, also, May and possibly Hughes will be making at least rehab starts. In 2018, it’s going to get a lot more competitive than it’s been in years to keep a pitching spot.
    • DocBauer, sploorp, howieramone2 and 2 others like this

Would be surprised if we lost Stewart or Burdi because of the injuries and the red flags on both these pitchers, Diaz we could lose, but would probably be returned as he is far from ready and most clubs do not need a 1B type(calculated risk),I would expect to lose 2-3 in the rule 5 draft, which ones are a mystery.  

    • DocBauer likes this

The Twins should have used their international money and bought a couple of prospects that needed to be protected. With the Yankees out trading for money it would have made sense to try to swing some sort of deal.

 

I would have to say there is a 1% chance that Ohtani would chose the Twins when the Yankees, Rangers, & Dodgers can't wait to make him a deal.

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diehardtwinsfan
Nov 20 2017 07:32 PM

 

Yankees added more international money today.

 

250k... not a ton. Though I'd be fine if the Twins could send one of the marginal guys away for enough to put them in front on the Otani cash side of the sweepstakes.

 

Right now, Boshers is one of the four best lefty relievers in the organization

 

Let's see:

Rogers, Moya, Melotakis, McIverand I am not counting the likes of Enns or Thorpe or even Mejia and Gonsalves who could pitch from the pen in a pinch.

    • tvagle likes this

No way in hell Lewin Diaz gets picked. No way in hell Twins were going to lose Thorpe. Those were the biggest two locks I had. Lewis Thorpe would be the first pick or essentially the first pick, given the maneuvering teams do up front in Rule V. Diaz, of course, can't help a single team and can't be wasted space with so few position spots used. And unless something clicks, I don't see much evidence for high-end potential.


Agree on both of these. Thorpe was a lock of locks. He might be the best pitching prospect in the system.

No one is rostering a 1b/dh that hasn't made it past low a.

I'm a little intrigued by Stewart and Burdi, but Reed/Melo/Bard weren't a priority since they couldn't make the roster last season.
    • bluechipper and Vanimal46 like this
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diehardtwinsfan
Nov 20 2017 07:35 PM

Not surprised at all by Diaz. He won't be taken either.

 

Burdi could get taken and stashed on the 60 day DL... I don't like that personally, but that's the risk. He will need to return mid-season and will likely be relatively useless to the team that takes him as he knocks the rust off. I hope he's not selected, but I could see someone trying it.

 

Stewart surprises me. Honestly, that says a lot about what the FO thinks of him. Scouts say the stuff is there, but results matter. The FO doesn't seem to think he's going to make it any time soon, otherwise they would have protected him.

    • SydneyTwinsFan, beckmt and DocBauer like this

Wishing and hoping for a headline like this from the Twins in the next 14 minutes:

Rangers Acquire Burdi, Bard, Reed from Twins for Int'l Money...All of It :)

I could have sworn there was a limit to the amount of FA money you could trade for (or trade away)
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SydneyTwinsFan
Nov 20 2017 07:48 PM

Not surprised at all by Diaz. He won't be taken either.

 

Burdi could get taken and stashed on the 60 day DL... I don't like that personally, but that's the risk. He will need to return mid-season and will likely be relatively useless to the team that takes him as he knocks the rust off. I hope he's not selected, but I could see someone trying it.

 

Agree with this. 

 

Diaz posted a .770 OPS in low A, doesn't walk and has projectable rather than demonstrable power thus far.Personally I'd say there's a 1% chance he gets taken and sticks on a 25-man roster all year.

 

The risk that Burdi gets taken and stashed on the DL is real I think (I would try it on a rebuilding team).

 

    • birdwatcher and bluechipper like this
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nicksaviking
Nov 20 2017 07:51 PM
It seems Twins did most of their DFA'ing a week or so ago, looks like most teams waited until today. Perhaps the Twins have kept their multiple 40-man spots to target some of these guys they knew or hoped would become available. Anyone see any interesting arms let go today?
    • gSutter likes this

 

I could have sworn there was a limit to the amount of FA money you could trade for (or trade away)

 

There is...this from MLBTR

 

"...teams can only trade for 75% of their original pool amount. In the Yankees’ case, the team started with $4.75MM, meaning they are capped at $8.3MM total. And the organization had already boosted its pool to $8MM (a good portion of which it has already spent). As things stand, the Yanks have $3.5MM left to dangle for Ohtani or utilize on other international amateur talent."

 

    • caninatl04 likes this

I cannot see Slegers and Boshers when we could lose some of these players.I guess the new stats must be like reading tea leaves and they see something that I do not. 

 

I do like Gonsalves, Thorpe and Littell, but some of these other players looked too good to dangle in rule V for me.

    • Taildragger8791 and caninatl04 like this
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nicksaviking
Nov 20 2017 08:27 PM

I cannot see Slegers and Boshers when we could lose some of these players.I guess the new stats must be like reading tea leaves and they see something that I do not. 
 
I do like Gonsalves, Thorpe and Littell, but some of these other players looked too good to dangle in rule V for me.


In Boshers' case it's probably nothing other than a dearth of LH relievers ready to contribute at the MLB level.

Also, with four spots available, it's probably not fair to blame anybody who kept their jobs for costing the team any of the younger guys the team exposed. The team had room to do both but for reasons they'll probably never detail, they didn't.
    • Seth Stohs and mikelink45 like this
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jorgenswest
Nov 20 2017 08:29 PM

I cannot see Slegers and Boshers when we could lose some of these players.I guess the new stats must be like reading tea leaves and they see something that I do not. 
 
I do like Gonsalves, Thorpe and Littell, but some of these other players looked too good to dangle in rule V for me.


It might be stats. I think more likely it is measuring a player’s long term ceiling vs. their real need to have enough of the 40 man roster devoted to players that can make a 2018 contribution.

Anyone they protest by adding now, they can’t drop later this winter. They can remove Slegers and Boshers to make room for a free agent. Stewart and Burdi will be of no help in 2018. They must feel that they can do better than Reed and Bard who might have helped. None of the four have high ceilings.
    • TRex and mikelink45 like this
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Deduno Abides
Nov 20 2017 08:37 PM

Let's see:

Rogers, Moya, Melotakis, McIverand I am not counting the likes of Enns or Thorpe or even Mejia and Gonsalves who could pitch from the pen in a pinch.


Rogers, Moya and Enns are the only other lefty relievers in the system who compare, until Jay proves himself, and none of them proven. If you think Melotakis is better than Boshers, we’re just going to have to agree to disagree. The Twins are not going to consider bringing up Thorpe or Gonsalves in May to pitch as an emergency bullpen arm if Rogers or Moya are injured or ineffective. They’ll probably keep Mejia as a starter until at least mid-season, also.
    • birdwatcher, DJSim22, TRex and 4 others like this
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Old Twins Cap
Nov 20 2017 08:41 PM

Yeah, it's the same every year. 

 

"Our guys are great-- protect them, every last one of them" -- even though no one beyond this website believes that.

 

Look, other organizations have a lot to juggle as well.Realize, any of these guys selected has to be on the 25 man roster ALL YEAR.

 

We may think Lewin Diaz or Burdi or Bard or even a Cheeseburger can be left on the bench of a team competing for wins, but the reality is, they are just prospects, the odds are stacked against them ever making a difference at a Major League level, not to mention, actually helping a team win in a playoff context.

 

Nope.Our guys ain't that good.

 

Their guys ain't that good either--witness Pressley-- so let's get on to the real off-season.

 

 

 

 

    • Blackjack, Danchat, IndyTwinsFan and 5 others like this
Only surprise is Stewart. A really bad team should pick him. No surprise to me on Diaz at all
    • gunnarthor, bluechipper and Dman like this
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Baseball Bat
Nov 20 2017 09:19 PM

Giving Falvine the benefit of the doubt on this, but I have to admit I am a bit surprised that Burdi, Reed, Stewart, Diaz, Bard, and Melotakis all got left off. I would have had at least 3 to 4 of those guys protected.

 

I'm not too concerned about Diaz, given that he is so raw and there is not way a team could keep him on there 25 man for 5 months. 

 

It's not the fact that any of those 5 pitchers individually got left unprotected, it is the fact that all of them got left unprotected. All are former high draft picks (especially for relievers) who have had very solid minor league careers. Reed, who is a lock to be taken in the rule 5 draft, throws mid 90's and had a legit case to be with the Twins last season. Bard, a former second round pick, all the sudden found his stuff and struckout 14 per 9 last season with mid 90's stuff. Stewart is frustrating as heck and even if he does get taken, I am not too concerned about him. 

 

Am I the only one that thinks Burdi's injury makes him more likely to be taken in the rule 5 draft? A team can literally stash him on the 60 day DL for a couple of months, send him for a rehab assignment, then it is September. I'm not a fan of giving up on him. 

 

It is a little bit confusing to me how Buddy Boshers, Aaron Slegers, and Phil Hughes' contract all have 40 man spots over the top 3 of Reed, Melotakis, Bard, Burdi, Diaz, and Stewart. 

 

All you have to do with Hughes is take him off the 40 man, nobody will claim his contract, you can protect an extra player, and add Hughes back later in the season. Hopefully this means the Twins are going to make some moves soon this offseason as they have some roster spots open, and are unprotecting a fair amount of talent. 

    • gSutter and caninatl04 like this
I think, most of all, this demonstrates the folly of depending on your minor league system to supply your relief needs.

I can't remember how many times I've read the Twins didn't need to sign bullpen help, because doing so would block so and so.
The Twins farm system was just overloaded with all these top end arms.

They've gotten virtually nothing from that.
    • Mike Sixel, beckmt, h2oface and 4 others like this

 

Only surprise is Stewart. A really bad team should pick him. No surprise to me on Diaz at all

 

I was surprised as well.I know lots of people on the board don't like his stats or his chances to make an impact at the Major League level but I was still a believer.I wanted to see him one more year to see if there was any improvement.I also think he could be a good pen arm.Jack up his velo and used in shorter stints I feel like those K's might just come back.

 

I've been wrong about a lot of guys and probably am about Stewart but I thought he had enough stuff to keep.Maybe no one else will like him in the rule V so it won't matter.

    • diehardtwinsfan and Jham like this
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Taildragger8791
Nov 20 2017 09:39 PM

Are we sure Burdi can just be stashed on someone's 60-day DL most of the season? That seems like a major loophole in the system if there is next to zero cost to the team other than paying out a meager rookie salary. Seems like something is missing here.

 

I'm a little intrigued by Stewart and Burdi, but Reed/Melo/Bard weren't a priority since they couldn't make the roster last season.

 Yeah they couldn't keep every reliever with promise and clog up the 40 man.There are other guys coming up that don't need to be protected so not the end of the world if we lost all of them which is unlikely anyway.

 

This is what the rule V is for I guess.Given the pen we have it was gonna be tough for those guys to make it anyway.Now maybe they will get a chance with another team.

 

It looks like they want more proven players for the pen as they have a fair bit of young blood up for relievers in Hildy, Curtis, Busenitz , Chargios, Moya and Rogers.They'll want some vets to close and work the eighth.May and Duffy might still end up as pen arms so I can see why they did things the way they did.

    • birdwatcher, dbminn, Vanimal46 and 2 others like this

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