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40-man roster considerations

Posted by Shane Wahl , 19 August 2014 · 1,829 views

Soon it will be time to consider who should be dropped and added to the Twins 40-man roster for next season. This time there could be more of an upheaval than normal as the Twins hopefully look to enter the next phase of the organization's rebuilding project.


Some opening remarks

I have to believe that the following players could or should be removed from the 40-man roster for next season:

Jared Burton
Sam Deduno
Brian Duensing
Edgar Ibarra
Yohan Pino
Anthony Swarzak
Caleb Thielbar

Eric Fryer
Chris Colabello
Pedro Florimon
Eduardo Nunez/Chris Parmelee/Jordan Schafer

I am sure that there are legitimate reasons for keeping each of these players except for Burton and likely Colabello. There are three lefty relievers in this group, but none of them are really overwhelming talents. Most of these players are getting on in age and there are a number of younger replacements waiting in the wings. The triple slash at the end would probably depend on what is valued most: a righty bat, a lefty bat, or speed.


Supposing no new additions

Let's suppose for now (because the speculation derails this entire issue) that the Twins do not add any free agents to compete for 40-man roster space (though James Shields or Ervin Santana could be nice additions). This is probably unlikely because it would seem that the Twins would add somebody but it doesn't really matter for now, especially since I am leaving one spot open.


Two spots taken back
Add Mike Pelfrey back from the 60-day DL (that ridiculous contract is going to mean he is involved somehow, likely as a long relief option replacing Deduno)

Also keep in mind that the Twins might like to keep a spot open on the 40 man, so we are talking about adding nine players to the 40 man roster. Keeping one spot open makes sense for making waiver claims or other transactions without having to remove someone else already on the roster.


Top eligible players for consideration

Here are 21 players that I would say are the most likely to be considered as additions:

A.J. Achter, Jason Adam, James Beresford, Sean Gilmartin, Niko Goodrum, Deolis Guerra, Tyler Jones, Cole Johnson, Mike Kvasnicka, Brett Lee, Aderlin Mejia, Alex Meyer, Levi Michael, Lester Oliveros, Danny Ortiz, Deibinson Romero, Eddie Rosario, Adrian Salcedo, Miguel Sano, Jason Wheeler, and Alex Wimmers

Sano, Rosario, and Meyer are locks, so this knocks it down to six of the remaining 18 players. I think that some of these players are quite safe from being taken in the rule 5 due to either age, level, or performance issues (or both/all). They are: Goodrum, Kvasnicka, and Mejia. Another group that would seem to be safe would be Beresford, Lee, Michael, Salcedo, Wheeler, and Wimmers. The first group are players with glaring issues to be worked out and the second group, while having some big names, just doesn't have anyone who I would think teams would use for a 25-man roster spot for the season. Salcedo and Wimmers could be exceptions, but that would be pretty risky for teams to stick them in the bullpen for an entire season.


Who's left?

There are then nine players left to consider: Achter, Adam, Gilmartin, Guerra, Johnson, Jones, Oliveros, Ortiz, and Romero. The Twins are likely going to just risk Romero again and not worry if he gets selected. He is a good hitter, but is behind Plouffe and Sano right now. I also think that the Twins keeping Tyler Jones in Fort Myers will keep him safe as teams would be shy from taking that risk. There are then seven players to consider. On the Johan Santana trade principle, I think the Twins protect Guerra and give him a rotation spot trial in spring training. A.J. Achter, then, is the most likely candidate to be risked since the Twins seemingly don't like him all that much.


The Nine

The nine players that I see the Twins adding are Miguel Sano, Alex Meyer, Eddie Rosario, Sean Gilmartin, Danny Ortiz, Lester Oliveros, Cole Johnson, Deolis Guerra, and Jason Adam. There are two super prospects and one very good prospect. Gilmartin and Adam are solid 6th starter options who are still young and could improve. Ortiz is a 4th OF candidate for the Twins and for other teams, and the Twins cannot afford to lose any more OF prospects at the moment. Guerra is Johan trade material and on that principle alone should get a chance to replace a Jared Burton. Oliveros and Johnson (lefty) are striking people out this year and should be making the team out of spring training to replace Swarzak and Duensing.

Personally, I like Beresford and Romero and would rather risk relievers, but I am trying to provide a balance here between what I would do and what the Twins will likely do.


Conclusion

I think this leaves the Twins in a good position. This would make for 39 players on the roster and sheds some aging replacement level players for actual prospects and actual young minor leaguers who could move up prospect lists. Lester Oliveros and Cole Johnson could join Michael Tonkin in anchoring the bullpen with Fien and Perkins (leaving Guerra and Pelfrey to fill the bullpen out). Sano, Meyer, and Rosario are close enough to not worry about option years at all. Danny Ortiz is a viable 4th OF option. Gilmartin and Adam provide depth for the starting rotation.

There will be more changes coming if players like Byron Buxton, Nick Burdi, and J.O. Berrios emerge next season, but I think this provides a nice framework for understanding how the 40-man roster could shape up in the offseason.




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DAM DC Twins Fans
Aug 19 2014 09:34 AM

Great article.I am assuming this will be a big discussion point in October.I have thought about this a little--waiting for the off-season.I agree with the depth in the Twins minor league system--we cant keep guys like Colobello, Fryer and Florimon.Yes, some of the guys like Wheeler and Lee may have to be exposed in the Rule V draft.

 

Some initial thoughts:

1.Give up on Rosario who has had a horrid year after the suspension (or at least expose him to draft)??

2 Given minor league depth--is this the right off-season to makebig trade (like Nats did for Gio) giving up a bunch of prospects for a young rising star??

3.DFA Pelfrey and Nolasco (opening up 2 roster spots) but eating money??

 

I don't envy front office in October.

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stringer bell
Aug 19 2014 11:00 AM
I think that is too many LHPs to let go. I think one of the current two in the pen will stay for sure and probably both. You didn't list lefty starters Darnell or Johnson. I would think one of them won't stay on the 40 and I suspect that they won't add Gilmartin.

I also think that Pressly could be off the roster, depending on how he performs for the balance of the season. I think the most worthy reliever to add who has been in the organization all year is Oliveros, but I'm pretty sure they will add both of the two pitchers they acquired for Morales and Hammer.

Certainly gone are Pino, Burton(option declined), Fryer, Collabello, Florimon, Nunez

Possibly gone are Ibarra, Johnson or Darnell, Pressly, Deduno, Parmelee.That should open up enough spots,

Added, Sano, Rosario, Meyer and Oliveros,

Twins will need to readPlefrey. 

Possibly Adam,  Ortiz, Wimmers(only because he is a first round draft pick and some club might take an upside flyer on him)

I believe Pryor is already on the 40 man so nothing would have to be done with him.

Agree Ryan might have to be creative and package some of the prospects for an outfielder since that crop is weak and do not expect any of the prospects to start the year here.(Hicks maybe, but remember the last two years, would prefer to force him to earn his way up here).

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stringer bell
Aug 19 2014 12:25 PM
I forgot Pryor was on the 40-man. My mistake. To addrest beckmt's comments, I don't think it is a certainty that Nunez is gone and I think Pino will have a chance to pitch himself onto the roster. I doubt any team will take Wimmers if he's available, so I can't see him being added and despite their lack of players like him, I suspect Ortiz is left unprotected as well.
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stringer bell
Aug 19 2014 12:30 PM
Rosario is finishing pretty strong in New Britain, he is still young and can play all three outfield spots, as well as second base. I think he is a near-lock to be protected, as long as he doesn't have any off-field or attitude problems.

My two cents on the remaining 21.  I doubt we clear 9 spots I think more likely 7 but I put the nine I would keep and I could be persuaded to switch some of these guys as I just don't know enough about them.  The Twins have some tough decisions to make.

 

Alex Meyer: Keep he will starting for the Twins next year.
Miguel Sano: Keep he will be starting for the Twins at some point next year.
Lester Oliveros: Keep he will in the Twins pen next year.
Jason Wheeler: Keep I think Wheeler could be tempting for another team to take as 5th starter or long relief option he has upside.
Sean Gilmartin: Keep,A lefty that could be good in a long relief or 5th starter role.Too dangerous not to keep him on.
Jason Adam :Keep,he is the lottery ticket the twins wanted might as well keep him.
Eddie Rosario: Keep I think he will bounce back and we may need him to play for Twins next year.
Levi Michael: Keep,he seems to have found something and we should see if he can maintain it up to AAA.
Aj Achter Keep:,he seems solid, not sure if his stuff translates to MLB.
Cole Johnson: Not sure odd man out could be between him and Achter.
Danny Ortiz: Not sure seems good but not special
James Beresford: He is very good and would be an excellent Utility player but Twins have better options.
Niko Goodrum: No way he would make an opening day roster on another team.
Deolis Guerra: He is good but I don't think good enough to make most teams.I think we have better options.
Tyler Jones: No way he would make an opening day roster on another team.
Mike Kvasnicka: Could go either way here if they take Parmelee and Cola off then Maybe they put him on.
Brett Lee: Has pitched well but doesn't K a lot of guys.Would be a stretch for him to make an opening day roster.
Aderlin Mejia: Not enough power to warrant keeping him on and there are better options.
Deibinson Romero: A good player who likely is MLB ready but the Twins have no room for him.
Adrian Salcedo: Hate to give up on him but we have better options if someone else takes him.
Alex Wimmers: Hate to give up on him but we have better options if someone else takes him.

The Twins will add at least two guys when they can expand to 40-man roster. Be interesting to see who they are.

 

They need to hold a couple of spots, If the Twins do have no desire to keep Duensing, Swarzak, Pino, Deduno, Thielbar then they should all be traded now for something, if they have value. That Johnson wasn't flipped abroad says they intend to keep him. 

 

Anyone not in AA or AAA ball need to worry. They can be advanced to escape the minorleague portion. Wimmers will do that again.

 

Besides Guerra, Twins have any minor league free agents they really care about?

 

Yes, we may see Bernier or Rodriguez of Ramrez or even the there Johnson up here in September. But we won't need Parmelee and Colabello, for sure. And Nunez and Florimon are both gone if Santana is a sho

rtstop.

 

Really, the good question is where do the guys the Twins cut end up...that is the question about keeping them. Are teams lining up to grab the Minnesota castoffs -mPino, Fryer, Colabello

Parmelee and Schafer are those fringe guys that hold spots thru free agency. Jey, no one mentioned Hermann.

I think we keep Rosario, Achter, and Ibarra (as guys others may want to drop).I would be thrilled if we Pelfrey was just cut.He is worth nothing via trade and I know we owe him $6M next year. That is a sunk cost.

 

The last time he had a good ERA was in 2010.He had 5.0 K / 9 and an x FIP of 4.31 that year.Starting in 2011, he has pitched 387 innings with a 5.01 ERA.

 

Time to move on.

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stringer bell
Aug 19 2014 03:21 PM

Achter has slowed down the last part of the year.I don't think he's got major league stuff.Ibarra was demoted, if the Twins keep other lefties ahead of him, I think he is cut loose.I don't see Gilmartin as an add, but he is going to pitch in the majors sometime. 

 

On the big league side, I think Parmelee and Nunez are good versatile bench guys who can step in and play more than that.I do believe Schafer gets cut loose unless he keeps hitting far above his lifetime mark.

I just don't see the Twins having Perkins as the only lefty in the 2015 pen.Are you keeping Kris Johnson, Logan Darnell over Duensing?I wouldn't.

 

Sano, Meyer, Achter, Rosario.That's about it. I'd keep Duensing from your discard list. That's 12 openings plus 2 minus one (Pelfrey) minus four (the above) = 9. Still plenty of spots to go around, build the team and protect a few more.But not futility players like Beresford :)

Achter has slowed down the last part of the year.I don't think he's got major league stuff.Ibarra was demoted, if the Twins keep other lefties ahead of him, I think he is cut loose.I don't see Gilmartin as an add, but he is going to pitch in the majors sometime. 

 

On the big league side, I think Parmelee and Nunez are good versatile bench guys who can step in and play more than that.I do believe Schafer gets cut loose unless he keeps hitting far above his lifetime mark.

I agree with you on Achter and Ibarra.  I don't think their stuff translates to MLB all that well and we have Pryor, Tonkin and Oliveros to fill those roles with Burdi and Z Jones power arms likely coming up soon anyway.

 

I too like Parmelee and Nunez not sure if Parmelee makes it or not but I think he will.

 

I do disagree on Gilmartin.  Although I am not in love with his stuff he is a solid lefty and I think they get rid of the Chris Johnson before letting someone grab the near MLB ready Gilmartin.  Would a team claim him probably not but I don't think you can take that kind of risk.

I think we keep Rosario, Achter, and Ibarra (as guys others may want to drop).I would be thrilled if we Pelfrey was just cut.He is worth nothing via trade and I know we owe him $6M next year. That is a sunk cost.

 

The last time he had a good ERA was in 2010.He had 5.0 K / 9 and an x FIP of 4.31 that year.Starting in 2011, he has pitched 387 innings with a 5.01 ERA.

 

Time to move on.

I agree with you on Pelfrey. Just DFA him and get it over with.  I like the guy and wasn't unhappy when they signed him but there just isn't room on this team for him.  They need to go young and find out what they have pronto as this exercise gets even tougher next year.

No one needs to preach to this choir about Pelfrey! It is just another Blackburn situation right now. Maybe he replaces Deduno (if they are paying for Pelfrey anyway!).

 

Some good points above. I would probably keep Parmelee out of those three.

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Cast of Thousands
Aug 19 2014 10:38 PM

I seem to be in the minority but I'm not sure what Rosario has done to warrant anything "guaranteed" that many others want to anoint him with.

 

I know he's been hot lately but I need to see more before I see him as a long term solution, at ANY position in the majors at this point.  Good grief, in NB his OBP is like 120 points less than Aaron Hicks, a guy many seem to think has been left for dead.

Well, putting Rosario on the 40-man roster is still a no-brainer. He is still very young and at AA.

I seem to be in the minority but I'm not sure what Rosario has done to warrant anything "guaranteed" that many others want to anoint him with.

 

I know he's been hot lately but I need to see more before I see him as a long term solution, at ANY position in the majors at this point.  Good grief, in NB his OBP is like 120 points less than Aaron Hicks, a guy many seem to think has been left for dead.

 

Rosario has been a Twins top 10 prospect for several years now and has hit extremely well until AA.  Teams at the bottom of the standings would likely be interested in the now versatile Rosario as a lottery ticket player that could play as a fourth outfielder and backup second base.  I don't think you give up on a top 10 prospect after one bad year.  You have to make room for him and hope for better things next year.  If he improves just a bit more with the bat he might even be up with the Twins next year.

Well, putting Rosario on the 40-man roster is still a no-brainer. He is still very young and at AA.

 

Agreed.The position is a bit in flux, but Rosario's numbers prior to this year indicate he is a top 10 prospect on most teams and he made PR WBC team at 21.   

 

He has always been young by the league standards and put up an .810 OPS in 2013, .846 in 2012 and 1.068 in E-Town.If we don't protect him he will certainly be claimed.My gut says he maybe harder to replace than others and he likely could have nice trade value down the line as a CF.

Really an interesting discussion, guys.

 

I'm not sure the Twins really need to keep a spot open this year. Do we really think they're going to be active on the waiver wire/free agent market this offseason? I don't.

 

They won't (or shouldn't) be dipping their toes in the mediocre FA SP market again. Is there any other position that we think they're likely to try to fill with a legit front line starter? Outfield, maybe I could see if it weren't for the fact that they have young OFs knocking on the door that I think they're more likely to give spots to.

 

On the off chance they did find themselves in a position to sign a true #1 SP (for example), they can always simply drop their 40th roster player.

 

Guess my point is that I just don't see it likely that they'll be in the market this offseason to add players much, if any, more promising than the guys they'd be risking by leaving off the 40 man.

 

Finally, a question: Are there players you think could be surprise additions? I was surprised somewhat that Kepler and Polanco were added after low-A seasons last offseason. I don't see that happening this year, but I'm curious what others think.

According to ESPN, the Twins only have 39 on their roster now.

 

I agree with SD that they don't need to get to 39 after the additions.If they do sign someone, they can pick who to drop.

 

I started with who to add.My definites are Sano, Meyer, Rosario, Gilmartin, and Oliveros.That's 5.We could have some interesting conversations about Adam, Wheeler and Cole Johnson.I don't think Adrian Salcedo has gotten enough mention with his peripherals.And Levi Michael might force himself into the conversation with a good AFL. As of now I would go with Adam and Salcedo in additon to the first 5. 

 

5 + 2 - 1 vacancy = 6

 

Burton, Schafer, Colabello, and Florimon are easy cuts as is one of Deduno or Pino.I'm guessing it's Deduno since Pino has better control and two option years.Ibarra seems like nothing special, so after dropping him the Twins are down to 40.That's what I think the Twins will do.

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Cast of Thousands
Aug 20 2014 03:33 PM

Well, putting Rosario on the 40-man roster is still a no-brainer. He is still very young and at AA.

I'm sure you're 100% correct and to top things off, I admittedly don't intimately know all the nuances of the 40-man roster.

 

I'm just saying that of all the prospects the Twins have in the minors right now, Rosario is one that it seems is most widely assumed to be a lock for success in the majors and I think it's far from a given.