To me the safety net you are talking about should include include guys on the 40 man roster. Granite, Wade, and Gordon have all gotten to AAA. If they aren't considered likely/possible replacements for injuries or poor performances, they shouldn't be on the 40 man. Actually any highly rated prospect who has reached AA should be in that category.
This is the whole point of building a strong farm system. You should have at least several ready or nearly ready prospects in system at all times to be the safety net. 4 A guys should just be short term replacements or backups to backups. Most major league backups are versatile guys or role player types. Even on good teams.
What you want and sometimes you don't really have enough of these guys, is for your near ready top level prospects, to be your depth in case of injury or non performance. It looks like, maybe, the Twins are getting close to that goal.
The CBA states that Gordon and Wade must be on the 40 man or you lose them. However sometimes that hard timeline doesn’t match up with an individuals particular development and you simply need more time with them before setting them adrift.
I agree that we are progressing nicely and the team looks closer to have legitimate options in Rochester for safety nets.
But a Rochester 40 man safety net could be a significant step down from a 25 man safety net.
There’s a difference between declaring Wade as your safety net and signing a Adam Jones type (for example no need to focus on Adam Jones) as a safety net.
I’d rather the team bring in a stronger safety net to be 4 OF deep on the 25 man and have Cave and Wade as a safety net to that safety net on the 40 man.
This sets up competition for playing time in Minnesota (May the best man win) and competition for call up to Minnesota in Rochester.
I understand that a 40 man roster is a hard cap with limitations that will prevent GM’s from creating a 10 deep depth chart and therefore bottom line - I consider each roster spot to be precious.
I want to avoid suffering through Byron Buxton playing everyday while hitting .140 because they don’t think the Ryan LaMarre type wasting roster space isnt good enough to replace a hitter hitting .140.
I believe what I’m talking about is the minimum requirement of any front office and if it’s May and Buxton is hitting .140 and Michael Reed is gathering dust in the bench. That’s the moment I start complaining about not learning lessons from past issues, simple contingency planning and eggs in one basket.
I will not tolerate any “we really expected more out of Buxton” excuse when they are asked what went wrong in 2019.
Now (the off season) is when they can prepare for as many unplanned issues as possible.