This isn’t intended to be a space where the thought process derives from guys being bad or otherwise unproductive, but more about remembering that these players wore a Twins uniform. Some of them were very brief, and some were in games that didn’t count, but they were there and going through the motions nonetheless.
Here are a few of the more obscure ones I could come up with:
This one may be my favorite and is where this idea came from. Remember Quentin being a two-time All-Star for the Chicago White Sox and San Diego Padres? He had a pretty good career posting an .831 OPS and 154 homers. He retired in 2014, though, until he didn’t. In February of 2016, Minnesota signed Quentin to a minor league deal. He played 15 games for the Twins in Spring Training and posted an .833 OPS. However, instead of bringing him north, the Twins opted to play Miguel Sano in right field and asked Quentin to go to Rochester. He chose to be released instead. That Twins club lost 103 games.
You remember the piranha Jason Bartlett, a scrappy shortstop for Ron Gardenhire clubs in the early 2000s. This is about the 34-year-old Bartlett that came back in 2014 and was all of a sudden a left fielder. In over 7,400 Major League innings, Bartlett had never played the outfield, but he acted as a defensive replacement for Gardy. That role lasted just two games and seven innings. It didn’t go well, and he hasn’t played since.
Another former Padres player that had some name recognition. Burroughs played in 440 games at the Major League level from 2002 to 2006. He then didn’t resurface until 2011 with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Coming to camp with the Twins in 2012, he played in 10 games compiling a .343 OPS before being released.
John Ryan Murphy
Minnesota acquired Murphy from the Yankees in exchange for Aaron Hicks. Both guys looked like they needed a fresh start, and after Murphy took star closer Glen Perkins deep at Target Field, apparently the Twins decided they needed to be that place. He played in just 26 games for Minnesota, posting a .413 OPS. Somehow, despite a .591 OPS in 143 Major League games since, Murphy was still getting big league jobs until 2020.
One guy that will never forget his time with the Twins is Vance Worley. Ask him to sign a Minnesota baseball card, and he’d rather shred it. Acquired in the Ben Revere trade alongside Trevor May, Worley was the club’s Opening Day starter in 2013. He was beaten to a 7.21 ERA in just over 48 innings and never pitched with the club again. It was May who Minnesota wanted most in the Phillies deal, but the Major League-ready arm certainly didn’t work out.
One of my favorite acquisition stories in Twins history, Terry Ryan worked a laugher in Sam Fuld. Claiming him a couple of weeks into the season from Oakland, Fuld played 52 games for Minnesota before the Athletics needed his services back. In the deal, Tommy Milone was acquired by Minnesota and went on to pitch in 49 games for the Twins. Just the idea of flipping Oakland their asset back and gaining something in the ordeal was incredible.
Murphy’s Baseball Reference page ends at Triple-A in 2016, and that’s because he never actually played for the Twins. Needing outfield help, he was signed to Triple-A Rochester and played ten games before Minnesota needed his services. The 2016 Twins were an abomination, losing 103 games, and rather than accept his promotion to the big leagues, a 34-year-old Murphy called it quits.
What are some players you remember being involved in weird Twins roster decisions?