Eight former Twins players were selected to participate in this year’s All-Star Game:
David Ortiz, DH, Boston
Twins career: 1997-2002. He hit .272 with 20 home runs and 75 RBI in ’02, not enough to keep the Twins from giving up on him that offseason.
How he left: Released after that season, he signed with Red Sox and turned into a star, finishing in the top five in AL MVP voting five times.
J.J. Hardy, SS, Baltimore
Twins career: 2010. Traded for Carlos Gomez, but injuries and a lack of speed made the Twins believe Tsuyoshi Nishioka would be a better option.
How he left: Traded to the Orioles after the 2010 season in a four-player deal that brought reliever Jim Hoey and minor leaguer Brett Jacobsen.
Torii Hunter, OF, Detroit
Twins career: 1997-2007. Team leader and Gold Glove-winning center fielder who batted .271 with 192 HR and 711 RBI in 11 seasons.
How he left: A free-agent deal of five years for $90 million with Angels after the 2007 season was too rich for the Twins’ liking.
Joe Nathan, RHP, Texas
Twins career: 2004-2011. One of three players to come from San Francisco for A.J. Pierzynski, he became one of the game’s premier closers, with 260 saves here.
How he left: One season after his return from Tommy John surgery, he signed as a free agent with the Rangers in 2011.
Grant Balfour, RHP, Oakland
Twins career: 2001, 2003-2004. Hard-throwing Australian had 74 strikeouts in 68 innings with the Twins, but he had Tommy John surgery in 2005.
How he left: Allowed to leave via free agency; signed by the Reds and did not pitch again in the majors until 2007 with the Brewers.
Jesse Crain, RHP, Chicago
Twins career: 2004-2010. Capable reliever was 33-21 with a 3.42 ERA in 376 games in seven seasons for the Twins.
How he left: Signed a three-year, $13 contract with the AL Central rival White Sox as a free agent.
Michael Cuddyer, OF, Colorado
Twins career: 2001-2011. Had 24 HR, 109 RBI in 2006, 32 HR, 94 RBI in 2009 and a career postseason BA of .338 in 22 games.
How he left: The Twins didn’t match the Rockies’ three-year, $31.5 million free-agent offer after the 2011 season.
Carlos Gomez, OF, Milwaukee
Twins career: 2008-2009. One of four players acquired for Johan Santana in 2008, he showed flashes of brilliance but too much inconsistency.
How he left: Traded to the Brewers for shortstop J.J. Hardy after the 2009 season.