As expected, four of the five players outrighted to Rochester 10 days ago have declined the assignment and elected to become free agents, and the fifth will likely do so once he becomes eligible next month.

    Pitchers Josh Roenicke and Shairon Martis, outfielder Clete Thomas and infielder Doug Bernier are free to negotiate new contracts with any team. Bernier, who spent the second half of the season in Minnesota, is expected to agree to a new minor-league deal with the Twins, though the team says no contract has been formalized yet.

    Righthander Cole De Vries, a former Minnesota Gopher, was also outrighted to Class AAA after the season. Because it was his first outright assignment, however, he cannot become a free agent until he becomes eligible as a six-year minor-leaguer, effective five days after the World Series ends.

    Roenicke spent the entire season with the Twins, posting a 4.35 ERA in 62 innings. Thomas, called up from Rochester in early June, batted .214 with four home runs in 290 at-bats.

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