The team hasn't ruled out bringing back any of them, including mainstays Michael Cuddyer and Joe Nathan.
Once the World Series ends, teams have an exclusive five-day negotiating window with their own free agents, but this figures to be a quiet period for the Twins, who plan to let Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel, Joe Nathan and Matt Capps test the market.
"You've waited this long, you might as well wait a few more days," Kubel said Friday.
This is the first time Kubel, Cuddyer and Nathan have reached free agency. Capps hit the open market after the 2009 season, when he was non-tendered by the Pirates and wound up signing a one-year, $3.5 million deal with the Nationals.
He made $7.15 million this year with the Twins, thanks to arbitration, and went 4-7 with a 4.25 ERA and 15 saves in 69 appearances. Capps' struggles were well-documented, but he quietly pitched through some right wrist tendinitis and avoided the disabled list.
Kubel was having one of his best seasons before spraining his left foot on May 30. He returned after missing 46 games, but the injury never fully healed, as he batted .273 with a .332 on-base percentage and .434 slugging percentage.
Kubel said the foot is no longer a problem. He installed a new batting cage at his home in Calabasas, Calif., and started taking swings this week.
"I'm pretty excited [about free agency]," Kubel said. "There's all kinds of possibilities. You get a chance to actually choose this time."
Cuddyer turned down a two-year, $16 million offer from the Twins in July, and the talks went nowhere. Still, the Twins probably will see if they can re-sign him before turning their attention to Kubel. Likewise, they'll see if they can re-sign Nathan before deciding how to approach Capps.
"I'm certainly open to returning to Minnesota," Capps said. "But with the career Joe's had, he needs to be the priority. He's a Minnesota Twin. And I would say the same about Cuddyer. In my opinion, Michael Cuddyer is the Minnesota Twins. I hope it works out for both of them."
The Twins declined Nathan's $12.5 million option this week, paying him a $2 million buyout. In his first year back from Tommy John surgery, he notched 14 saves and posted a 4.84 ERA in 48 appearances.
"At this point in my career, it's not about money, it's about going where I have a chance to win," Nathan said. "I was hoping that would be with the Twins -- and I still hope it is with the Twins -- but we'll have to see how it plays out."
Twins General Manager Bill Smith never begrudges players for testing the market, saying that's a right they've earned through the collective bargaining agreement.
"Every one of these guys has been a good contributor for us," Smith said. "Obviously, we've had Kubel and Cuddyer since they were in high school. Joe Nathan is a wonderful story. Not only getting him in the trade, but all the success he's had in this organization.
"And Matt Capps, we've only had him a little over a year, but he was a critical piece to us winning the division title in 2010. This year didn't go as well as he'd hoped, but sometimes that happens to relievers."
|Seattle - LP: C. Furbush||8||FINAL|
|Cleveland - WP: J. Smith||10|
|Tampa Bay - LP: J. Lueke||5||FINAL|
|Toronto - WP: R. Dickey||7|
|NY Yankees - WP: D. Robertson||6||FINAL|
|Baltimore - LP: P. Strop||4|
|Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto||4||FINAL|
|NY Mets - LP: S. Marcum||3|
|Philadelphia - LP: C. Hamels||1||FINAL|
|Miami - WP: A. Sanabia||5|
|Minnesota - LP: K. Correia||1||FINAL|
|Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran||5|
|Oakland - WP: B. Colon||9||FINAL|
|Texas - LP: J. Lindblom||2|
|Los Angeles - WP: C. Kershaw||3||FINAL|
|Milwaukee - LP: Y. Gallardo||1|
|Boston - LP: J. Lester||4||FINAL|
|Chicago WSox - WP: D. Axelrod||6|
|Kansas City - LP: J. Guthrie||5||FINAL|
|Houston - WP: D. Keuchel||6|
|Arizona - WP: P. Corbin||5||FINAL|
|Colorado - LP: J. Garland||1|
|St. Louis - LP: S. Miller||2||FINAL|
|San Diego - WP: J. Marquis||4|
|Washington - LP: Z. Duke||0||FINAL|
|San Francisco - WP: R. Vogelsong||8|