Last Friday, the Twins announced the Jason Repko, Rene Rivera, Anthony Slama and Matt Tolbert had been removed from the 40 man roster. Nick Blackburn and Alexi Casilla were removed from the 60 Day Disabled List. That put the Twins at 38 players on their 40 man roster.
That’s where we are today. What will happen over the next couple of months?
Following the World Series, Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel and Matt Capps will become free agents. That will put the 40 man roster at 35.
Then the Twins will have to decide whether or not to pick up the option on Joe Nathan’s contract. When they don’t, Nathan will become a free agent and the Twins 40 man roster will be at 34.
Late in November, the Twins will add some players to the 40 man roster in preparation for the Rule 5 draft, which takes place on the final day of the Winter Meetings in early December. If they are still at 34 players, they could add as many as six players. If they add five, they can make a Rule 5 selection as they did a year ago when they picked Scott Diamond from the Braves organization.
The Twins have had some success in the Rule 5 draft. That’s how they acquired Shane Mack. The Twins drafted Jared Camp but had a pre-arranged traded worked out with Florida to acquire their Rule 5 pick, a left-hander named Johan Santana. In recent years, the Twins have had players like Tim Lahey, Jose Lugo and R.A. Dickey selected in the Rule 5 draft. Lahey and Lugo were returned to the Twins after not making the big league roster. The Twins received catcher Jair Fernandez from Seattle so that the Mariners could keep Dickey.
So who needs to be added to the 40 man roster or risk being lost in the Rule 5 draft? Players signed before they turn 19 in 2007 and players who were 19 or older when they signed in 2008.
For instance, reliever Carlos Gutierrez was a compensatory first round pick of the Twins in 2008 out of the University of Miami. When he signed, he was 21. Oswaldo Arcia was 16 years old when he signed with the Twins in 2007.
In my opinion, those two players are the easy choices to be added. If they wouldn’t be added, I think they would be lost.
So as not to give away everything that you can read in the soon-to-be-released TwinsCentric Offseason GM Handbook, I won’t tell you which other players I think should or will be added, but there is a list of players (in alphabetical order) that would be eligible to be drafted in the Rule 5 draft if they are not protected on the Twins roster.
James Beresford, Evan Bigley, Cole DeVries, Mark Dolenc, Jair Fernandez, Nelvin Fuentes, Jhon Garcia, Anderson Hidalgo, Steve Hirschfeld, Edgar Ibarra, Brett Jacobson, Bobby Lanigan, Danny Lehmann, Dustin Martin, Angel Morales, Jairo Perez, Josmil Pinto, Bruce Pugh, Danny Rams, Tyler Robertson, Yangervis Solarte, Manuel Soliman, Tom Stuifbergen.
That’s just a partial list of those that should be considered. I would guess that the Twins will add four or five players. Who would you add?