The Twins tendered contract offers to most of their arbitration-eligible players at Friday's deadline, with outfielder Robbie Grossman being a notable exception.
That means an end to Grossman's Twins career, which spanned 347 games over the past three seasons.
C.J. Cron, plucked off waivers from Tampa Bay on Monday, agreed to a one-year deal worth $4.8 million. The first baseman earned $2.3 million last year when he hit 30 home runs for the Rays.
Grossman, 29, batted .273 with five home runs and 48 RBI in 2018, when he earned $2 million. He was one of the Twins' best on-base percentage hitters — .371 during his time here, including .367 last season.
Combined with the retirement of Joe Mauer, the Twins have lost two hitters who were comfortable working the count and taking walks.
It opens up interesting possibilities for the 2019 roster. If Byron Buxton reclaims center field and is flanked by Eddie Rosario and Max Kepler, Jake Cave is well-positioned to nab a bench role. There's also Zack Granite, who battled shoulder problems most of 2018 at Class AAA Rochester. And don't count out Michael Reed, who was claimed on waivers shortly after the regular season ended.
Grossman had a strong second half of the season. After returning from an injury in August, the switch hitter was 40-for-123 (.326) with 22 walks. He got extra playing time after the trades of Eduardo Escobar and Brian Dozier and injuries to Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario.
On Sept. 21, he was asked if he thought the Twins would be willing to pay him more for what almost certainly would be another bench role.
"I'm not too much worried about that," Grossman said. "I know what kind of player I am and whatever happens, happens."
As for the team's remaining arbitration-eligible players — righthanders Jake Odorizzi and Kyle Gibson; outfielders Rosario, Kepler and Buxton; infielder Sano; and relievers Taylor Rogers and Trevor May — the Twins will try to work out deals to avoid going to a hearing. Some could be in line for multiyear deals.
The Twins avoided arbitration with infielder Ehire Adrianza on Thursday by reaching agreement on a one-year deal worth $1.3 million.
Odorizzi made $6.3 million in 2018 and Gibson earned $4.2 million, after he asked for an additional $350,000 and lost in the Twins' first arbitration hearing since 2006. The others were less than $1 million.