The Twins trimmed three players from their 40-man roster Monday, including relievers Jose Mijares and Jim Hoey, clearing room to potentially add three other players in coming weeks.
Monday was the deadline for teams to tender 2012 contracts to players, and the Twins chose to let Mijares leave as a free agent instead of paying him about $700,000 through arbitration.
The Twins placed Hoey on waivers, and the righthander was claimed by the Blue Jays. Recently acquired shortstop Pedro Florimon cleared waivers, and the Twins assigned him to Class AAA Rochester.
"It suggests we are still looking for major league players," General Manager Terry Ryan said. "Eventually, we were probably going to have to do this."
Monday's moves left the Twins with 37 players on their 40-man roster. One open spot is expected to go to a free-agent outfielder, with Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel and Josh Willingham among those unsigned.
The Twins also could sign one or two pitchers before the offseason ends.
"I'll be looking at that nontender list, I can tell you that," Ryan said.
As expected, the Twins tendered contracts to their three other arbitration-eligible players: Alexi Casilla, Francisco Liriano and Glen Perkins.
The Twins hoped to trade Mijares, as they did with fellow nontender candidate Kevin Slowey last week, but couldn't generate interest.
Mijares, 27, went 0-2 with a 4.59 ERA in 58 games last year. It marked the third consecutive year the lefthander's ERA has increased, and his fitness issues gave them little hope that he will improve.
Hoey, 28, came to the Twins last December along with minor league righthander Brett Jacobson in the trade that sent infielders J.J. Hardy and Brendan Harris to the Orioles.
While Hardy flourished at Baltimore's Camden Yards, Hoey bounced between Rochester and Minnesota, struggling to harness his 95 miles-per-hour fastball. In 26 games for the Twins, he posted a 5.47 ERA with 14 strikeouts and 13 walks in 24 2/3 innings.
Hoey tweeted (@JHoey5): "I enjoyed everything Minnesota had to offer but it's time to be Canadian! At least I don't have to give up those bombs to [Jose] Bautista."
Jacobson, 25, had limited success at Class AA New Britain last year but struggled in the Arizona Fall League, with a 6.94 ERA in 11 appearances. So the Twins have very little to show for Hardy, but at this time last year, they were planning to nontender him, too.
The Twins claimed Florimon from the Orioles last week, then managed to keep him in their system by clearing him through waivers themselves.Cuddyer update
The Rockies are reportedly interested in Cuddyer, but there have been conflicting reports about how aggressive they're being. The Twins made a three-year, $24 million offer last week, but that did little to push the talks along.
Colorado could put Cuddyer in right field next year, with Carlos Gonzalez in left and Dexter Fowler in center, but the Rockies aren't expected to make a three-year, $30 million offer.
Kubel and Willingham are among those waiting for Cuddyer to establish the market for corner outfielders before signing their own deals.