On Wednesday afternoon, the Minnesota Twins (and all Major League teams) will need to submit their 40 man rosters. The Twins current 40 man roster consists of 36 players, 19 pitchers and 17 position players. Since the season’s end, we have seen several players removed from the 40 man roster, such as Clete Thomas (Phillies) and Pedro Hernandez (Rockies) who have signed with other teams and Doug Bernier who remained with the Twins.

The Twins have also added RHP Duke Welker (via trade) and LHP Edgar Ibarra before he could become a minor league free agent.

There are several players on the current 40 man roster who you or I may believe could come off, but they may be there for a reason. You see, the players who get added to the 40 man roster on Wednesday can’t be removed from the 40 man roster until at least spring training. If the Twins were to sign a couple of free agents, they need to be able to make room for them on the roster. So there are players on the 40 man roster who may not feel real comfortable until they get to spring training.

Of course, the Twins may also choose to make a Rule 5 selection as they have the last three seasons. Last year, they added Ryan Pressly and three years ago, it was Scott Diamond. Both have already exceeded the results of most Rule 5 picks. If the Twins want to make a Rule 5 pick, they can only have 39 (or less) on the roster.

So, who is eligible for the Rule 5 draft? Players who signed at age 18 or younger during the 2009 season or players who signed at age 19 or older in 2010. Jorge Polanco signed with the Twins as a 16 year old in July of 2009, so he is eligible. Miguel Sano signed as a 16 year old in October of 2009 (after the season), so he is not eligible. (The Twins could add him, but it would make no sense.)

Here are some more players who could be added to the 40 man roster on Wednesday. Most likely no more than two of three will be added.

Jorge Polanco – Played in Cedar Rapids in 2013, primarily playing second base, but getting time at shortstop when Niko Goodrum was injured. He’s very talented and continues to improve. He would appear to be the biggest lock to be added.

Max Kepler – After an elbow injury the first half, he played for Cedar Rapids in the second half, spending time in left field, center field and at first base. He’s got good power and at 6-4 and 220 pounds is very athletic and has immense potential. He is probably the second most likely to be added.

Alex Wimmers – The Twins first round pick in 2010 out of Ohio State where he was back-to-back Big 10 Pitcher of the Year. Unfortunately, he has not pitched much or well since signing and rehabbed from Tommy John surgery in 2013. That said, his first round pedigree makes him a possible add.

Logan Darnell – 6th round pick in 2010 out of Kentucky, the lefty has worked his way up the system with a solid three-pitch mix. He is a very aggressive starter, looking to get outs quickly.

Kennys Vargas – The first baseman from Puerto Rico looks like former Twins player David Ortiz. He is long, and not real swift, but he can hit and he has tremendous power. He spent 2013 in Ft. Myers.

AJ Achter – The right-handers was the Twins 46th round pick in 2010 out of Michigan State. Since moving to the bullpen in 2012, he has performed better than any other reliever in the Twins farm system. He pitched in New Britain and Rochester during the season and ended the year with a stint in the Arizona Fall League.

There are others who are eligible for the Rule 5 draft if not protected that are interesting. Here is a list of all eligible players, courtesy of the Twins Daily Rosters & Payroll page.

LHP - Pat Dean, Aaron Thompson, Ryan O’Rourke, Jose Gonzalez, Chad Rodgers, Hein Robb,

RHP - Lester Oliveros, Adrian Salcedo, Dakota Watts, Deolis Guerra, Virgil Vazquez, Tim Atherton, Mark Hamburger, Matt Hauser, Dallas Gallant,

OF - Mike Kvasnicka, Daniel Ortiz, Wilkin Ramirez, Jermaine Mitchell, Evan Bigley, Lance Ray, Nate Roberts, Romy Jimenez, Adonis Pacheco,

IF – Doug Bernier, James Beresford, Deibinson Romero, Jason Bartlett, Reynaldo Rodriguez, Nate Hanson, Brad Boyer, Andy Leer, Michael Gonzales, Rory Rhodes, Jonatan Hinojosa,

C – Dan Rohlfing, Jairo Rodriguez, Kyle Knudson, Michael Quesada.

So there you have a look at the players that the Twins will need to protect on their 40 man roster by Wednesday afternoon or risk losing in the Rule 5 draft.

Which do you think will be added? Which do you think could be lost if not protected?

Tonight at 8:30, Hangout with Jeremy Nygaard and myself on YouTube for our weekend Twins Talk. You can interact by asking questions. Tonight, we’ll be discussing the 40 man roster as well as any Twins rumors of the day and week. Join us here. We'll also take your questions.

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