The Twins officially declined Matt Capps' $6 million option for 2013 on Wednesday, paying him a $250,000 buyout, which made their former closer a free agent.
The move came as no surprise, as Glen Perkins took over the team's closing duties and thrived after Capps came down with right shoulder inflammation in June.
"When Matt was healthy, he did a fine job, but things do change and that's the reason we didn't pick up the option," General Manager Terry Ryan said.
Capps, who came to the Twins from the Nationals in a 2010 trade for catcher Wilson Ramos, tested free agency last winter and re-signed in Minnesota with a deal that paid him $4.75 million, including the buyout.
Capps, 29, went 1-4 with a 3.68 ERA and converted 14 of 15 save opportunities.
After missing more than three months because of the shoulder injury, he returned to make a scoreless relief appearance Sept. 24, knowing he needed to show potential suitors he was healthy going into free agency.Cubs claim Gutierrez
The Cubs claimed Twins relief prospect Carlos Gutierrez on waivers and placed him on their 40-man roster. Gutierrez, 26, a 2008 first-round draft pick, posted a 5.06 ERA in 10 appearances for Class AAA Rochester this year before undergoing arthroscopic shoulder surgery in July. He has been rehabbing the injury in Fort Myers, Fla., and has yet to return to pitching.Twins cut six others
The Twins trimmed six others from their 40-man roster: starting pitchers Esmerling Vasquez and P.J. Walters, outfielder Matt Carson, and relievers Jeff Manship, Kyle Waldrop and Luis Perdomo.
"We'll pursue some of those guys as [minor-league] free agents," Ryan said, declining to specify whom.
Two possibilities are Waldrop and Walters.
Waldrop, a first-round pick from 2004 who will turn 27 on Saturday, posted a 2.53 ERA in 17 relief appearances. Walters, 27, who opened his Twins career with four quality starts, finished 2-5 with a 5.69 ERA.
The Twins have 35 players on their 40-man roster after activating Scott Baker, Carl Pavano and Cole De Vries from the disabled list.
The Twins haven't announced what they plan to do about Baker's $9 million option for next season. A decision is due within three days of the World Series ending.