NASHVILLE — The Twins did not claim or lose any players in the major league phase of baseball's Rule 5 Draft on Wednesday.
They did claim four players in the minor league phase.
The Rule 5 Draft's major league phase allows teams to claim players with at least four years of minor league experience who are not on 40-man rosters from other teams. The players claimed, however, must remain on the team's major league roster for the entire season or be offered back to the club from which they were taken. Ten players changed teams during the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft.
The Twins haven't taken a Rule 5 player since Tyler Kinley in 2017.
In the minor league phase, the Twins took lefthanded pitcher Rafael Marcano, catcher Rafael Escalante, outfielder Angel Del Rosario and righthanded pitcher Sheldon Reed.
Marcano, 23, pitched for high Class A Jersey Shore in the Phillies' system last season. He had 97 strikeouts in 93 innings with a 4.15 ERA.
Escalante, 22, was playing in the Florida rookie league for the Pirates. He is a native of the Dominican Republic.
Del Rosario, 20, played most of last season for Toronto's Class A team in Dunedin, Fla.
Reed, 26, was property of the Cubs. He has played at the AAA level during his three seasons in the minors after pitching two seasons at Clemson. He had 63 strikeouts in 53 innings last season at high-A South Bend.
The Twins didn't have any of their minor leaguers claimed.
Balazovic to bullpen
Jordan Balazovic was once considered the top pitching prospect in the Twins' farm system, but he will enter next spring out of minor league options. If the Twins don't put him on their Opening Day roster, he will be subject to waivers.
Balazovic, 25, will be used as a full-time reliever. In his first stint in the big leagues, he posted a 4.44 ERA in 18 relief appearances with 17 strikeouts and 12 walks in 24⅓ innings.
"The best way to get Jordan to be the most effective pitcher with where he's at with the pitch mix and otherwise is to have him in that 'pen role," said Derek Falvey, the Twins president of baseball operations. "Could that be a multi-inning 'pen role? I don't think we're going to rule that out, but he'll come in competing as a reliever."