The Twins have begun pruning their roster in anticipation of offseason moves, outrighting three players after they cleared waivers Wednesday.
Shane Robinson, who batted .250 in 197 plate appearances as the Twins’ primary backup outfielder, was removed from the 40-man roster, along with lefthanded reliever Aaron Thompson and reserve catcher Eric Fryer. All three players can now elect free agency.
Robinson was a free-agent invitee to training camp last spring who wound up having a far bigger role than anticipated. The veteran outfielder, who turns 31 next week, appeared in 83 games, including 48 starts as the Twins tried various combinations in the outfield.
Thompson, 28, initially earned a primary role as the lefthanded specialist in the Twins bullpen, and he held batters to a .181 average through mid-May. But he allowed 14 runs over 11 innings from that point on, and was demoted to Class AAA Rochester in early July.
Fryer, 30, served as Kurt Suzuki’s backup in July and returned to the team in September but went 5-for-22 with 11 strikeouts.
With five other players eligible to file for free agency after the World Series — pitchers Mike Pelfrey, Blaine Boyer, Brian Duensing and Neal Cotts, and outfielder Torii Hunter — the moves effectively reduce the Twins roster to 34 players (counting pitchers Ryan Pressly and Logan Darnell on the 60-day disabled list), with additional cuts likely.