The Pioneer Press' Mike Bernardino with the first word on Twitter:
Breaking: #MNTwins place Tommy Milone, Casey Fien on waivers, per 2 sources w/direct knowledge. https://t.co/SUQr4q9jDE— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) May 5, 2016
In the coming hours came word that catcher Juan Centeno and outfielder Darin Mastroianni are to meet the Twins in Chicago today. While the waiving of Milone and Fien opens a pair of 40-man roster spots for those two, the Twins are not likely to replace two pitchers on the active roster with two position players.
Presumably John Ryan Murphy and his .077 batting average (40 at bats) and Eddie Rosario and his .188 batting average are headed to Rochester. I say presumably because the Twins as of the early morning today had made no announcements.
The Twitter speculation last night about pitcher recalls was about J.T. Chargois and various non-roster arms. I suspect that one of the pitchers added today will be Ervin Santana off the disabled list. If Centeno and Mastroianni are added to the 40, there's no available slot for somebody like Buddy Boshers or Nick Burdi. Chargois is on the 40, so his call-up would work. If that's the pitcher turnover -- Milone and Fien out, Santana and Chargois in -- J.R. Graham gets a reprieve that I'm not sure he deserves.
I assume Milone is more likely to be claimed on waivers than Fien. He's left-handed and a starter, and in that context his $5 million salary is more palatable than Fien's $2,28 million (those are full-season numbers, the actual amount for a claiming team would be less).
I'm surprised the Twins pulled the plug on Milone, but I am hardly upset. It signals a commitment to Tyler Duffey and Jose Berrios in the rotation, which is a plus. Somebody from the veterans pile had to go to make room. And when Kyle Gibson returns, whenever that is, another change will be needed, but that's a move for later.