Thursday, October 25, 2012

First moves in reshaping the roster

Matt Capps: 1-4,
3.68 in 2012 with
14 saves.
The Twins announced on Wednesday their first roster moves of the offseason:
Capps, Baker and Pavano will be free agents after the World Series, but for now they remain on the Twins 40-man roster. The others aren't, and many of them will also become free agents. For now, the Twins have 35 players on the 40-man roster.

I wouldn't rule out the Twins re-signing some of these guys. Walters and Waldrop might be of interest on minor league deals, and Capps' option was too pricey ($6 milion) for the role he would play if he returned.

But I don't expect any of them to be re-signed. If Capps does return, it will be for less than the $4 million he got in 2012, and without the promise of the closer's role. I think he'll look elsewhere. And for the others, being taken off the 40-man roster implies that they'd be behind the pitchers they did retain.

Walters, for example, would rank behind DeVries and Sam Deduno in the rotation pecking order, and the indications are that those two, and probably some others, will at best be duking it out for the fifth starter spot.

I'm slightly disappointed in the outrighting of Waldrop; I'd rather see him in the 2013 bullpen than Alex Burnett. But both are fringy middle relievers.

Some other notes:

Carlos Gutierrez, a
first-round pick,
never reached the
majors with the Twins.
Baker, who had Tommy John surgery around Opening Day and did not pitch, and the Twins are said to be making progress on a contract. It's uncertain Baker will be ready to pitch in the majors when the 2013 season begins.

Gutierrez was a first-round pick in 2007 who only appeared in 10 games last year for Triple A Rochester because of injury. The Cubs took a flier on him, but I'm not sure why they'd prefer him to Waldrop. They're both sinker-ballers with low strikeout rates, but as far as I can tell, Waldrop is the better of the two.

Vasquez put up some interesting numbers as a starter in Triple A, but given several starts in September in the majors displayed a reluctance to throw a breaking ball. Perdomo throws hard but without any real clue.

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