Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Roster additions

Today is the deadline for teams to add minor leaguers to their 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 draft. On Monday the Twins added infielder Nick Gordon and outfielder LaMonte Wade, bringing their 40-man roster to 38.

Wade and Gordon were generally viewed by outsiders as guys the Twins had to protect or lose in the draft next month. I guess I agree, if only on the basis that Gordon was a high first-round pick and among the Twins top 10 prospects a year ago, and somebody would take a shot at that as free talent. But I've been skeptical of him as a hitter for sometime now, and certainly nothing he did in Triple A has shaken that skepticism.

Unprotected, at least at the moment, is another infielder, Luis Arreaz. He's a level behind Gordon and has never been seen as a potential shortstop; he's strictly a second baseman. But he's always hit better than Gordon, and in my view that makes him a better prospect.

Wade, too, didn't hit worth a darn upon reaching Triple A last summer, and his stat lines are generally lacking in power. I'm not sure either was really an obvious choice to be claimed if left off the 40.

If the Twins were looking to "game" the system and protect the most likely claimants, I think they missed him. Tyler Jay has the Gordon high-draft pick pedigree. He's had injuries and didn't fare well in Double A last year -- but he's a left-handed pitcher. In an era of 13-man staffs, I can see somebody claiming him and figuring that they can carry him for the season as a LOOGY or even as an opener.

He's a more likely Rule 5 loss than either Wade or Gordon (or Arreaz). But lsat year demonstrated that the current front office isn't very concerned about losing minor league relievers in Rule 5.

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