Thursday, November 21, 2019

Adding to the 40

Wednesday was the deadline for teams to add minor leaguers to their 40-man rosters ahead of next month's Rule 5 draft. The Twins protected five prospects, leaving three slots open on the 40.

The five:
  • IF/OF Travis Blankenhorn 
  • OF Gilberto Celestino
  • RHP Dakota Chambers
  • RHP Jhoan Duran
  • 1B/OF Luke Raley 
Four of the five came to the Twins via 2018 mid-season trades. Celestino was part of the Ryan Pressly deal with Houston (as was Jorge Acala, who pitched a little in September for the big-league team) . Raley was part of the 2018 Brian Dozier trade with the Dodgers (as was Delvin Smeltzer, who was a frequent call-up to shore up the rotation or long-relief). Duran was part of the Eduardo Escobar trade with Arizona. Chambers came from Oakland for Fernando Rodney.

Blankenhorn is the only one of the five who was in the organization before the Derek Falvey/Thad Levine regime arrived. He's also, in my estimation, the least likely of the five to make an impact on the major league team.

Among the notable exposures to the Rule 5 draft are shortstop Wander Javier, who had a miserable 2019 (.177 batting average at Cedar Rapids amid shoulder problems); pitcher Griffin Jax, whose development has been somewhat stunted by his military obligations (he was drafted out of the Air Force Academy); and Luis Rijo, who the Twins got from the Yankees for Lance Lynn in another 2018 deal.

I mighr rather have any of those three than Blankenhorn, but Blankenhorn, who spent most of 2019 in Double A, is closer to the majors and might be more likely to stick on an active roster next season if taken in the draft.

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