As the 2016 Major League Baseball season comes to an end, the final month of the season sees big league rosters expand. This season is different than last for Paul Molitor's club though. Instead of adding pieces for a stretch run, the Twins are looking for the losing to end and simply calling up a few guys who've already been with the big club. Outside of James Beresford's Major League debut, the September names weren't anything new.
Over the past few weeks, Minnesota has been forced to shuffle their 40 man roster a significant bit. With injuries, and poor performances at the highest level, Rob Antony has been tasked with adding some alternative options to the big league clubhouse. A season from now though, Minnesota will be looking to round out a 40 man with less filler and more upside.
Given that the Twins are in the process of hiring a new General Manager and Head of Baseball Operations, we're likely a ways off from 40 man decisions being made. That said, I think it's clear there's some room that can be cleared. Before the actual results are brought to our attention, I'll take a stab at the guys I'd look to DFA.
To lay the groundwork right now, understand that the Minnesota Twins 40 man roster is currently full. They also have Danny Santana, Glen Perkins, and Phil Hughes all on the 60 day disabled list not taking up an active spot. That all being said, here's the cuts I make:
Andrew Albers LHP
Albers owns an ERA north of 6.00 for the Twins this season. He's started two games, and the results haven't been pretty. The soft tossing lefty is about as low of a ceiling as it gets for a big league pitcher. His 8.4 K/9 is a career high, but Albers shouldn't be on a bad team, let alone one trying to turn things around.
Buddy Boshers RHP
Credit Terry Ryan for making another one of his nice non-roster finds. Bothers had been solid early on for the Twins but has really faded down the stretch. His 9.0+ K/9 is solid, but in just 27.0 innings of work, he owns an ERA north of 5.00. I'd actually be surprised to see the Twins move on from Boshers, but trust a new GM to understand that the system has better options in it.
Pat Dean LHP
Although he just debuted in 2016, Dean hasn't shown anything that suggests he's capable at the big league level. He's been markedly mediocre in Triple-A, and worse for the Twins. He's not a strikeout guy, and he shouldn't be starting at the highest level either. If you want to try him as a lefty out of the pen, I could maybe get behind it out of the gate.
Tommy Milone LHP
This is probably less of his doing than it is the state of the Twins. Milone is serviceable in the rotation, and is fully capable of pitching at the back of a big league rotation. He needs to be on a staff that has top heavy arms though, and right now, that's not the Twins. Minnesota will likely non-tender him, and his time here will come to an end.
Juan Centeno C
For virtually the whole season, Centeno has spent borrowed time with the Twins. Only up due to John Ryan Murphy's massive failure in his first year with Minnesota, Centeno has been largely unimpressive. He's mediocre at best with the bat, and has been nothing short of a warm body behind the plate. Had the situation played out differently, Mitch Garver probably could have been in this spot at some point during 2016.
Kurt Suzuki C
At least immediately following the season, Suzuki will be off of the Twins 40 man. He's set to be a free agent, and I'd hope the Twins aim a bit higher than resigning him. His switch to the Axe Bat has helped to stabilize his offensive production some, but Suzuki isn't going to push the envelope for Minnesota. If I'm the Twins, a more realistic upgrade at such a weak position is where I'd want to turn to.
James Beresford IF
Understandably a great story, Beresford earned his promotion with his 2015 season more than he did the 2016 year. He's a guy that can do everything, but nothing particularly well. Maybe Minnesota allows him a chance to compete for a super utility spot during spring training, but in reality, he looks much more the part of a guy that does really well at Triple-A.
Trevor Plouffe 3B
Included in this exercise simply because I believe it's what the Twins will do. I've written multiple times that I believe there's a way for Sano, Plouffe, Mauer, and Park all to coexist. Admittedly though, Plouffe's arbitration number will be out of line with the season he has had. Whether he's traded or not remains a mystery, but the writing could be on the wall for Trevor.
Danny Santana IF
Santana is currently not on the active 40 man, but I'm not sure I'd add him back either. Outside of the inflated rookie debut season, he hasn't hit well at all, and he simply doesn't get on base enough. The most notable thing Santana does for the Twins is play all over the field. Unfortunately, the caveat is that he doesn't play anywhere at even an average level. Out of options, I'd see if there's a market for him before DFA'ing the scrappy utility man.
Robbie Grossman LF
Immediately after signing him out of the Indians organization, Grossman looked to have found a new home with the Twins. Even still, he's done a great job at having a disciplined approach all year that's led to a very high OBP number. What he has also done is be the worst left fielder in recent Twins memory, and that's including comparisons to Josh Willingham and Delmon Young. For a leftover outfield type, you can't have a guy that can't play defense. That's Grossman, and he's out for me.
Logan Schafer OF
If there wasn't already room to complain about Schafer being called up by the Twins, it was compounded when Adam Brett Walker wasn't added following the Triple-A season. Schafer is a warm body in centerfield, but that's about it. Minnesota has other options, and even the jump from Double-A for someone like Zach Granite might be a worthwhile consideration.
There you have it, by my count, this scenario would leave Minnesota with 10 openings on the 40 man. Danny Santana isn't currently on it, and then two of the 10 vacancies would be needed for Phil Hughes and Glen Perkins. Where the Twins go from there is anyone's guess.