Analysis: Warne makes predictions for the Twins offseason roster cuts
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Terry Ryan estimated Monday night that in an average offseason, the 40-man roster for the Minnesota Twins has a turnover of 15-18 players.
With that in mind, here's one look at how the 40-man roster may shake out at the end of the season.
Keep in mind that trades could occur, and cannot be projected. So guys like Josh Willingham and Ryan Doumit are going to be listed as certainties, though they could be dealt in the winter. This also won't consider those who will require to be added to the 40-man to be protected from the Rule-5 draft. That'll come at a later date.
The Givens (18):
C-OF Ryan Doumit
2B Brian Dozier
CL Glen Perkins
SP Kevin Correia
RP Casey Fien
RP Jared Burton
SP Kyle Gibson
SP Trevor May
RP Michael Tonkin
SP Vance Worley
OF Aaron Hicks
Breakdown: Mauer, Doumit, Willingham, Perkins, Correia, and Burton are all signed to deals through 2014 or longer. Everyone else has arbitration eligibility left, or hasn't even reached arbitration yet. Frankly, only a couple of these could seem even reasonably questionable. The Twins will not give up early on Worley (nor should they). The same goes for Diamond. Florimon might be the heir at shortstop, and the team loves Swarzak as a flexible bullpen piece.
Everyone else is a slam dunk.
Likely In (9):
C-OF Chris Herrmann
SP Samuel Deduno (60-day DL)
RP Ryan Pressly
OF Alex Presley
IF Danny Santana
Breakdown: These guys are all pretty much guaranteed as well. Herrmann's role will largely depend on what happens with Mauer and, to a lesser extent, what happens with Doumit. Herrmann can do a lot of things Doumit can -- and more, defensively -- but had a rough year at Triple-A and isn't a proven commodity at the plate. Mastroianni still seems to be highly regarded in the organization for his work ethic and hustle, and could hold the job of fourth outfielder/regular fill-in for an extended period of time.
Deduno was removed from the 40-man last year, and re-signed to a minor league deal but that was largely due to vision issues and performance. This year's iteration of Deduno is largely improved (3.83 ERA, +1.1 fWAR in 108 innings) and a near-certainty to compete for a rotation spot, provided he's healthy. Plouffe and Parmelee are simply holdovers who have too much potential to give up on, but don't have enough on tape for the Twins to promise them long-term regular jobs. In fact, it wouldn't be entirely surprising if both spend time at first base next year, barring Mauer switching positions.
Pressly and Presley have both impressed in their debuts as Twins, and could have drastically different roles next season. General manager Terry Ryan said he thinks Escobar can be a future starter at an infield position on Monday, while Santana entered 2013 as a 'legitimate shortstop of the future' and has done little to change his standing in that respect. Santana still doesn't have the approach the Twins would like to see, but the thought is that he can get there. At Double-A this year, he's basically repeated what he did at High-A in 2012.
Truly Don't Have a Good Read (4):
SP/RP Pedro Hernandez
SP Andrew Albers
Breakdown: These are four lefties with unclear roles looking into the future. Thielbar's ERA is less than half his xFIP (translated: he's pitching a bit over his head); Hernandez simply can't get righties out regularly (1.026 OPS against); Albers' velocity and stuff give pause; and Duensing, while he's a perfectly useful reliever, he'll get expensive via the arbitration process. Duensing is making $1.3 million this year and is arbitration-eligible for the second time this offseason.
The smart money would be on at least one of these guys returning -- probably Duensing -- if not two or even three. Hernandez is still young, and either he or Thielbar could be a perfectly good situational lefty in the short term. But then, does that make Duensing superfluous? These are the issues that Ryan will be dealing with while constructing next year's roster.
Likely Out (8):
OF Clete Thomas
IF Doug Bernier
OF Wilkin Ramirez (60-day DL)
1B-OF Chris Colabello
RP Shairon Martis
Breakdown: It's worth noting that the Twins can outright guys, and re-sign them to minor league deals. It happened with Deduno, P.J. Walters, and others last year. With some of the guys on this list, it's likely to be a similar case. In fact, Thomas was in a similar situation, although he was designated for assignment after his rough patch with the club early last year.
Bernier and Colabello were nice stories, and would likely be retained in the organization provided they were willing to re-sign. That should be the case with Colabello, given the Twins have spent nearly two seasons developing him and gave him his big league shot. Roenicke hasn't stood out despite a 3.30 ERA, as his underlying peripheral statistics are alarming. Ramirez has been snakebitten all season long, but is still young enough to get a shot elsewhere if he's not interested in returning. Hendriks and De Vries have both struggled enough at Triple-A this year -- combined with not showing a whole lot in the majors -- that their time with the Twins may be up. Martis could maybe hang around as a reliever, but it's rather unlikely.
The Goners (3):
SP Mike Pelfrey
SP B.J. Hermsen
C Eric Fryer
Breakdown: This isn't an indictment on how Pelfrey has pitched; for the money the Twins invested, he's pitched reasonably. And even if he re-signs in the offseason, he'll come off the 40-man when he elects free agency. Hermsen was absolutely awful this year, going 1-10 with a 4.81 ERA and 1.69 WHIP (3.7 K/9) for Double-A New Britain. Fryer got the call as an organizational guy and catcher, but he'll be swept off the roster right after the season ends.
So, if the givens, likely-ins, and the 'don't have a good reads' all make it through the offseason, that's 31 rosters spots. Ryan said that number would likely be closer to 25, so that likely means an active offseason in the offing for the Twins. Buckle up.