Twins off-season thoughts: Analyzing the 40 man roster

The 2018 MLB off-season officially started late last night when the Houston Astros beat the Los Angeles Dodger in the game 7 of the 2017 World Series.   The 2018 off-season will be very interesting for the surprising good Minnesota Twins who made the postseason in 2017, but, alas, their participation in baseball lore lasted only one game.   Several things need to happen for the Twins to improve and be competitive in 2018 well into the post season.  We will be looking at these things in segments like this of "off-season thoughts".  In addition, like past years there will a weekly (or more often) off-season transactions and rumors segment, as those starting to build.

A good starting point is to look at the Twins 40-man roster and try to analyze what it could look like as a baseline, before the Rule 5 decisions and trade decision will need to be made.    Here is the Twins roster after the end of the season, including all 60-day DL players, as well as the free agents (uniform numbers included as well).  There are as a total 45 players:

Pitchers (28) :

9  Matt Belisle    
17 Jose Berrios    
62  Buddy Boshers    
67  Alan Busenitz    
60  J.T. Chargois
40 Bartolo Colon    
27 John Curtiss    
56 Tyler Duffey    
47 Dietrich Enns    
35 Dillon Gee    
44 Kyle Gibson
39 Trevor Hildenberger    
45 Phil Hughes
76 Felix Jorge
65 Trevor May
49 Adalberto Mejia 
58 Gabriel Moya
61 Ryan O'Rourke
15 Glen Perkins    
57 Ryan Pressly    
55 Taylor Rogers    
77 Fernando Romero    
64 Randy Rosario    
54 Ervin Santana 
53 Hector Santiago 
50 Aaron Slegers 
59 Michael Tonkin 
66 Nik Turley

Position players (17) :

16 Ehire Adrianza  
25 Byron Buxton    
21 Jason Castro 
2 Brian Dozier
5 Eduardo Escobar 
43 Mitch Garver
38 Chris Gimenez
23 Niko Goodrum 
8 Zack Granite
36 Robbie Grossman 
26 Max Kepler
7 Joe Mauer
73 Daniel Palka
11 Jorge Polanco
20 Eddie Rosario 
22 Miguel Sano
19 Kennys Vargas

The distribution between position players and pitchers clearly shows the issues with the team in 2017.  The names of the pitchers will need to be trimmed.

Matt Belisle, Bartolo Colon, Dillon Gee, Glen Perkins, Hector Santiago  are all free agents.  Perkins will not return Belisle Colon and Santiago should not.  This will open 4 spots on the roster.  Dillon Gee is an interesting player:  He performed exceptionally as a reliever producing an 1.35 ERA (2.86 FIP) in total, which dropped to 1.01 (2.56 FIP) the first time through an order.  In that split (26-2/3 IP) he allowed 22 hits and 5 walks, (1.01 WHIP & .286 BABIP) and struck out 20 (19.1 K%, 14.3 K-BB%).   If I were the Twins, I would try to re-sign Gee who will be 32 next season to a 2-year contract and have him in the long reliever role, a role he excelled in 2017.  He was not part of the problem last season. This drops down the roster to 41.

Buddy Boshers, Alan Busenitz, J.T. Chargois, John Curtiss,  Dietrich Enns, Trevor Hildenberger, Felix Jorge, Gabriel Moya, Ryan O'Rourke,  Fernando Romero, Randy Rosario, Aaron Slegers, Michael Tonkin, Nik Turley will be competing for 40-man space with the likes of Zack Littell, Stephen Gonsalvez, Lewis Thorpe, Kohl Stewart, Ryan Eades, Nick Burdi, Jake Reed, Luke Bard, Mason Melotakis, etc.   For the names in this list, it would be all about who will be able to help the Twins more in 2018.   I think that Buddy Boshers, Ryan O'Rourke, Randy Rosario, Aaron Slegers, Michael Tonkin and Nik Turley, will be in the losing part of the equation, with Alan Busenitz and John Curtiss, and potentially Ryan Pressly on the bubble, but making it.  This will open 6 more spaces, dropping down the roster to 35, and potentially down to 32; but it is too early and likely unnecessary to do so in the first round.

As far as position players go, there is no much leeway;  Niko Goodrum, and Daniel Palka as fairly certain cuts; Kennys Vargas who is out of options is on the bubble, but will likely make it through the first round of cuts.  This will drop 12 spots of the roster, trimming it down to 33, allowing enough room to protect players as well as sign free agents before potential trades.