9 Twins arb-eligible as non-tender cutoff nears
Future unclear for Grossman as Minnesota may look to clear roster space
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins have nine remaining players eligible for arbitration this winter and must decide by Friday's 7 p.m. CT deadline whether to tender contracts to them.Minnesota has 39 players on its 40-man roster and non-tendering a player is a way to open a spot for another player this
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins have nine remaining players eligible for arbitration this winter and must decide by Friday's 7 p.m. CT deadline whether to tender contracts to them.
Minnesota has 39 players on its 40-man roster and non-tendering a player is a way to open a spot for another player this offseason. But most of the Twins' arbitration-eligible players are expected to be tendered contracts. There's even a chance that the nine remaining could be tendered, after the Twins reached an agreement with Ehire Adrianza on Thursday.
Outfielder Robbie Grossman remains the most likely candidate to be non-tendered, as the other eight are essentially locks to be tendered. Here's a look at Minnesota's arbitration-eligible players ahead of Friday's deadline:
Grossman: Grossman, 29, has impressive on-base skills, and he slashed .266/.371/.400 in 347 games with the Twins over the past three seasons. He played in a career-high 129 games last year, batting .273/.367/.384 with five homers, 27 doubles and 48 RBIs. But he's a below-average defender and doesn't offer much power for a corner outfielder who also serves as a designated hitter.
The addition of C.J. Cron could mean the Twins use a combination of Christopher Austin and Cron at first base and DH, which could take away at-bats from Grossman. The Twins also added outfielder Michael Reed via waivers, and he profiles as a similar player to Grossman but offers better defense.
The rest: Twins starters Kyle Gibson and Jake Odorizzi are eligible for arbitration for a third and final time and will be tendered contracts. Minnesota might even have interest in a long-term extension with Gibson. Byron Buxton, Max Kepler and Eddie Rosario will make up the starting outfield again next year and will also be tendered. Same with third baseman Miguel Sano, who is eligible for the first time along with Buxton, Kepler and Rosario. Relievers Taylor Rogers and Trevor May are big parts of Minnesota's bullpen and will also be tendered. May has the look of a future closer and Rogers had another strong season, especially after the addition of a slider in the second half of the season.
Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.