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Twins release Sanchez to make room for Lynn

MLB.com @RhettBollinger

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- After agreeing to terms with Lance Lynn on a one-year deal worth $12 million on Saturday, the Twins made room on their roster for him by giving veteran right-hander Anibal Sanchez his unconditional release on Sunday.

Sanchez, who signed a $2.5 million non-guaranteed deal on Feb. 20, will receive $417,000 and would've been due $625,000 if the Twins waited until Tuesday to make the move. Sanchez was due to start against the Rays in Port Charlotte on Sunday, but right-hander Aaron Slegers made the start instead.

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- After agreeing to terms with Lance Lynn on a one-year deal worth $12 million on Saturday, the Twins made room on their roster for him by giving veteran right-hander Anibal Sanchez his unconditional release on Sunday.

Sanchez, who signed a $2.5 million non-guaranteed deal on Feb. 20, will receive $417,000 and would've been due $625,000 if the Twins waited until Tuesday to make the move. Sanchez was due to start against the Rays in Port Charlotte on Sunday, but right-hander Aaron Slegers made the start instead.

Sanchez, who was competing for a spot in the rotation, made two relief appearances this spring, allowing six runs over four innings. All six of those runs came in his last outing against the Pirates on March 4.

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Twins manager Paul Molitor and general manager Thad Levine met with Sanchez before Sunday's game to give him the news.

"You can't measure any type of surprise or anything, but I just know he was very professional and grateful for the opportunity," Molitor said. "That was a tough one. I can't say he got a very large opportunity in the short term he was with us."

The Twins decided to release Sanchez now so he could have a chance to catch on with another team this spring. Sanchez has a career 4.09 ERA in 12 seasons in the Majors but has a combined 5.67 ERA over the last three seasons.

Sanchez, though, did strike out 104 and walk only 29 in 105 1/3 innings with the Tigers last year, but served up 26 homers. He received a $5 million buyout from Detroit this offseason after the club declined his $16 million option.

Sanchez, 34, was signed before the Twins traded for Jake Odorizzi and signed Lynn this spring to bolster their rotation. Odorizzi and Lynn are expected to join Jose Berrios and Kyle Gibson in a four-man rotation early in the season, as Ervin Santana isn't expected back until late April or early May after undergoing surgery on his right middle finger.

"The potential of things working out and the innings we thought he could be an option for kind of closed a little bit," Molitor said. "So we get him out there with some time to go in camp with maybe the best opportunity to find a home. But he was good, he was really good."

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.

Minnesota Twins, Anibal Sanchez