Minaya, Coulombe among 3 non-tendered

Minnesota avoids arbitration with Duffey, Thielbar, Cotton

December 1st, 2021

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins non-tendered relievers , and at Tuesday night's deadline to tender contracts to unsigned players on their 40-man roster, immediately making those three players free agents.

The club also agreed to one-year contracts to avoid arbitration with right-hander Tyler Duffey ($3.8 million), left-hander Caleb Thielbar ($1.3 million) and right-hander Jharel Cotton ($700,000) and tendered contracts to left-hander Taylor Rogers, catcher Mitch Garver and infielder Luis Arraez.

It came as somewhat of a surprise to see the Twins part ways with Minaya, who emerged as a bullpen option last season on the strength of the changeup that helped him to a 2.48 ERA with 43 strikeouts in 40 innings. He and Coulombe (3.67 ERA in 29 appearances) had previously been non-roster invitees to Spring Training who eventually found success on the big league roster during the Twins' pitching shuffle throughout the 2021 season.

The Twins had claimed Megill off waivers from the Cubs earlier on Tuesday and he was non-tendered despite not being arbitration-eligible, leaving open the possibility of him being re-signed to a Minor League deal. They outrighted Jake Cave to Triple-A St. Paul in a corresponding move, leaving the 40-man roster at 37 players following the non-tender decisions.

Rogers should unsurprisingly be the highest earner of the bunch, as the left-handed bullpen ace is due a raise from the $6 million he earned last season. If he remains on the Twins' roster into the season, that would serve as another indication of the club's stated desire to improve quickly in 2022 and beyond from their last-place finish in the American League Central in '21.

Rogers, who posted a 3.35 ERA with 59 strikeouts and eight walks in 40 games last season, missed most of the second half with a season-ending left middle finger sprain ahead of the July 30 Trade Deadline. His performance could be a bit of an uncertainty considering that injury -- especially at a potentially higher price point -- but it's tough to argue with his track record of success featuring a 3.15 career ERA and a FIP below 3.00 in each of the last four seasons.

The Twins already took a concrete step toward showing their commitment to the coming years when they reportedly agreed to terms on a seven-year extension with star center fielder Byron Buxton, who will earn at least a guarantee of $100 million through the 2028 season.

Duffey will also earn a raise from his $2.2 million salary in 2021 following an up-and-down season that concluded with him once again finding his elite form with a 2.05 ERA in the final two months of the season and a 3.18 ERA overall.

Thielbar earned $650,000 last season, while Garver made $1.875 million and Arraez is arbitration-eligible for the first time this season as a "Super Two" player.