MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins began to fill out their organizational depth for the 2021 season on Thursday by announcing the signings of eight players to Minor League deals with invitations to Major League Spring Training. All eight have previous Major League experience, and three were part of the Twins' organization last season.
Minnesota did have to dig into a considerable amount of its pitching depth last season due to a rash of injuries around the roster. The Twins shuffled several pitchers between the alternate training site and Major League roster, including Coulombe and Minaya, who have extensive experience with the A's and White Sox, respectively, and were both invited back to the club.
Considering the continued uncertainty surrounding the 2021 season due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it doesn't come as a surprise that the other three pitchers also come with a decent amount of Major League experience, headlined by Law, who has pitched in 167 games over four seasons with the Giants and Blue Jays, including a 2.13 ERA in 61 appearances during his 2016 rookie campaign in San Francisco.
The Twins also have familiarity with Sparkman, considering he was most recently with the Royals and has pitched nine times against Minnesota in his four-year career. Farrell has bounced around four organizations since his 2017 debut and most recently pitched for the Rangers. Both Sparkman and Farrell relied most heavily on their slider in 2020, fitting into the mold of the Twins' recent uptick in slider usage among many of their pitchers.
Refsnyder and Lin both come with more than 100 MLB appearances to their name and give the Twins some experienced infield depth in the organization that could serve as a safety net behind Minnesota's four starting infielders, who have all struggled with injury in the last few seasons. The Twins also need to build out their Major League utility depth this offseason due to the departures of both Marwin Gonzalez and Ehire Adrianza to free agency.
The Twins activated right-hander Fernando Romero from the restricted list and released the hard-throwing 25-year-old on Thursday. Romero did not take part in the Twins' organized baseball activities in 2020 after he experienced visa issues while flying from the Dominican Republic to the United States before the original Spring Training period.
Romero was ranked as high as the No. 4 prospect in the organization, according to MLB Pipeline's 2017 rankings. He flashed a hard fastball with strong movement in parts of two MLB seasons with the Twins but struggled with his command, posting a 5.17 ERA in 26 appearances.