MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins cleared space on their 40-man roster on Wednesday, as they outrighted outfielder Clete Thomas and right-handers Josh Roenicke, Cole De Vries and Shairon Martis to Triple-A Rochester.
It was the first of several 40-man roster moves to come this offseason, as the Twins have several other candidates who could be removed from the roster. Minnesota has 36 players on its 40-man roster after Wednesday's moves.
Thomas, 29, played in 92 games with 48 starts coming in center field after the Twins optioned Aaron Hicks to Triple-A Rochester in early August. Thomas hit .214/.290/.307 with four homers and 13 RBIs, but saw his playing time decrease in September with the addition of outfielder Alex Presley to the roster in the trade that sent Justin Morneau to the Pirates.
Roenicke was with the Twins all season, posting a 4.35 ERA in 63 appearances. He fared well early in the year, but faded in September with a 17.05 ERA in his last six appearances. He had trouble with his control, as the 31-year-old walked 36 and struck out 45 in 62 innings of work.
De Vries was slated to open the season in the rotation but was placed on the 15-day disabled list to open the year with a strained right forearm. The 28-year-old didn't get called up again until September, and struggled with a 10.80 ERA in 15 innings.
Martis, 26, was a September callup for the Twins on the advice of Triple-A manager Gene Glynn, as the right-hander had a 4.26 ERA while being used in a variety of roles with Rochester. But it didn't translate in six September appearances with a 5.59 ERA in 9 2/3 innings.
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger.