Twins release Guerrier as part of roster moves
Minnesota options three players to Triple-A, reassigns six to Minor League camp
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Twins' roster is coming into clearer focus, as the club announced Monday morning they have optioned three players to Triple-A, reassigned six to Minor League camp and granted right-hander Matt Guerrier his unconditional release.
The club now has 29 players in camp (13 pitchers, three catchers, seven infielders and six outfielders). Three are non-roster invitees, including catcher Dan Rohlfing, who is not expected to make the team, essentially leaving just three roster cuts for the Twins.
Guerrier, who needed to be notified by Tuesday if he was going to make the team, was set to receive a $100,000 retention bonus if he did not. He is coming off surgery to fix the flexor mass in his right elbow, and had a June 1 opt-out clause. He will become a free agent but could re-sign with the Twins if he doesn't find a Major League deal elsewhere.
The players optioned to Rochester are right-handers Ryan Pressly and Michael Tonkin, and catcher Chris Herrmann. The six reassigned to Minor League camp are lefties Matt Hoffman and Aaron Thompson, right-hander Deolis Guerra, outfielder Wilkin Ramirez and infielders Doug Bernier and Deibinson Romero.
"Today was not an easy day for any of the guys," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Matty Guerrier for sure. We had him here a long time. He's thrown the ball well. We had a lot of that today where guys did nothing wrong, but we had to send them down because we don't have roster space yet."
Herrmann was a candidate for one of the team's final bench spots, while Tonkin and Pressly -- who had a strong rookie year as a Rule 5 Draft pick last season -- were up for a bullpen spot. Gardenhire hinted that he wanted to keep Herrmann on the roster, but it ultimately wasn't his decision.
With the roster moves, catcher Josmil Pinto and outfielders Aaron Hicks and Alex Presley are expected to make the team.
Gardenhire said the Twins will have a 12-man pitching staff, meaning just one more pitcher will be cut this camp. It could be left-hander Scott Diamond, who is out of Minor League options, unless they decide to keep him in the bullpen or send down fellow lefty Caleb Thielbar, who has options remaining. Right-hander Kyle Gibson remains the frontrunner for the fifth spot in the rotation.
The Twins also have to decide whether to keep Chris Parmelee, who is out of options, or Chris Colabello as an extra first baseman/outfielder. They also must determine a backup infielder between Eduardo Escobar, who is out of options, and non-roster invitee Jason Bartlett.
"Three more players and one more pitcher -- that's where we're at," Gardenhire said. "And none of them are going to be easy. We'll have a lot of conversations about all of it."