MINNEAPOLIS -- Upon the deadline to protect players from Major League Baseball’s Rule 5 Draft, the Minnesota Twins added four players to their 40-man roster on Wednesday.
Outfielder Max Kepler, infielders Jorge Polanco and Kennys Vargas and left-handed pitcher Logan Darnell were all placed on the Twins’ 40-man roster, protecting them from the Rule 5 draft. Additionally, Minnesota outrighted right-hander B.J. Hermsen to Triple-A Rochester, meaning the Twins now have 39 players on their 40-man roster.
Kepler and Polanco both spent the entire 2013 season with Low-A Cedar Rapids. Kepler hit .237 with nine home runs and 40 RBI in 61 games, while Polanco batted .308 with 10 triples and 78 RBI in 115 games.
Vargas played for High-A Fort Myers in 2013, hitting .267 with 33 doubles, 19 home runs and 93 RBI, which led the Florida State League. Darnell was promoted to Triple-A Rochester after beginning the year with Double-A New Britain. The 24-year-old lefty was 4-4 with a 4.26 ERA in 12 games (11 starts) with the Red Wings after his promotion.
The Twins also announced that they signed several players to minor league contracts with invitations to spring training. That list includes pitchers Deolis Guerra, Lester Oliveros and Aaron Thompson; outfielders Jermaine Mitchell, Chris Rahl and Wilkin Ramirez; infielders Jason Bartlett, Doug Bernier and Deibinson Romero; and catcher Dan Rohlfing. Pitcher Virgil Vasquez also signed a minor league contract.