End of an Era: Minnesota Twins Waive Plouffe

Minnesota Found no Trading Partners, Waive Long-time Third Baseman Plouffe.

In a surprise move today, the Minnesota Twins placed Trevor Plouffe and Juan Centeno on waivers. Juan Centeno cleared waivers and was assigned to AAA Rochester. Plouffe also cleared waivers and immediately becomes a free agent.

This move effectively ends the Trevor Plouffe Era at third base for the Twins, opening the hot corner for Miguel Sano full time next season. Plouffe took to Twitter to announce today’s news:

With today being the deadline to shore up teams’ 40-man rosters in advance of the Rule 5 Draft, the Twins made some other moves as well. Unable to trade slugger Adam Brett Walker II, the Twins instead outrighted ABW2 – who was immediately snatched up by the Milwaukee Brewers organization.

Saddled with a career-worst 38% whiff rate this year, Walker seemed like a long shot to make the 1B/DH heavy Twins.

In what is being perceived as a corresponding move, the Twins added outfielder Daniel Palka to replace Walker on the 40 man roster.

Palka has smashed 63 homers between AA and AAA in the past two season. Both Palka and Walker are destined to not play the outfield if and when either reach the majors. Both have holes in their swings, but the Twins see a higher upside in Palka.

With Sano moving to third next year, an opening at 1B/DH has been created. Whether that’s Palka or Byung-ho Park remains to be seen. Other players added to the 40 man roster today:

Those moves today leave the Twins one man short on their 40 man roster, leaving open some flexibility for signing a free agent (Jason Castro?) before the December 8th Rule 5 Draft.

Plouffe’s release gives the Twins big league roster flexibility and will save some money as Plouffe was arbitration-eligible. With Plouffe gone, now the Twins only have Eduardo Escobar, Kyle Gibson, Brandon Kintzler, Ryan Pressly, and Hector Santiago to worry about this off-season for arbitration negotiations/hearings.

Garver’s addition to the 40 man roster and Centeno’s demotion leaves Minnesota with just two catchers – John Ryan Murphy being the other. This should help fuel the rumors the Twins will be adding a free agent catcher this off-season.

NOTES: The Twins opened the previous two seasons with a $102 million payroll. Adding the $17-20 million for the five arbitration-eligible players, that leaves Minnesota at $87-90 million. Oops, gotta add that pesky $4 million the L.A. Angels to Ricky Nolasco! Now, we’re at $92-95 million. With the Twins still tied to Jason Castro as a possible suitor, it seems like they just opened enough payroll space to pull the trigger.

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