40-man roster additions: 2021 Minnesota Twins

Any player who is on the active major-league roster has to be on that team’s 40-man roster. Hence, when callups are made during a season it’s beneficial to be on the 40-man.

Of course, it’s not just prospects on the 40-man but also everyday players, starting pitchers and oft-used relievers.

Every team makes a handful of 40-man moves every offseason – ranging from protecting players in the Rule 5 draft to signing free agents and acquiring players by trade.

With spring training under way, here’s a capsule summary of the players added to the Minnesota Twins’ 40-man roster these past few months.



A former third-round pick of Boston, Anderson was traded in 2017 to San Francisco for ex-Twin Eduardo Nunez. Minnesota picked him up from the Giants on Feb. 4 in a swap for outfielder LaMonte Wade Jr. Anderson pitched 15 1/3 innings for San Francisco in 2020, allowing six runs on 10 hits with 12 walks and 18 strikeouts. In 2019, he had a 5.44 ERA, 1.552 WHIP and 6.6 K/9 over 96 innings. Anderson had been strictly a starter in the minors and the majority of his appearances in ’19 (28 games, 16 starts) before being moved to the bullpen exclusively in 2020.


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A fifth-round pick in 2016, Balazovic has yet to pitch above Single-A but he’s fared very well at the lower levels. In 2019, he had a 2.69 ERA, 0.982 WHIP and 12.4 K/9 with Fort Myers (73 innings) and Cedar Rapids (20 2/3 innings). In 227 2/3 career minor-league innings he owns a 3.32 ERA, 1.151 WHIP and 10.0 K/9. Interestingly, though, Balazovic wasn’t at Minnesota’s alternate training site in 2020.



The Twins fortified the back end of their bullpen by signing the free-agent closer in February. Colome has three seasons of 30+ saves — 36 in 2016 with Tampa Bay when he made his lone All-Star Game, a league-leading 47 in 2017 with the Rays and 30 with the Chicago White Sox in 2019. Last year with the White Sox he pitched 22 1/3 innings with career bests in ERA (0.81) and WHIP (0.940) but a career low K/9 (6.4). Over eight seasons, Colome has a 2.95 ERA, 1.177 WHIP and 8.2 K/9.



Minnesota will be Garlick’s fourth organization in the past two years. Garlick got into 30 games with 53 plate appearances for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2019, hitting .250/.321/.521. L.A. traded him to Philadelphia in February 2020. He appeared 12 games  for the Phillies with 23 plate appearances, going 3-for-22. Atlanta claimed Garlick off waivers in January 2021 and the Twins then claimed him in February after the Braves designated him for assignment. Garlick, who primarily plays in left field and right field, has slashed .281/.332/.568 with 40 homers in 178 Triple-A games.



A 14-year veteran, Happ has been one of the better pitchers in the game since 2015 – although he’s never thrown 200 innings in a season. His career high is 195 in 2016 with Toronto, when he went 20-4 with a 3.18 ERA, 1.169 WHIP and 7.5 K/9. Since that year, Happ owns a 3.77 ERA (115 ERA+), 1.209 WHIP and 8.4 K/9 with the Jays and Yankees. He made nine starts with New York in 2020 with a 3.47 ERA, 1.054 WHIP and 7.7 K/9. Happ is a little prone to allowing homers (1.2 HR/9 over his career, 1.6/9 since 2018) but he hasn’t allowed more than one hit per inning since 2015.



Like Balazovic, Ober wasn’t at Minnesota’s alternate camp in 2020. A 12th-round pick out of the College of Charleston in 2017, Ober made it to Double-A in 2019, pitching 24 innings in four starts and allowing just two runs (one earned) on 10 hits with two walks and 34 strikeouts. In 181 2/3 career minor-league innings, Ober, who turns 26 in July, owns a career 2.38 ERA, 0.941 WHIP and 11.0 K/9.



Robles, signed as a free agent in December, has some closer experience — 23 saves in 2019 with the Los Angeles Angels — but likely will settle into a seventh- or eighth-inning role for Minnesota with the potential to close things out when Colome (or Taylor Rogers) is unavailable. Robles did not have good year with the Angels in 2020, to say the least, allowing 20 runs (19 earned) in 16 2/3 innings. In 2019, though, he had a 2.48 ERA, 1.018 WHP and 9.3 K/9 over 72 2/3 innings. Over his career with the Mets and Angels, Robles owns a 3.91 ERA, 1.250 WHIP and 9.7 K/9 in 313 games and 333 2/3 innings.



A defensive catcher, Rortvedt reached Double-A in 2019 but was not as Minnesota’s alternate camp in 2020. Rortvedt has thrown out 39% of attempted base stealers over his minor-league career. In 2019, splitting time between Single-A and Double-A, he was at a 52% rate. However, he owns a career slash line of just .240/.315/.347 with 16 home runs in 1,112 plate appearances.



Due to a variety of injuries, Shoemaker hasn’t pitched more than 78 innings in a season since 2016. When he’s been on the mound, though, he’s been pretty good, owning a career 3.86 ERA, 1.182 WHIP and 8.1 K/9 with the Angels and Blue Jays. Making six starts for Toronto in 2020, he had a 4.71, 1.081 WHIP and 8.2 K/9 — although 2.5 HR/9 — over 28 2/3 innings. Over his career he’s had good control (2.2 BB/9) and has only one allowed more than one hit per inning. But in eight seasons he’s pitched just 602 1/3 innings.



Minnesota made perhaps a surprising decision to sign Simmons and move Jorge Polanco to second base. But the Twins are getting one of the best, if not the best, defensive shortstops in all of baseball. The four-time Gold Glove winner has recorded six seasons of 2.8+ defensive WAR (including four of 3.3 or higher). To put that in perspective, Minnesota has three shortstops in franchise history with a dWAR of at least 2.8 — Zoilo Versalles (3.0 in 1965), Leo Cardenas (2.9, 1969) and Greg Gagne (2.9, 1990). Simmons owns the highest dWAR for a shortstop since 1917 (5.0 in 2017) and he and Mark Belanger are the only shortstops with three seasons of 4.0+ dWAR, each having three. Simmons spent the first four years of his career with Atlanta and the last five with the Los Angeles Angels. He has a career slash line of .269/.317/.379, although his hitting has improved in recent years (.281/.328/.394 with L.A.). In 2020, he played in 30 games before opting out, batting .297/.346/.356.