A look at Twins' contract situations heading into offseason
With the offseason now officially upon us with the end of the World Series, Major League Baseball teams can now turn their attention to the 2018 season.
The Twins are in pretty good shape as far as their roster, as six players will be free agents, but only a couple who were contributors in 2017.
The biggest name among the four might just be reliever Matt Belisle. The right-hander signed with Minnesota in February as a free agent and eventually took over the closer's role late in the season, posting nine saves. Belisle came on strong in the second half, when he had a 1.71 ERA, 0.646 WHIP and 9.6 K/9. On the one hand, he will be 38 years old in June. On the other, if not him, who else will close? Likely someone not currently on the 40-man roster (a return of Brandon Kintzler, perhaps?).
Starting pitchers Bartolo Colon and Hector Santiago are also scheduled to be free agents as are relievers Dillon Gee, Alex Wimmers and Glen Perkins, the latter's option not being picked up by the Twins.
While the remainder of players on Minnesota's season-ending roster are under club control, the team has several key players who will be free agents in 2019. Brian Dozier and Joe Mauer are both in the final year of their contracts. Ervin Santana has a $14 million team option for 2019, although it is automatically picked up If he 1. Passes his physical after the 2018 season; 2. Throws at least 400 innings from 2017-18, with at least 200 innings in 2018 (note: He had 211 1/3 innings in 2017).
Eduardo Escobar is also scheduled to be a free agent after next season. Escobar is one of a number of players who are eligible for arbitration, but that doesn't mean all will return. With a guaranteed salary boost, some could be non-tendered. Or, of course, be signed to longer deals. Player who are pre-arbitration can just be re-upped for the 2018 season, although of course the Twins have the option of trying to work out a longer deal.
Here's a rundown of the Twins' contract situations this offseason, with salary numbers included (information from Cot's Baseball Contracts and baseball-reference.com).
C Jason Castro -- Signed through 2019 at $8 million per year.
2B Brian Dozier -- Signed through 2018. Salary: $9 million.
SP Phil Hughes -- Signed through 2019 at $13.2 million per year.
1B Joe Mauer -- Signed through 2018. Salary: $23 million.
DH Byung Ho Park -- Signed through 2019 at $3 million per year. Club option in 2020 for $6.5 million or $500,000 buyout.
SP Ervin Santana -- Signed through 2018 at $13.5 million with club option for 2019 (see above).
Free agents (2017 salary)
RP Matt Belisle ($2.05 million)
SP Bartolo Colon ($535,000)
RP Dillon Gee ($535,000)
RP Glen Perkins ($6.5 million)
SP Hector Santiago ($8 million)
RP Alex Wimmers ($535,000)
Arbitration eligible (2017 salary)
UT Ehire Adrianza ($600,000).
UT Eduardo Escobar ($2.6 million).
SP Kyle Gibson ($2.9 million).
C Chris Gimenez ($950,000).
OF Robbie Grossman ($552,500).
RP Trevor May ($555,000).
RP Ryan Pressly ($1.175 million).
RP Michael Tonkin ($542,500).
Pre-arbitration (2017 salary)
SP Jose Berrios ($535,000).
RP Buddy Boshers ($535,000).
OF Byron Buxton ($535,000).
RP Alan Busenitz ($535,000).
RP John Curtiss ($535,000).
RP Tyler Duffey ($543,000).
RP Dietrich Enns ($535,000).
C Mitch Garver ($535,000).
OF Niko Goodrum ($535,000).
OF Zach Granite ($535,000).
RP Felix Jorge ($535,000).
OF Max Kepler ($547,500).
SP Adalberto Mejia ($535,000).
RP Gabriel Moya ($535,000).
RP Ryan O'Rourke ($540,000).
SS Jorge Polanco ($540,000).
RP Taylor Rogers ($542,500).
OF Eddie Rosario ($552,500).
3B Miguel Sano ($572,500).
SP Aaron Slegers ($535,000).
DH Kennys Vargas ($540,000).