The Minnesota Twins offseason has begun. On Wednesday, it was announced five players are gone from the 40-man roster, three claimed off waivers and two having cleared waivers and been outrighted.
Outfielder Jake Cave was claimed by Baltimore, catcher Caleb Hamilton by Boston and shortstop Jermaine Palacios by Detroit.
Clearing waivers and taken off the 40-man roster were left-hander Devin Smeltzer and right-hander Jhon Romero.
Cave, acquired from the New York Yankees in March 2018, appeared in 355 games for the Twins over five seasons with a slash line of .235/.297/.411. His best year came in 2018 when he set career highs in games (91), plate appearances (309), doubles (16), home runs (13), runs (54), RBI (45) average (.265) and slugging percentage (.473). In 2022, he batted .213/.260/.384 in 54 games.
Hamilton was a 23rd-round draft pick by Minnesota in 2016. He made his major-league debut this year, appearing in 22 games and going 1-for-18 with a home run.
Palacios also appeared in the big leagues for the first time in 2022. In 30 games he went 10-for-70 with two homers while playing shortstop, second base, first base and third base. He also pitched in two games, allowing one hit with one strikeout in 2/3 of an inning.
A childhood cancer survivor, Smetlzer was a feel-good story in 2018 when he made his debut after being acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers and posting a 3.86 ERA, 1.265 WHIP and 7.0 K/9 over 49 innings. In four years with the Twins he went 9-4 with a 3.99 ERA and 1.243 WHIP. Smeltzer appeared in 15 games with 12 starts in 2022, posting a 3.71 ERA, 1.223 WHIP and 5.1 K/9.
Romero was claimed off waivers from Washington in March but spent the majority of the season on the injured list. He pitched in just five innings for Minnesota, allowing two runs on nine hits with a walk and six strikeouts.