Twins tender all but two of their arbitration-eligible players

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The Twins tendered contracts to all but two of their arbitration-eligible players ahead of Friday’s 7 p.m. deadline, notably Kyle Farmer and Willi Castro, veteran pieces of the team’s American League Central Division championship, and recent high draft picks Alexi Kirilloff and Ryan Jeffers.

While some of the decisions weren’t much of decisions at all — as with Kirilloff and Jeffers — there were questions around other players, either because they were coming off of an injury-plagued season or because of salary. The Twins also tendered Caleb Thielbar, Jorge Alcala and Nick Gordon.

Pitchers Jovani Moran and Ronny Henriquez were non-tendered but are expected to be re-signed to minor league deals.

Farmer, perhaps, was the biggest question mark. The Twins have been highly complimentary of Farmer — both because of his play on the field and his presence in the clubhouse — since he arrived in Minnesota last year. But he’s due a projected $6.6 million in arbitration, per MLB Trade Rumors.

That’s a hefty amount considering he’s not expected to be a starter, and the Twins are planning on cutting payroll from the approximately $153.6 million they spent in 2023. While they tendered him a contract, the Twins could still explore a trade partner for the infielder.

Gordon, out of the lineup with a broken shin after fouling a ball off his leg in May, and Alcala, who dealt with an arm injury for much of the season, are each expected to earn around $1 million in arbitration. That’s a slight bump over major league minimum for a pair of players whose spot on the 26-man roster to begin next season is uncertain.

Castro, whom the Twins signed as a minor league free agent last offseason, turned into one of the team’s most valuable players, appearing in 124 games at multiple positions. He is expected to earn around $3.2 million next year.

Thielbar, a left-hander who posted a 3.23 earned-run average last season, is expected to earn around $3 million next year, while Jeffers is due a bump to around $2.3 million and Kirilloff around $1.7 million, per MLB Trade Rumors.

On Tuesday, right-hander Sonny Gray, the American League Cy Young Award runner-up, declined the one-year, $20.325 million qualifying offer the Twins extended and became an unrestricted free agent.

The Twins now have 36 players on their 40-man roster: 17 pitchers, three catchers, eight infielders and eight outfielders.

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