Sunday, December 13, 2009

Minnesota Twins: Non-Tenders Provide New Free Agent Targets

Minnesota Twins general manager Bill Smith just got a reprieve.

After sitting idly by and watching a number of the club’s offseason targets sign elsewhere in the past two weeks, Smith now has a second chance at making some major moves this offseason.

Smith’s reprieve comes as the free agent pool just received an infusion of new talent.

This infusion came as a result of the non-tender deadline, which passed at 11:59 p.m. ET Saturday.

Teams had the option to not tender a contract to any player with less than six years of service time, rather than enduring the arbitration process.

In doing so, those players are then released by the club and become free agents.

In total, 39 players were non-tendered last night, including some very big names.

Of those non-tendered, many could be good fits for the Twins’ roster next season.

Making them all the more attractive is that most of these players should be willing to sign one-year, make-good contracts to re-establish their market value and/or build for a solid raise via arbitration next winter.

Obviously signing a non-tendered player wouldn’t inspire the inhabitants of Twins Territory in the same way signing Adrian Beltre, Felipe Lopez, or even Joe Crede would.

These players, despite the lack of fanfare, could still provide a major boost to the Twins’ championship hopes next season and at a fraction of the cost that their heavily-acclaimed counterparts will no doubt require.

With that in mind, here’s a look at five newly-minted free agents that should be of significant interest to general manager Bill Smith in the coming weeks.

Check out the slideshow at

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