The Twins sent reliever Cody Stashak through outright waivers, according to the transactions log at MLB.com. The right-hander has elected minor league free agency, tweets Dan Hayes of the Athletic. That’s his right as a player with more than three years of major league service.
Stashak has been a decent lower-leverage option for manager Rocco Baldelli over the past few years. He’s appeared in each of the last four seasons, although he’s only managed between 15 and 25 frames in each. In three of the four years, Stashak put up a sub-4.00 ERA with an above-average strikeout rate. The 2021 campaign was a disaster, but he bounced back with 16 1/3 frames of 3.86 ERA ball this year. He’d punched out 15 and hadn’t issued a single walk through May 22, but an impingement in his throwing shoulder sent him to the injured list.
The Twins announced a few weeks later he’d need surgery to fix a labrum tear. That ended his season, and he spent the second half of the year on the 60-day injured list. With the IL officially going away at the start of the offseason, Minnesota had to reinstate him onto the 40-man roster to keep him around. They’ve opted against doing so, instead cutting him loose.
Stashak has between three and four years of service, so he’d have been eligible for arbitration for the first time. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projected him for an $800K salary that’s barely above the league minimum, but the Twins weren’t prepared to carry Stashak on the roster all winter after his surgery. His departure leaves Minnesota with 36 players on the roster heading into next week’s deadline to add prospects to the 40-man in order to keep them from Rule 5 draft eligibility.
If Stashak’s healthy, he’ll be a solid strike-throwing arm for clubs looking to bolster their bullpen depth. He’s likely to land a minor league deal with a Spring Training invitation.
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