The Twins have placed southpaw Tommy Milone and righty Casey Fien on waivers, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press reports. Berardino suggests that both players are indeed being outrighted off of the 40-man, though it does not appear that Fien is out of options.
In making the move, Minnesota is cutting ties with two players from whom they expected significant contributions. After all, the pair of former Super Two qualifiers received $4.5MM and $2.275MM arbitration contracts this year, respectively.
Minnesota will remain on the hook for both salaries unless another organization puts in a claim, or either player rejects his assignment. As players with over three years of service, they can do so, though that would mean sacrificing the remainder of their guarantees. In all likelihood, it seems, both will end up accepting assignments to Triple-A.
Interestingly, both players entered the year with exactly 3.143 years of MLB service. With another month now added to their clocks, they’d clear another season on the arb timeline even if they don’t return to the majors this year.
Milone, 29, has established himself as a steady, if unspectacular starter. He gave the Twins 128 2/3 innings of 3.92 ERA ball last year, posting 6.4 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9, and the hope was that he’d do something similar this time around. Through his first five outings (four of them starts), though, Milone is carrying a 5.79 ERA. His strikeout and swinging strike numbers are actually up very slightly, as is his groundball rate, but Milone has been done in by a 23.8% HR/FB rate after sitting around 11% for much of his career.
The 32-year-old Fien, meanwhile, had been a mainstay of the Minnesota pen since his organizational debut in 2012. Over the last four years, he’s compiled 223 2/3 innings of 3.54 ERA pitching with 7.9 K/9 against 1.6 BB/9. But Fien has seen his strikeout rate plummet in recent years, and he’s allowed 12 earned runs on 21 hits through his first 13 2/3 innings in 2016, though his swinging strike rate has rebounded somewhat this year.