11:33pm: Milone has elected free agency, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press reports on Twitter.
8:08pm: The Twins have announced five outright assignments as the team clears 40-man roster space entering the offseason. Southpaws Tommy Milone, Andrew Albers, and Pat Dean were all cut, as were infielder James Beresford and outfielder Logan Schafer.
None of the moves is terribly surprising. Though incoming Minnesota chief baseball officer Derek Falvey has yet to join the organization — he’s staying with the Indians as they continue their postseason run — the organization obviously already knew these five roster spots would be opened up to make way for new acquisitions and/or Rule 5 draft protection.
Milone, 29, was slated to earn a slight raise on his $4.5MM arbitration salary, with MLBTR and contributor Matt Swartz projecting a $4.9MM figure this winter. It never seemed particularly likely that the Twins would pick up that tab after Milone turned in 69 1/3 innings of 5.71 ERA ball on the year. He has provided some solid major league innings over the years, though, and could earn a shot at a swingman or even rotation role from another organization in the right circumstances (and at a lower price).
The 31-year-old Albers and 27-year-old Dean have not topped one hundred total major league frames in their careers, and neither have been particularly productive in their limited opportunities. Albers worked 17 frames this year for Minnesota, allowing five home runs and 27 base hits along with 11 earned runs. Dean ended his first MLB campaign with a 6.28 ERA on 6.7 K/9 against 3.1 BB/9 over 67 1/3 innings.
As for the position players, Beresford briefly cracked the big leagues for the first time in 2016 but has never really hit much in a decade-long minor league run. The 30-year-old Schafer has seen action in six seasons, but owns only a .214/.292/.318 career batting line in 720 plate appearances.