The Twins have made their first batch of minor league signings this winter, Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com reports (on Twitter), with right-hander Preston Guilmet the most experienced among them. Minnesota also added righty Zack Weiss and infielder Randy Cesar on a minor league pacts and re-signed right-hander Ryne Harper and catcher Wynston Sawyer.
Guilmet, 31, tossed 10 big league innings between the Cardinals and Blue Jays this past season but was tagged for 13 runs in that time. He was virtually unhittable with the Cardinals’ Triple-A affiliate in Memphis, though, pitching to a 0.93 ERA with a 35-to-5 K/BB ratio in 29 innings of work there. Guilmet has struggled in parts of four big league seasons, albeit in just 33 total innings of work. He also spent the 2017 campaign pitching for Japan’s Yakult Swallows, where he turned in a solid 3.62 ERA with 9.4 K/9 against 2.5 BB/9 in 54 2/3 innings of relief.
Weiss, 26, made his big league debut with the Reds in 2018 but appeared in just one game without recording an out. He’ll hope for a better outcome with the Twins — just his second professional organization after spending six years with the Reds, who selected him in the sixth round of the 2013 draft. Weiss’ career has been slowed by injuries, most notably Tommy John surgery that cost him the 2016 season, but he’s averaged 11 strikeouts per nine innings pitched across 221 2/3 minor league innings while working to a 2.88 ERA.
Cesar, 24 in January, hit .296/.348/.428 with 10 homers for Houston’s Double-A affiliate while splitting his time evenly between first and third base in 2018. Harper, 30 in Spring Training, pitched to a 3.60 ERA with 86 strikeouts against just 10 walks in 65 innings between the Twins’ Double-A and Triple-A clubs this past season. The 27-year-old Sawyer batted .257/.387/.347 in a limited sample of 124 plate appearances between Double-A and Triple-A with the Twins in ’18.