The Twins have signed utilityman Tzu-Wei Lin to a minors contract, according to MLB.com’s transactions page. Lin chose to become a free agent after the Red Sox outrighted him off their 40-man roster in October.
Originally signed as an international free agent out of Taiwan in 2012, Lin spent the last nine years in Boston’s organization, and he saw big league action in each of the last four seasons. The first two of those seasons saw Lin hit a respectable .256/.348/.380 over 139 plate appearances, but he has posted only a .416 OPS over 79 PA since the start of the 2019 season. It adds up to a career slash line of .223/.298/.316 over 218 PA and 101 games.
Lin offers the ability to play virtually all over the field, as he has appeared in at least one game at every position except first base. That range around the diamond includes an inning at catcher back on August 13 of this year during a 17-8 loss to the Rays, and an inning of mop-up time on the mound in a 13-1 loss to the Orioles on September 24.
The bulk of Lin’s MLB playing time has come as a shortstop and second baseman, so he provides Minnesota with some extra depth behind Jorge Polanco, who underwent ankle surgery in October. Lin (who turns 27 in February) will help fill the utilityman void left behind by free agents Marwin Gonzalez and Ehire Adrianza. There has been some speculation that the Twins might look for a new regular shortstop and move Polanco into a super-utility role himself, though Lin certainly seems like more of a depth option than someone ticketed for even a platoon role.