The Twins announced this morning that they’ve signed veteran utilityman Andrew Romine to a minor league contract. The Moye Sports client will join the club’s Major League group in Spring Training as a non-roster invitee.
Romine, 35, has appeared in parts of 10 big league seasons — most of which came with the division-rival Tigers from 2014-17. He spent the 2020 season with the Rangers organization but appeared in only two big league games last summer, collecting a double in four trips to the plate. Through 1327 plate appearances in the Majors, the switch-hitting Romine is a .235/.291/.301 hitter.
Production at the plate has never been Romine’s calling card. He’s far more known for his defensive versatility, having spent at least 238 innings at each of the four infield positions and another 559 frames in the outfield (including 313 in center). The Twins got a first-hand look at that versatility late in the 2017 season, when then-Detroit skipper Brad Ausmus allowed Romine to play all nine positions on the same diamond in a game the Tigers topped the Twins by a 3-2 margin.
At 35, Romine might not be the defender he once was, but he’s turned in average career defensive marks at shortstop, above-average showings at second and third base, and above-average marks in left field as well.
The Twins already have several utility options in camp. With the signing of Andrelton Simmons, they’ll slide Jorge Polanco over as the everyday second baseman and move Luis Arraez into the super-utility role vacated by Marwin Gonzalez. Catcher/infielder Willians Astudillo could be in line to take another bench spot, and Minnesota also has second/third base prospect Travis Blankenhorn on the 40-man roster. Former Red Sox infielder Tzu-Wei Lin is in camp on a non-roster deal as well. All of that could make it tough for Romine to win a job to begin the year, but he’d be a reasonable depth option to stash in Triple-A St. Paul if a big league opportunity doesn’t present itself this spring.