Megill, 28 this weekend, was hammered for 22 runs in 23 1/3 innings with Chicago during his MLB debut last season, but he posted a strong 26.1% strikeout rate against a 7.0% walk rate. Megill averaged 96.5 mph on his heater while showing high-end spin rates on both that four-seamer and his breaking ball. The 6’8″ righty has also whiffed 32% of his opponents in Triple-A and has a pair of minor league option years remaining — both of which surely appealed to Minnesota.
The corresponding subtraction of Cave from the 40-man roster comes not two weeks after he agreed to an $800K contract for the upcoming season. Of course, arbitration deals of that nature aren’t fully guaranteed, and the Twins could potentially cut Cave loose anytime between now and the halfway point of Spring Training and be on the hook for only 30 days’ salary (about one sixth of the contract). That number would jump to 45 days’ pay in the second half of camp and would become fully guaranteed if Cave made the Opening Day roster.
That would require Cave being added back to the 40-man roster, however, which doesn’t appear likely without a big showing in Spring Training. The 28-year-old Cave was productive in his first two years with the Twins, 2018-19, hitting at a combined .262/.329/.466 clip through 537 plate appearances while playing all three outfield slots. He’s dealt with repeated back injuries, including a fracture, in the two seasons since that time, and the resulting .202/.263/.332 output is underwhelming, to say the least.
Cave could have rejected the assignment and opted to become a free agent, but doing so would’ve required forfeiting the salary on that contract. Darren Wolfson of 1500 SKOR North tweets that Cave’s contract was a split deal with an $800K salary in the Majors and $300K in the minors.