The Twins have signed veteran outfielder Billy Hamilton to a minor league contract, according to multiple reporters (including The Athletic’s Dan Hayes). Hamilton elected to become a free agent earlier this month, rejecting an outright assignment to the Marlins’ Triple-A team.
Minnesota becomes the 11th different big league organization of Hamilton’s 10-year MLB career, and he has been action at the big league level with seven of those teams. Hamilton’s stint in Miami lasted 20 games and consisted of 15 plate appearances, as the Marlins mostly used him as a pinch-runner and late-game defensive replacement.
It’s safe to assume that Hamilton will be utilized in similar fashion with the Twins if he reaches their active roster, and the 31-year-old will at least provide some center field depth now that Byron Buxton has been placed on the 10-day injured list. Hamilton’s lack of hitting has turned him into a bench player in recent years, but he still brings plenty of his signature speed and excellent defense, making him a sought-after player by multiple teams.
Outfelders Buxton, Kyle Garlick, Trevor Larnach, Alex Kirilloff, and Royce Lewis are all on Minnesota’s IL, with Garlick perhaps only a few days away from a return and Kirilloff and Lewis both already done for the season. Max Kepler, Nick Gordon, Jake Cave, Gilberto Celestino, and utilityman Tim Beckham comprise the Twins’ outfield options on the active roster.