The Twins have continued a busy few days of 40-man roster management, outrighting pitchers Jhon Romero and Devin Smeltzer after the pair cleared waivers, the team announced. Romero was outrighted to the minors, while Smeltzer elected free agency, per his MLB.com transaction log. It comes after the team recently lost outfielder Jake Cave, catcher Caleb Hamilton and infielder Jermaine Palacios on waivers.
Smeltzer, 27, tossed 70 1/3 innings of 3.71 ERA ball across 12 starts and three relief appearances for the Twins this season. Advanced metrics were less impressed with Smeltzer’s work, and his FIP sat at 5.23. The lefty struck out just 13.9% of batters this season while giving up walks 6.6% of the time.
The Twins acquired Smeltzer from the Dodgers in 2018 in the Brian Dozier deal, and he’s logged 140 innings of work through parts of four seasons as a swingman. Smeltzer’s out of minor league options and having already been outrighted previously in his career, he had the option to elect free agency after passing through waivers. It seems likely he’ll land somewhere on a minor league deal as pitching depth.
Romero, 27, was claimed off waivers from the Nationals during spring training and pitched out of the Twins bullpen to start the season, logging just five innings of 3.60 ERA relief before going down with what would wind up being season-ending biceps tendinitis on April 23. Romero was signed as an international free agent out of Colombia by the Cubs in 2015, and was traded to the Nationals in the Brandon Kintzler deadline deal in 2018.
He throws a fastball, slider, changeup mix and struck out roughly a third of the batters faced as he came up through the minors. Romero’s spent most of the season on the 60-day IL, meaning he wasn’t occupying a spot on the 40-man roster. There remains no clear timeline on his recovery, but regardless of his injury status the Twins would have needed to add him back to the 40 man before the start of the offseason.
Following their recent bevy of moves, the Twins’ 40-man roster now stands at 36 players.