The Twins announced Wednesday that they’ve designated outfielder Kyle Garlick for assignment. His spot on the 40-man roster will go to shortstop Carlos Correa, whose return on a six-year, $200MM contract (with four vesting/club options) has now been formally confirmed by the team.
Garlick, 31 later this month, has spent the past two seasons with the Twins, hitting a combined .233/.283/.446 in 269 trips to the plate. Those numbers don’t necessarily stand out on their own, but Garlick’s platoon splits tell the tale of a useful part-time/platoon outfielder. He’s been overmatched by fellow right-handers, evidenced by a .207/.258/.345 output. However, Garlick has consistently shown plus power against lefties, batting .256/.303/.534 with 10 home runs and seven doubles in just 145 plate appearances versus southpaws since joining the Twins.
Unfortunately, Garlick has also had difficulty staying on the field during his two seasons in Minnesota. Over the past two seasons, he’s had trips to the injured list for a sports hernia (which required surgery), a calf strain, a hamstring strain, a ribcage contusion and a wrist sprain — the latter of which ended his 2022 season. There’s little doubting that Garlick can hit left-handed pitching, but his lengthy list of injuries, combined with sub-par defensive ratings in the outfield corners, have limited his utility as well.
Garlick seemed to have a place on the Twins’ roster heading forward, as he’s a natural platoon partner for their veritable cavalcade of left-handed-hitting corner outfielders and had already agreed to a modest $750K salary for the upcoming season. That’s only $30K north of the league minimum at this point, though, so it’s not as though the Twins had locked Garlick in for a particularly weighty sum.
Any team wishing to claim Garlick would need to take on that mild salary but would also be able to control Garlick for another four seasons, if they choose. The Twins will have a week to trade Garlick or attempt to pass him through outright waivers. He’s been outrighted once previously in his career, so if Garlick goes unclaimed, he’d have the ability to reject an assignment to Triple-A in favor of free agency.