The Twins announced to reporters, including Dan Hayes of The Athletic, that outfielder Jordan Luplow elected free agency after being outrighted off the 40-man roster. Outfielder Andrew Stevenson and right-hander José De León, who were outrighted last week, also elected free agency. The removal of Luplow opens up another spot on Minnesota’s 40-man roster in advance of the offseason.
Luplow, 30, has bounced around the league quite a bit in his career, with teams often trying to deploy him as a lefty-mashing right-handed role player. He has shown enough flashes of promise in this role that he has been employed in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Tampa and Arizona in previous seasons. His best stretch was with Cleveland in 2019 when he hit .276/.372/.551 in 261 plate appearances for a wRC+ of 141, most of that damage being done against southpaws.
He was cut by the Diamondbacks at the end of 2022 and then signed with Atlanta on a one-year deal with a $1.4MM guarantee. But he was optioned to the minors to start the year and was designated for assignment in early April, never suiting up for Atlanta at the big league level. Waivers claims would take him to the Blue Jays and Twins as the season progressed and he eventually got into 39 games in the most recent season. He hit a paltry .154/.267/.154 against righties but his .235/.350/.412 line with the platoon advantage amounted to a wRC+ of 110.
Despite that solid work in his specific role, Luplow didn’t crack the club’s playoff roster. He could have been retained for 2024 via arbitration, with MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projecting a salary of $1.6MM, but it seems the Twins weren’t willing to keep him around at that price point. Since Luplow was outrighted, that means he passed through waivers unclaimed.
Players with more than three years of service time or a previous career outright can reject a further outright assignment in favor of free agency. Luplow qualifies on both accounts and will now head to the open market. He will likely garner interest from clubs this winter, likely for a similar depth role to the one he filled this year.