The Twins made their first pickups of the offseason on Friday, and not surprisingly given their potential losses to free agency, they are pitchers.
Lefthander Brandon Waddell, who appeared in two games for the Pirates this season, and righthander Ian Gibaut, who has pitched for the Rays and Rangers, were claimed off waivers on Friday.
Waddell, 26, was mostly a starting pitcher in the Pittsburgh system, posting a 4.12 ERA in five seasons since being drafted in the fifth round in 2015. He made his major league debut in August, and allowed one run in 3⅓ innings over two relief appearances.
Gibaut, who turns 27 in November, was drafted by the Rays in the 11th round in 2015, and has been a relief pitcher throughout his career. He pitched in one game for the Rays in 2019 before being traded to Texas, where he posted a 5.84 ERA in 23 appearances in 2019 and 2020.
This marks the third consecutive season the Twins have claimed players off waivers shortly after the World Series, when teams begin paring their 40-man rosters. In 2018, the Twins added outfielder Michael Reed from Atlanta, a player they eventually traded to San Francisco during training camp the following spring, and last year they added righthander Matt Wisler from Seattle. Wisler became an important part of the Twins’ bullpen in 2020, striking out 35 in 25⅓ innings and posting a 1.07 ERA.
Five Twins pitchers become eligible to negotiate new contracts with any team on Sunday — starters Jake Odorizzi and Rich Hill and relievers Sergio Romo, Trevor May and Tyler Clippard.
The Twins have 33 players on their 40-man roster, plus minor league infielder Nick Gordon, who is currently on the injured list but will either be returned to the roster or waived within the next several days.