Twins send Cron, Hildenberger to free agency; sign Adrianza
MINNEAPOLIS — The Twins have opted to non-tender first baseman C.J. Cron and relief pitcher Trevor Hildenberger, sending the pair into free agency.
They also signed Ehire Adrianza to a one-year guaranteed deal and tendered contracts to the rest of their arbitration-eligible players.
Cron, 29, was picked up last offseason by the Twins after he had been designated for assignment by the Rays.
The first baseman was affected by a lingering thumb injury for much of the 2019 season that impacted his playing time and productivity and eventually required surgery this offseason.
Cron hit .253 with a .311 on-base percentage and .469 slugging percentage, and he was projected by MLB Trade Rumors to earn a pay increase from $4.8 million to $7.7 in arbitration.
The move leaves the Twins without a starting first baseman at the moment, though internal options from the major league roster could include shifting Miguel Sano over from third or using the multi-positional Marwin Gonzalez there.
Hildenberger, who began the year working in high leverage spots from the Twins’ bullpen, had a bumpy May, forcing a demotion to Triple-A.
He then landed on the injured list for two months before returning late in the season. He finished the year with a 10.47 earned-run average in 22 games for the Twins.
A player the Twins did sign was Adrianza, to a one-year guaranteed contract, avoiding arbitration with the 30-year-old utilityman. A source confirmed the deal is for $1.6 million, a $300,000 raise.
Adrianza played in 83 games for the Twins last year, mostly in the infield, although he showed his versatility and played in the outfield briefly when the Twins’ depth was running low in the outfield.
He posted some career-best offensive numbers, slashing .272/.349/.416. He added five home runs and 22 RBIs in 236 plate appearances. MLB Trade Rumors had projected a $1.9 million salary for Adrianza.
The Twins tendered contracts to pitchers Jose Berrios, Tyler Duffey, Trevor May, Taylor Rogers and Matt Wisler; third baseman Sano, and outfielders Byron Buxton and Eddie Rosario ahead of Major League Baseball’s Monday night deadline.