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Twins release Willians Astudillo among roster moves

The Twins also signed Jake Cave and placed some top prospects on the 40-man roster.
Willians Astudillo

While fans wait on the fate of Byron Buxton, the Minnesota Twins announced several roster moves on Friday which included designating Willians Astudillo for assignment.

Astudillo hit .270/.295/.406 in four seasons with the Twins but last year was a low-water mark, hitting .236/.259/.375 with seven homers in 208 at-bats. Despite his struggles at the plate, the 29-year-old was a fan favorite thanks to his large personality and his nickname "La Tortuga."

The open roster spots allowed the Twins to protect some of their top prospects in next month's Rule 5 Draft including Royce Lewis and Jose Miranda.

Lewis was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 MLB Draft but is coming off a torn ACL suffered last spring. While he hasn't played in an organized game in two seasons, he remains the top prospect on the Twins roster.

Miranda is also a notable name as the Twins minor league player of the year. The 23-year old hit .344/.401/.572 with 30 homers between Double-A Wichita and Triple-A St. Paul last season. He should contend for a roster spot next season, especially if the Twins trade Josh Donaldson.

The Twins also agreed to terms with Jake Cave on a one-year deal. According to KSTP's Darren Wolfson, the deal is worth $800K and Cave will have to make the team out of spring training.

That's not a guarantee after Cave hit .189/.249/.293 with three homers in 76 games last season. Overall, Cave's average has declined from .265 in his rookie season to .189 last year.

With Buxton's future uncertain, Cave could be a staple in the Twins outfield next season.

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