Twins release Robinson, Thompson and Fryer to clear room on roster

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The Minnesota Twins began trimming their roster Wednesday as they prepare to make offseason roster moves.

The Twins

">outright released three players after they cleared waivers Wednesday. Outfielder Shane Robinson, catcher Eric Fryer and left-handed reliever Aaron Thompson were removed from the 40-man roster.

All three players can now elect for free agency.

Robinson, 31, batted .250 in 197 plate appearances as the primary backup outfielder most of the season. He was a free-agent invitee last spring and appeared in 83 games, including 48 starts in the Twins outfield.

Thompson, 28, was a left-handed specialist in the bullpen at the start of the year. The Star Tribune notes early in the season, Thompson held opponents to a .181 batting average through mid-May. But was demoted to Triple-A Rochester after giving up 14 runs over 11 innings from that point on.

Fryer, 30, struggled at the plate as a backup for catcher Kurt Suzuki.

The reductions will help the Twins create roster space to protect some of their top prospects from the Rule 5 draft, and allow for some room for roster improvement.

The Twins roster currently stands at 34, as pitchers Ryan Pressly and Logan Darnell are on the 60-day disabled list.

According to the Star Tribune, five other Twins are eligible to file for free agency after the World Series – they include Blaine Boyer, Brian Duensing, Neal Cotts, Torii Hunter and Mike Pelfrey.

Twins general manager Terry Ryan has been vague when he's been asked about his top priorities for the offseason, but he didn't rule out upgrading the rotation and bullpen.

He also said he could look for help at catcher and shortstop.

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