Twins finalize 40-man roster

Twins finalize 40-man roster

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins finalized their 40-man roster, though they did it with just 39 players.

Four players were added to the roster on Monday, the deadline to add players to protect them from being exposed in next month's Rule 5 Draft. The additions were left-handed pitchers Ricky Barrett and Alexander Smit, right-handed pitcher Oswaldo Sosa and outfielder Denard Span.

Leaving a space open on the roster doesn't necessarily mean that a signing is coming for the Twins. Rather, the change in rules this offseason meant that fewer prospects were at risk for selection in this year's Rule 5 Draft.

Under the league's new collective bargaining agreement, the number of Minor League seasons a player must play before he can be selected in the Rule 5 Draft was increased. The rule used to be four years for players drafted out of high school and three years in most cases for college-age draftees, but the new agreement has increased those limits by a year each.

Of the four added on Monday, the most touted prospect would be the 22-year-old Span. The outfielder has been talked about as the future replacement for Torii Hunter in center field as he possesses similar skills to the All-Star outfielder. Span batted .285 with 16 doubles, six triples, two homers and 45 RBIs with Double-A New Britain in 2006. He was the Twins' first-round draft pick in the 2002 First-Year Player Draft.

Barrett, 25, was 5-1 with a 3.42 ERA at Triple-A Rochester this past season. The Twins' seventh-round pick in the 2002 First-Year Player Draft held batters to a .191 average while not giving up a home run in 47 1/3 innings.

The 21-year-old Smit was signed as a non-drafted free agent on July 14, 2002, out of the Netherlands. He was 7-2 with a 2.99 ERA in 34 games (13 starts) with Class A Beloit.

Sosa was also with Beloit this past season and was 9-7 with a 2.75 ERA and 95 strikeouts in 20 starts. The 21-year-old was signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2002.

Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.