Marquis sent to Minors; Baker placed on DL

Marquis sent to Minors; Baker placed on DL

Marquis sent to Minors; Baker placed on DL
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Twins made four player moves on their final day in Florida of 2012, setting their Opening Day roster for Friday against the Orioles.

As expected, Jason Marquis was optioned to Double-A New Britain and Scott Baker was put on the 15-day disabled list, the latter retroactive to March 27 with a right elbow strain. Marquis still needs innings because of two weeks he missed while in New York to be by his daughter's side after a bicycle accident.

The two additions in place of the pitchers were right-hander Jared Burton and infielder Sean Burroughs, whose contracts the Twins selected from Triple-A Rochester.

"He knows he needs some time," general manager Terry Ryan said of Marquis. "He needs to stretch out, he needs to build up some arm strength ... We can't afford to give games away, we got to have somebody that will give us a chance. He'll do that once he gets stretched out a little bit."

The moves were officially announced about 40 minutes shy of Wednesday's 5 p.m. ET deadline for all Major League rosters to be set. The Twins' 40-man roster is full.

For Baker, the next step is a rehab start with the Class A Fort Myers Miracle about an hour north in Port Charlotte, on Thursday. Baker could come off the DL on April 11, and the Twins don't need a fifth starter until April 15 because of an off-day on Tuesday. Marquis' next outing is slated for Saturday with the Rock Cats at home in New Britain, Conn. Ideally, Marquis and Baker need about two starts before returning.

"I'm hoping it would be just a couple [for Marquis]," Ryan said. "The same with Baker."

The advantage to going to New Britain as opposed to Triple-A Rochester is that it allows Marquis to be within a two-hour drive of his home in New York, so that he can be with his daughter. Plus, around the time Marquis might be ready to be recalled, the Twins roll into New York for a series against the Yankees (April 16-19), meaning he can get his work in and be with his family for much of the month.

"That's one of the reasons I'm going to New Britain," Marquis said. "Like I said earlier, the Twins have been really sensitive in understanding and caring to take the necessary time."

Getting Marquis to the Minors wasn't easy -- the restricted list and disabled list both weren't viable options -- but he had an option year remaining. Typically, once a player is added to a 40-man roster, there are three seasons in which he can essentially be freely moved, or optioned, to the Minors. Marquis had one such season remaining.

Because Marquis has five years of service time, he had the right to refuse an optional assignment, but he knew it was for the best of the club.

"I was thinking about demanding more money before I accepted it," Marquis joked. "No, no, obviously we knew it was for the benefit of the team, benefit of myself to have two starts without having to, like I said, ask for special permission for the restricted list, the bereavement list. Obviously if you get called up within 20 days, it doesn't affect service time, salary's the same. So it was an easy choice, very easy choice."

Marquis' Major League salary would be pro-rated if he were to spend 20 days in the Minors, but this is a good-faith situation on both sides, and both sides are happy with it.

"I'm thinking this might be one of those firsts," Ryan said of the unique situation. "But it's going to work out."