Minnesota Twins: Alex Kirilloff Optioned to Training Site
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins optioned prized prospect Alex Kirilloff to their alternate training site on Tuesday, leaving a wide-open competition for playing time in left field while giving the 2016 first-round draft pick more time to develop.
Jake Cave, Kyle Garlick, and Brent Rooker are the primary candidates at that position, vacated when Eddie Rosario has not tendered a contract during the offseason. Luis Arraez, a natural infielder who has moved into a super-sub role this year, has also been in the mix in left field.
Twins president of baseball operations Derek Falvey told reporters that service time wouldn't factor into decisions about the roster.
"Our goal is to figure out a way to put the best roster together that we think can impact us over the course of a season. We're out there trying to compete, we're trying to win, and we're going to figure out a way to do that," Falvey said.
Kirilloff made his major league debut in last year's postseason but has yet to appear in a regular-season game. Excluding him from the major league roster to start the year will allow the Twins to keep his service time clock from running and potentially delay his eligibility for free agency by a year. This issue has become increasingly tense between clubs and players following the union's loss of a grievance against the Chicago Cubs for holding back the third baseman Kris Bryant as a rookie in 2015.