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."
Twins conclude camp excited, healthy
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Their roster set and their two superstars, Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau, in good health, the Twins left Spring Training behind Wednesday on a positive note.
Alexi Casilla (right knee) and Sean Burroughs (back) were both fine after playing in an exhibition against the Fort Myers Miracle, the Twins' Class A affiliate. Casilla was 1-for-3 with a double, walk and two RBIs, while Burroughs went 2-for-3 with a walk, double and an RBI.
An 8-7 victory over the Miracle wrapped Spring Training for the Twins, who left Hammond Stadium with their 25-man roster set and Opening Day on Friday in Baltimore in their sights.
"We had a good camp," general manager Terry Ryan said. "I think it's fair to say the weather was fantastic down here, the crowds were quite good. I think the organization, I thought our staff did a [heck] of a job. There were 67 guys in here.
"You always come down here hoping to just tread water, win a few. You don't want to come out of here with a horrible record because it doesn't give you a good taste leaving here but we won our share ... The new guys we've brought in I think have responded favorably. I'm impressed with some of the chemistry and some of the mentality we've got here. [Josh] Willingham's a business guy, 'Let's go,' and Carroll's a get down to business, 'Let's go' [type], and [Ryan] Doumit seems like that type of guy. You know [Jason] Marquis has got a little edge."
The Twins went 18-5-1 in Grapefruit League action. Scott Baker is on the disabled list and Marquis needs Minor League starts before they're ready, but there is little else to grumble about. Mauer hit .357 in 56 Grapefruit League at-bats. Morneau hit in nine straight Grapefruit League games to end his spring, a 12-for-27 (.444) stretch that included three home runs.
"We're relatively healthy," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "That's nice. We got accomplished what we wanted to accomplish here, everybody played. We got [Joe] Mauer and [Justin] Morneau ready to get on the field, with a bunch of other guys, got some new guys who look like they're going to fit in really nice. Now it's just go play. Get between the lines and win some games."
Hrbek statue ceremony set for April 14
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Kent Hrbek's going to be around Target Field for a long time.
Hrbek, the Minnesota-born first baseman who played his entire 14-year career for the Twins, will have a statue in his likeness unveiled at Target Field on April 14, prior to a 12:10 p.m. CT contest against the Rangers.
The Twins on Wednesday announced the ceremony, which will take place outside of Gate 14 -- the same number that Hrbek wore and the date of the game. Twins broadcaster Dick Bremer will emcee, with Hennepin County Commissioner Mike Opat, Minnesota Ballpark Authority Chair Steve Cramer and former Twins greats, including Tony Oliva, scheduled to be on-hand.
Hrbek, 51, is a Bloomington native. He was on the World Series champion teams in 1987 and '91, and was named an All-Star in 1982. His number was retired in 1995 after he hit .282 with 293 home runs from 1981-94.
Other Twins greats who have statues outside Target Field include Rod Carew, Calvin Griffith, Carl and Eloise Pohlad, Oliva, Kirby Puckett and Harmon Killebrew. All the statues, including Hrbek's, have been the work of local artist Bill Mack.