Twins exercise option on Cruz, Baldelli finalist for AL Manager of the Year

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - SEPTEMBER 22: Nelson Cruz #23 hugs Eddie Rosario #20 of the Minnesota Twins after Cruz hit his 400th career home run in the 4th inning of their game against the Kansas City Royals at Target Field on September 22, 2019 in Minn

The Minnesota Twins were busy making roster moves on Monday with the 2019 season, one for the history books, now in the rear-view mirror.

The Twins announced that they’ve exercised a second-year contract option on Nelson Cruz. They also declined a contract option and parted ways with starting pitcher Martin Perez.

The Twins extended a qualifying offer to starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi, and out-righted pitcher Kohl Stewart, who now becomes a free agent.

It was also revealed on MLB Network Monday night that Rocco Baldelli is one of three finalists for American League Manager of the Year. Baldelli, in his first season with the Twins, led the team to 101 regular season wins and its first AL Central Division title since 2010.

Cruz, one of his best offensive players at designated hitter, will be back for a second season with the Twins. He hit 41 of the team’s MLB record 307 home runs and drove in 108 runs while hitting .311 with an on-base-plus slugging percentage of 1.031.

Odorizzi has 10 days to decide his future with the Twins. He could accept Minnesota’s qualifying offer, negotiate a new contract or become a free agent. Odorizzi finished 15-7 in 30 starts with a 3.51 earned run average and 178 strikeouts in 159 innings pitched as the Twins’ No. 2 starter behind Jose Berrios.

Perez finished 10-7 with a 5.12 ERA in 29 starts for the Twins.

The Twins also recently out-righted relief pitcher Sam Dyson, who they acquired from the San Francisco Giants before the trade deadline. Dyson made 12 appearances for the Twins while struggling with injuries, and ultimately having season-ending surgery.