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Twins re-sign Rodriguez, let Eyre go

Twins re-sign Rodriguez, let Eyre go

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins did not offer contracts for the 2007 season to pitcher Willie Eyre and infielder Luis Rodriguez before Tuesday's 11 p.m. CT deadline, making both players non-tendered free agents.

Last year, the Twins also non-tendered Rodriguez as a paper move, but quickly re-signed him. The same thing occurred this year as Rodriguez agreed to terms on a new Major League contract with the club on Wednesday. Eyre, however, has chosen to test the free-agent market.

Neither Rodriguez nor Eyre had the required three years service time to be eligible for salary arbitration, so the move not to tender a contract to Eyre came as a bit of a surprise.

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Eyre, 28, spent the entire regular season in a long relief role for the Twins. He went 1-0 with a 5.31 ERA in 42 appearances (59 1/3 innings) in his first year in the Majors, but was left off the Twins' playoff roster.

Even if the Twins lose Eyre, it would clear a spot on the Twins' 40-man roster that could help with future moves.

There were quite a few players made non-tenders around the league, and for the Twins, who remain in search of at least one starting pitching, Tuesday's non-tenders may have provided a couple of intriguing options. Seattle cut loose right-hander Joel Pineiro, whose ERA has risen over the past few years but still has quality stuff, and the Mets didn't offer a contract to right-hander Victor Zambrano, who has been a solid starter for most of his career when healthy.

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

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