Twins clear spot for top pick in Rule 5 Draft

Club non-tenders Landa; Escobar, 4 others headed to arbitration

Twins clear spot for top pick in Rule 5 Draft

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins tendered contracts to all five of their arbitration-eligible players before Friday's deadline, but they cleared a spot on their 40-man roster ahead of next week's Winter Meetings by non-tendering Minor League right-hander Yorman Landa.

Beginning Monday, MLB.com and MLB Network will have wall-to-wall coverage of the 2016 Winter Meetings from the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center outside Washington, D.C. Fans can watch live streaming of all news conferences and manager availability on MLB.com, including the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday at 9 a.m. ET. The Twins have the No. 1 pick.

Hot Stove Tracker

Of their arbitration-eligible players, the Twins tendered contracts to shortstop Eduardo Escobar, left-hander Hector Santiago, and right-handers Kyle Gibson, Brandon Kintzler and Ryan Pressly. Escobar also reportedly agreed to sign a one-year deal worth $2.6 million to avoid arbitration, but the club has not confirmed.

Escobar, 27, is coming off a disappointing season that saw him lose his starting job to Eduardo Nunez and later to rookie Jorge Polanco, but his return gives the Twins much-needed middle-infield depth, and he can also play the outfield corners.

Escobar, 27, hit .236/.280/.338 with six homers, 14 doubles and 37 RBIs in 105 games last season, but he was a much more productive hitter than he was in 2014 and '15. Escobar, who is one of the most popular players in the clubhouse, is a career .253/.298/.381 hitter in six big league seasons with the White Sox and Twins.

Landa, 22, is a hard-thrower who posted a 3.24 ERA in 31 appearances for Class A Fort Myers last season, but he dealt with shoulder issues that ended his season in late July.

The Twins outrighted arbitration-eligible players Trevor Plouffe and Tommy Milone earlier in the week. They're both free agents.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.