Astudillo clears release waivers, will head to baseball’s open market

Willians Astudillo is officially a free agent.

The former Twins utility player cleared release waivers Wednesday and will now head to the open market.

Astudillo posted this on Instagram (@williansastudillo):

“Today is a sad day for me as I have officially been released by the Twins. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t dissapointed at the lack of more opportunity at the end of the ’21 season and my tenure there ending this way. But there are no hard feelings. They are doing what’s best for their club and that is business. On the contrary, I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to wear the Twins uniform these past years. It was an honor. I take with me many wonderful memories and friendships. I hope that I was also able to give you guys moments of joy. Hope I was able to make you smile. So remember me, Minnesota. Whether it be hitting, pitching or running around the bases (demonstrating that chubby guys can run too), but remember me with a smile. Love you guys. Tortuga, out.”

Lefthanded pitcher Charlie Barnes cleared outright waivers and was assigned to the St. Paul Saints.

Astudillo, whose “La Tortuga” personality made him one of the most popular Twins players for four seasons, was designated for assignment Friday as the Twins cleared space on their roster for six minor league prospects.

The 30-year-old Venezuelan played 167 games over four seasons with the…

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