The Twins have released infielder Steven Tolleson from the 40-man roster this afternoon, making room for the addition of Jim Thome. Tolleson was the 37th ranked player on my 2010 prospect list. Here's what I said of him:
The Twins drafted Steven Tolleson in the fifth round of the 2005 draft. After what many considered to be a "breakout" year in 2008, Tolleson had high expectations heading into 2009.
He battled injuries in spring training, and Rochester's infield was already crowded to begin with. So as a result, Tolleson began the season with Double-A New Britain. After 38 games with the Rock Cats, Tolleson moved up to Triple-A Rochester where he hit .270/.338/.375 through 92 games.
He's a career .276/.368/.400 hitter in 1,800+ professional at bats. His defense is below average and he's not a great runner. Tolleson doesn't do any one thing great, but he should be a serviceable utility player.
This move is not surprising. At 26-years-old, Tolleson never really established himself in a way for the Twins to conceivably add him to the 25-man roster. Thankfully, Tolleson quickly found a new home, as he was claimed by the Oakland Athletics shortly after being released.