Thanks to Jan at the DTFC Twins Forums
, the answer to my mysterious question has been solved. Jan pointed out that when Mike Smith was sent back to the minors, he was not optioned, as was reported on the Twins website and on ESPN
(scroll down to see the specific transaction), but rather "outrighted to the minors." This means that the player is removed from the 40-man roster immediately, but is still paid according to the terms of their guaranteed contract (thanks wikipedia
). This can only be done once in the players career.
So, despite what the Twins website says at the moment about Mike Smith being on the 40-man roster, he is not. The Twins roster sits at 40 (as I was told yesterday), and there are no pending moves. Hopefully the Twins update the website to reflect this fact.