Twins Hot Stove: Hunter, Nathan

It’ll be an interesting offseason for the Twins, who have a new GM and two coveted free agents in Torii Hunter and Carlos Silva.  Here’s the latest.

  • Charley Walters quotes Hunter as saying he hasn’t had any contract offers from the Twins since the end of the season.  In August, the Twins reportedly offered a three-year, $45MM contract to Hunter.  They’re apparently open to adding a fourth year, while Hunter would take 5/75 from the Twins.  There’s still a chance he’s re-signed, but Hunter says the chances decrease the longer the team waits.
  • According to Tom Powers, the Twins have contingency plans in place in the event they can’t sign Hunter or Silva.  The 2008 payroll is expected to increase.  It stood at $71.4MM on Opening Day ’07.  They’ll need to spend at least $4MM extra just from current escalating contracts.  Also in Powers’ article, GM Bill Smith notes the team’s continued focus on left-handed hitters who can use a short right field to their advantage.
  • Joe Nathan’s $6MM option for ’08 will be picked up, a no-brainer if there ever was one.  Nathan and the Twins will discuss a contract extension as well.

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