Twins Notes: Mauer, Crede, Duensing's Kelly Thesier fielded questions from Twins fans in her mailbag today.  Here are some of the more noteworthy tidbits:

  • While the Twins may raise their payroll to about $85-90MM, most of that increase will go towards retaining their own players and, potentially, an extension for Joe Mauer.  Thesier says that as a result, it is not likely to be a busy offseason for the team in terms of acquisitions.  However, the team still may have enough space to add an infielder or starting pitcher.
  • With that in mind, it is "very unlikely" that the Twins will pursue free agent Chone Figgins.  The 31-year-old could possibly receive a deal worth $50MM over five years, which is more than the Twins are willing to spend.  Figgins projects as a Type B free agent.
  • It is unlikely that the club re-signs Joe Crede, who says his recovery from back surgery is going well.  Third baseman Danny Valencia is close to being ready for the majors, making Crede's return less than probable.  There is a "small chance" that Crede – who hit .225/.289/.414 with 15 HRs in '09 – could return if he comes at a bargain price.
  • Brian Duensing will "more than likely" be a member of Minnesota's rotation in 2010, unless the team signs two starters on the open market.  The 26-year-old recorded an ERA of 5.17 in 15 relief appearances but found more success as a starter, posting a 2.73 ERA in nine games.  Scott Baker, Nick Blackburn and Kevin Slowey "appear to be locks" in the starting five.
  • For more on what lies ahead for the club, take a look at our Twins Offseason Outlook.

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