It was on this day in 2002 that the Twins released an oft-injured, underachieving first baseman by the name of David Ortiz. The Red Sox signed Ortiz a month later and "Big Papi" went on to lead Boston to two World Series titles. This isn't exactly the best memory for Minnesota fans to look back upon, so let's instead focus on these Twin-related news items…
- Josh Willingham's two preferences were to play for the Twins and Reds, agent Matt Sosnick tells Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune (Twitter link).
- The Twins's three-year, $21MM deal with Willingham saves the team some money from the three-year, $24MM contract they offered Michael Cuddyer. ESPN's Jerry Crasnick tweets that the Twins plan to put those savings towards finding pitching help.
- Assistant GM Rob Antony tells Phil Mackey of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities radio that the Twins want to add a starting pitcher. "I would say the door is still open for Jason Kubel, but pitching is a priority," Antony said, adding that Kubel would have to lower his salary demands to work out a return to Minnesota. (Both links are two Mackey's Twitter account.) We heard earlier today that the Twins had increased their efforts to sign Kubel to a new contract.
- Fangraphs' Jack Moore doesn't think the Twins should re-sign Kubel, arguing that the compensatory draft pick the Twins would receive if Kubel (a Type B free agent) signed elsewhere brings more value to the club.