Quick Hits: Hunter, Garza, Padres, Betemit

The Twins pounded out 20 hits en route to a 10-9 victory over the Angels today at Target Field.  Josh Willingham hit his third homer in as many games for Minnesota, and Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau also went yard — the first time the duo have homered in the same game since July 6, 2010.

Here are some notes from around the majors…

  • Torii Hunter hasn't had any discussion with the Angels about a contract extension but understands why, he tells Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register.  "I don't want to bother those guys," Hunter said. "They've had so much going on. I definitely feel no rush. It'd be nice (to get an extension offer) but if not, I understand….They have other guys like (Erick) Aybar they need to lock up. Plus they've got (Mike) Trout lying in the weeds."  Hunter is a free agent after this season and will be 37 on Opening Day 2013.  He said he wants to return the Angels, but if not, he wants to play for another contending team.
  • Nez Balelo, Matt Garza's agent, is scheduled to be in Chicago during the Cubs' homestand, reports Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.  Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said that a potential long-term deal with Garza is the sort of "big-picture issue" that can't be measured by how Garza performs early this season or even throughout 2012.
  • Separate ownership groups led by agents Dennis Gilbert and Arn Tellem could be interested in buying the Padres, reports Dan Hayes of the North County Times.  A source tells Hayes that any potential buyer could bring a Padres legend like Tony Gwynn, Dave Winfield or Steve Garvey to serve as the public face of the ownership group.  Garvey is known to already be fronting a group that is interested in the Padres after falling short in a bid to buy the Dodgers.
  • White Sox GM Kenny Williams discusses new manager Robin Ventura, several players and his expectations for the team as a whole for 2012 in a Q&A with the team's TV crew (transcribed on MLB.com).
  • The well-traveled Wilson Betemit is playing for his seventh team in 10 years but is only focused on helping the Orioles, writes Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun.
  • Andre Ethier is very focused on playing well in 2012 and putting himself in line for a big contract either with the Dodgers or with another club when he hits free agency this winter, sources tell ESPN Los Angeles' Tony Jackson.

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