Twins General Manager Terry Ryan ran down some of the biggest issues facing the club in an interview this morning on 1500 ESPN, and Phil Mackey has the goods.
- Ryan said that the club will target the "affordable" free agent starting pitching, but also acknowledged that he will look at the bigger names on the open market as well. "We've got to have interest in those types of guys. Whether the years and dollars equate to what we're trying to do is another story," said the GM. Zack Greinke and Ryan Dempster will be out there along with Jake Peavy and Dan Haren if their options are declined. Mackey later tweeted that he didn't think the Twins would go after that caliber of pitcher but would instead pursue the Joe Blanton-type guys.
- The GM would also like to bolster the bullpen this winter and said that he will look at every avenue to improve the club's pitching. Mackey notes that the Twins could trade from their surpluses at first base and in the outfield with Justin Morneau, Chris Parmelee, Denard Span, Ben Revere, Josh Willingham, and Ryan Doumit in the mix for playing time.
- While Paul Molitor has made his interest in a coaching job known, Ryan reiterated that the Hall of Famer isn't a good fit for the team right now. Triple-A staffers Bobby Cuellar, Tom Brunansky, and Gene Glynn look to be the leading candidates to fill the coaching vacancies.
- Ryan said the Twins have looked at how the Nationals handled Stephen Strasburg in determining their approach with Kyle Gibson, the club's top pitching prospect. "I think we'll probably ease it in as we go into April and May, then hopefully we'll have him available for how we want to use him in June, July and August," Ryan said. "I certainly don't want to hurt Gibson, so we've got to monitor him closely." Gibson, who appeared in 13 minor league games this season after undergoing Tommy John surgery last November, made his Arizona Fall League debut Thursday with five shutout innings, eight strikeout, and no walks.
Edward Creech contributed to this post.