Minnesota Twins Rumors
10:33am: The Twins are "working hard" to add one more starting pitcher to the club after signing Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Bronson Arroyo and Mike Pelfrey are definitely among the names the Twins are pursuing. Earlier this morning, La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune tweeted that while some teams and agents are packing up and heading home, Twins GM Terry Ryan isn't leaving Orlando yet. Said Ryan, "I'm open for business."
Minnesota has also been linked to Matt Garza recently, though it's unclear how serious their interest is, as the Angels and Diamondbacks are said to be the favorites in that race. The Twins know his asking price, however, and they know Garza himself better than many of his suitors. Minnesota drafted Garza in the first round of the 2005 draft but traded him in 2007.
Matt Garza's name has begun to pick up a bit more this week, with the Diamondbacks and Twins both having been linked to the right-hander. Here's the latest on Garza...
- Per MLB.com's Steve Gilbert, D-Backs GM Kevin Towers attempted to throw cold water on the idea that his club is the frontrunner for Garza. "I don't think so, no," Towers said. "I wouldn't say that we're that close on anything right now at this point in time on the free-agent front."
- There's a growing feeling among executives that Garza will sign soon, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, who tweets that the D-Backs and Angels are viewed as the favorites.
- According to Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register (Twitter link), however, the Angels aren't expecting to sign anyone today, so it doesn't appear Garza is close to signing with them.
- If Garza agrees to a deal by week's end, it doesn't look like it'll happen at the Winter Meetings. Garza's agent has left Orlando, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities, who tweets that the Twins "know the price" for the righty.
- Heyman also mentions the Twins and adds the Angels to the mix of teams interested in Garza (via Twitter), noting that there's still nothing close.
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick also hears that the Angels are in the mix for Garza, noting that despite a sizable asking price, the lack of draft pick compensation attached to Garza is a plus for the Halos and other interested parties (Twitter links).
- Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweets that the Diamondbacks are definitely talking to Garza, but they still have a lot of work to do.
- ESPN's Jayson Stark hears that Matt Garza's camp is telling interested parties that he could sign within the next 24 to 48 hours (Twitter link). There's been a lot of Diamondbacks buzz, Stark adds.
Zach Links contributed to this post.
Most agents and executives will be flying out of Orlando today, but that doesn't mean there's not still time for teams and players to strike a few deals. Here are the latest American League updates from the 2013 Winter Meetings:
- The Twins are making progress in talks with free agent starter Mike Pelfrey, reports La Velle Neal III of the Star Tribune. The Twins and agent Scott Boras have met since the team offered a two-year, $10MM deal, and appear to closing the gap, though GM Terry Ryan is in no rush to finalize an agreement today.
- Dan Duquette and the Orioles have done "a lot of work" to prepare for the Rule 5 draft, and are very likely to select a player later this morning, as Roch Kubatko of MASNsports details.
- The Yankees have several needs on their roster that Brian Cashman is ready to address, but he's dealing with a thin pitching market and still determining which of the team's targets are attainable, writes Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger. "I'd rather go the easier route, and pull something down and everybody's like 'That's a good move!'" Cashman said. "I don't know if that's going to happen. I might have to go the harder, longer route. But we'll see."
- As various reports continue to link the Royals to Omar Infante, the team continues to sing Emilio Bonifacio's praises. GM Dayton Moore indicated Wednesday that the club is "very pleased" with Bonifacio at second base, according to MLB.com's Dick Kaegel.
As Day Three of the Winter Meetings in Orlando comes to a close, plenty of free agents are still seeking new teams. Here are the latest updates on a few of them:
- Rockies people tell Troy Renck of the Denver Post (Twitter link) that nothing has changed with Nelson Cruz. There's interest in the free agent outfielder, but it's not being characterized as serious at this point.
- The Mariners have been ardent Cruz pursuers from the start of the winter, and one baseball source tells Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com they'll continue to be in the mix for him even after adding Robinson Cano, Corey Hart, and Logan Morrison.
- Teams believe reliever Joaquin Benoit's likeliest destinations are the Indians, Padres, Mariners, Cubs, or Yankees, tweets Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports.
- Agent Scott Boras says client Jose Valverde, who turns 36 in March, intends to continue his big league career and has drawn interest from two big league teams, writes James Schmehl of MLive.com. The Tigers released their former closer in August after his Triple-A reboot didn't go as well as he hoped.
- Earlier in the evening, assistant GM Bobby Evans expressed optimism that San Francisco would find a left fielder by trade or free agency by the day's end, with Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com naming Franklin Gutierrez as a candidate. However, the Giants no longer expect resolution on their left field situation tonight, says Baggarly (via Twitter). The CSN Bay Area scribe also takes a more in-depth look at some of the club's options.
- Catcher Kurt Suzuki is talking with the Rockies, Cubs, and Twins, tweets Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Zach Links contributed to this post.
Since being ruled ineligible due to providing a false birthdate over the summer, Cuban shortstop prospect Aledmys Diaz has interest from a list of teams including the Braves, Cardinals, Dodgers, Giants, Orioles, Rays, Red Sox, and Yankees, agent Jamie Torres tells Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com. "There are some very good players out right now and more are coming," Torres said. "Let's put it this way: I can predict that a few of the Cuban players that sign between now and Spring Training are going to contribute in the big leagues in the 2014 season and their contribution is going to be significant." More from around baseball..
- Omar Infante has been looking for a four-year deal and is drawing some interest from clubs who see him as a left fielder or third baseman, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Yesterday it was reported that Infante is seeking a deal with an $8MM+ average annual value.
- Some agents and teams are convinced that the three-year, $30MM deal the Astros gave free agent pitcher Scott Feldman has been a wrench in talks for others since agents feel obligated to also shoot for that type of "lottery ticket" contract, tweets Buster Olney of ESPN.com.
- Free agent Raul Ibanez is considering offers from multiple contenders, according to Jayson Stark of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Earlier today, Stark reported that Ibanez could be headed to the Angels.
- Mets GM Sandy Alderson says he'll hold on to Ike Davis if no one comes to the table with a strong enough offer, writes Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. "Let me emphasize one thing: We're not in the business of giving players away," Alderson said. "We don't expect to get in that business."
- The Tigers are in on Ervin Santana, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (via Twitter). The Twins, meanwhile, aren't in the mix because of the draft pick compensation tied to him.
- Agent Scott Boras says he would talk to Orioles owner Peter Angelos about extensions for Matt Wieters and Chris Davis, writes CSNBaltimore.com's Rich Dubroff.
- The Twins continue to talk to free agent pitcher Mike Pelfrey, a source tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link). It's unclear whether a deal with Pelfrey would preclude a signing of fellow free agent hurler Bronson Arroyo, but MInnesota has flexibility.
- One GM tells Peter Gammons of Gammons Daily (Twitter link) that he can't see Kendrys Morales signing until after the draft.
- White Sox General Manager Rick Hahn says his team still has several potential options ahead less than 24 hours after acquiring center fielder Adam Eaton from the Diamondbacks in a three-team deal, writes Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com. One rival exec believes the White Sox would like to trade outfielder Dayan Viciedo, who is now part of a crowded house with the addition of Eaton. Another baseball source said the White Sox have looked into the possibility of trading away second baseman Gordon Beckham.
- The free agent market for second basemen seems to be impacted by the availability of Howie Kendrick, Brandon Phillips, and others, tweets Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.
Eight teams have expressed interest in left-hander Johan Santana, reports Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York. The Yankees, Mets, Twins, Rays, Orioles, Royals, Brewers and Pirates have all expressed varying levels of interest. Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review tweets that the Pirates have requested his medical records today and plan to meet with agent Peter Greenberg this afternoon.
According to Marchand, Santana and Greenberg are willing to accept an offer in the near future if a team is able to separate itself from the pack, but if not, Santana will throw in January in a showcase for interested teams. Shoulder problems have forced Santana to sit out two of the past three seasons.
WEDNESDAY: Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets that there's a sense that Arroyo could be signed by the end of the Winter Meetings, and the expectation is that he will land a deal in the three-year, $36MM range. The Twins, Reds and a few others remain in the mix for Arroyo, he adds.
3:28pm: Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review hears that the Pirates are probably out on Arroyo (Twitter link).
2:46pm: GM Walt Jocketty told reporters, including C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer, that he met with Arroyo's agent, Terry Bross, around 2:00pm today (Twitter link).
TUESDAY, 1:40pm: Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN hears the Mets and Reds are also making pushes for Arroyo (Twitter link). The Twins have yet to make a formal offer, he adds.
Despite already having added Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes to their 2014 rotation, the Twins don't appear to be content with their starting five. They've been connected to Arroyo on and off throughout the offseason to date, with a guaranteed third year seen as a potential sticking point. Arroyo is also said to be of interest to the Pirates and the Phillies, as the right-hander himself recently told MLB.com's Mark Sheldon (Twitter link).
Arroyo, who will be 37 in February, posted a 3.79 ERA with 5.5 K/9, 1.5 BB/9 and a 44.4 percent ground-ball rate in 202 innings this past season. With the exception of a 199-inning campaign in 2011, he has pitched at least 200 innings each season dating back to 2005. It's worth noting that former Reds GM Wayne Krivsky is currently a special assistant to Twins GM Terry Ryan.
Minnesota has been uncharacteristically aggressive on the free agent market, already landing Ricky Nolasco (four years, $49MM) and Phil Hughes (three years, $24MM) to shore up a rotation that posted an MLB-worst 5.26 ERA and 4.9 K/9 in 2013. Previous reports have indicated that despite being shipped off by the Twins years ago in a trade for Delmon Young, Garza would be open to returning to the team that drafted him.
The Twins' interest in Arroyo has been ongoing, and they're currently in the mix for the veteran innings eater along with the Reds and Mets. The Pirates are said to have dropped out of the Arroyo market, but the Reds could be preparing an offer. We've also heard of their interest in a reunion with Pelfrey a number of times, and they've reportedly extended an offer in the two-year, $10MM range that Pelfrey and agent Scott Boras have declined.
Minnesota's connection to Colon is new and would seem to be a dificult fit, as the aging Colon likely would prefer to sign with a team that's more likely to contend in 2013. However, the Twins could try to sell Colon on the fact that his addition would give them a fairly competitive rotation, or they could guarantee Colon a second year if other teams are reluctant to do so.
Things are starting to heat up again on Day Three of the Winter Meetings, so let's dive right in and round up a few early morning notes on a handful of starting pitchers....
- The Diamondbacks are targeting front-line starters, as we heard yesterday, and Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports (via Twitter) that, besides Masahiro Tanaka, Matt Garza is the team's top choice due to the lack of draft pick compensation.
- Bartolo Colon and agent Adam Katz continue to focus on a two-year deal rather than a one-year pact, tweets ESPN.com's Buster Olney. This isn't the first time we've heard about the righty's desire for a multiyear contract -- the deals for Scott Kazmir and Tim Hudson have recently been cited as possible comparables for Colon.
- La Velle E. Neal III of The Star Tribune has a few updates on the Twins' search for starting pitching, including word that the club could be in on Garza and, if he becomes available, Tanaka. Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities cautions (via Twitter) that there are no real developments on the Garza front, and that the Twins have spoken to agent multiple times and are familiar with his asking price.
- Jerome Williams represents a solid buy-low candidate, and is expected to top his projected $4MM arbitration salary on the open market, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
- MLBTR's Tim Dierkes hears that as many as eight to 10 teams have checked in on Williams in the past 48 hours (Twitter link).
Acknowledging that he'd listen to offers for anyone and everyone on his roster in the right scenario, Indians GM Chris Antonetti suggested it'd be difficult to move Justin Masterson, as Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer details. Antonetti declined to comment on the possibility of offering Masterson an extension, but added, "What I can say is how much we appreciate the contributions that Justin has made to our organization and we’d love for him to be an Indian long term."
Here are a few more overnight links from around MLB:
- If Bronson Arroyo decides he wants to be in Minnesota, he'd be the Twins' top choice of their potential starting pitching targets, says Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (via Twitter).
- The Rockies have expressed interest in free agent reliever Ryan Madson, but remain more likely to trade for a bullpen arm than sign one, tweets Troy Renck of the Denver Post.
- After missing most of last season, Brett Myers is healthy and is seeking a job this winter, tweets Jayson Stark of ESPN.com.
- The Diamondbacks' acquisition of Mark Trumbo is the latest example of how the team operates, writes Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. As Piecoro points out, Arizona generally doesn't care about getting what the industry would consider "full value" for their trade chips.
- The uncertainty surrounding Masahiro Tanaka continues to slow the pace of negotiations for the top starting pitchers already on the market, tweets Berardino.
- A Monday report suggested another NPB starter, Kenta Maeda, could play for an MLB team as soon as 2015, but the latest word on Maeda indicates the right-hander might even be posted this winter. Ben Badler of Baseball America has the details.
- Badler also writes that changes are coming to the limits on international spending in 2014, with MLB teams set to lose up to $300K in signing money that had previously been exempt from bonus pools.