4:46pm: Steve Gilbert of MLB.com talked to D’Backs GM Josh Byrnes. Byrnes is in regular contract with Cruz’s agent Barry Praver, but has nothing new to report and is not talking to any teams about Cruz.
3:47pm: MLB.com’s Kelly Theiser reports that the Twins have not even extended a formal offer to Cruz. She agrees with Neal that Twins fans should not expect a Cruz acquisition, though they definitely are interested.
SUNDAY, 1:27pm: Neal is back with another update, though not a pleasant one for Twins fans. Neal writes that the reports saying the Twins are "closing in on a deal" are not true. The trade, may in fact, be very difficult to pull off:
"It’s going to be hard enough to agree to terms with the agent. Getting the Diamondbacks to agree on a trade might be even tougher. Things could always change but, for now, there’s little reason to feel optimistic that the Twins can land Cruz."
SATURDAY: Bob McManaman of The Arizona Republic reports that the Diamondbacks are "closing in on a likely sign-and-trade deal" with the Twins for Juan Cruz. He adds that "various reports expected the deal to be completed by Saturday."
FRIDAY: According to La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the Twins made an offer to reliever Juan Cruz tonight as part of a possible sign-and-trade with the Diamondbacks. If Cruz accepts the offer, Neal says the teams would then have 48 hours to work out a trade.
Cruz would represent a power arm for the back of Minnesota’s pen; his average heater was 94.3 mph in 2008. Cruz’s big-time strikeout stuff is accompanied by poor control, however.