The latest Twins rumors, courtesy of ESPN 1500's Phil Mackey…
- Joe Nathan's top priority is to pitch for a winning team next year, preferably as the closer. Last week Nathan's agent said his client seeks a closing job. "Money won't be the driving force" for Nathan, writes Mackey. Mackey says Nathan has strong interest in returning to the Twins, who definitely have openings at the back end of their bullpen.
- Mackey hears that Michael Cuddyer will "listen attentively to all interested parties," even if the Twins make the best offer. The Twins maintain interest in Jason Kubel as well. At the least, I expect they'll offer arbitration to both of them later this month.
- Mackey's hunch says to keep an eye on Clint Barmes, Kelly Shoppach, and Ryan Doumit as potential free agent targets. I ranked Barmes 35th among free agents on Monday, predicting the Twins as his new team. Make your picks for Barmes and 49 other free agents by Sunday night for the chance to win cash and baseball-related prizes and bragging rights. Over 3,000 people have entered so far.
- There's a very good chance the Twins will non-tender righty Kevin Slowey, wrote MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger on Monday.
- The Twins' 2012 payroll is expected to decrease slightly, leaving $20-25MM to spend, wrote Bollinger on Saturday.
- View MLBTR's projected salaries for Slowey and the Twins' other four arbitration eligibles here, and read Ben Nicholson-Smith's offseason outlook for the team here.