The Twins offered Mike Napoli more money than he ultimately accepted from the Rangers, reports FOX’s Ken Rosenthal, as new execs Derek Falvey and Thad Levine valued his on-field productivity and his clubhouse presence. Both Falvey and Levine know Napoli well from his time with the Indians and Rangers, and the new Twins duo is emphasizing not only on-field production but off-the-field value in all of their decisions. “Talent is an aspect of any decision we make,” Falvey told Rosenthal. “But there is an element of clubhouse chemistry that also plays a role in organization-building. We’re going to talk about leadership, makeup and how guys fit in our clubhouse along with how we feel they will perform.”
More from Minnesota:
- 1500 ESPN’s Darren Wolfson noted in his most recent podcast (audio link, Twins talk around 10:10 mark) that the Twins got the sense they’d have had to blow the Rangers’ offer out of the water to convince Napoli to sign in Minnesota — perhaps a two-year offer worth nearly $10MM annually — as the veteran slugger was prioritizing contending clubs in free agency. It’s certainly understandable that the organization wasn’t willing to make quite so significant a commitment.
- Missing on Napoli has left the Twins looking for alternatives, as Jon Heyman of Fan Rag reports on Twitter. Lefty slugger Pedro Alvarez is one player who has received at least internal considerations; as Heyman notes, there are a variety of other possibilities also still available via free agency. Most of the better remaining bats are left-handed hitters — including, most prominently, Alvarez, Adam Lind, Justin Morneau, and Ryan Howard — whereas Napoli hits from the right side, but it seems that the organization does not have a strong preference in that regard. Presumptive first baseman Joe Mauer is a lefty bat, but top DH option Kennys Vargas is a switch-hitter who has performed better in the majors when facing southpaws. (Byung Ho Park represents another righty option, if he can earn his way back into 40-man consideration.)
- Mound work will have to wait for lefty Glen Perkins, as LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports. The former closer “felt a familiar catch behind his left shoulder,” per the report, which caused him to delay a planned throwing session today. Though Neal notes on Twitter that it wasn’t considered a setback, it seems that Perkins will need to continue building his arm strength before he’s ready to advance in his progression. The veteran reliever is attempting to make it back from labrum surgery, with hopes he’ll be capable of returning to major league action relatively early in the 2017 season.