February 2010

Twins will be a regular on FOX this season

FOX has announced the regional schedule of its Saturday games for the 2010 season and they are slated to run nine Twins games, the maximum number of appearances for any team.

The Twins are one of four teams to make the maximum number of appearances. The Phillies, the Mariners and the Braves will also be featured nine times. The Yankees will have eight of their games on MLB on FOX, as will the Red Sox, Cubs, Mets and Cardinals.

Here are the nine Twins games that FOX is scheduled to televise:

  • May 29 vs. Rangers
  • June 19 at Phillies
  • July 3 vs. Rays
  • July 10 at Tigers
  • July 24 at Orioles
  • July 31 vs. Mariners
  • Aug. 21 vs. Angels
  • Aug. 28 at Mariners
  • Sept. 4 vs. Rangers

The final two Saturdays of the regular season are designated as “wild
card” dates, allowing FOX Sports to choose up to three games of
significance on each of those days.

No deal in place yet for Mauer

There has been a lot of speculation in recent days that the Twins will soon sign catcher Joe Mauer to a contract extension.

But so far there is no deal in place.

A source familiar with the negotiations denied a report by WCCO-TV that Mauer and the Twins have reached preliminary agreement on a 10-year contract.

While no deal is currently in place, negotiations on a contract extension have been ongoing between Mauer’s agent,
Ron Shapiro, and the Twins. But the two sides have been reluctant to discuss any details of
the situation publicly.

The idea of a 10-year deal for the catcher does not seem out of reason based on the catcher’s career so far. Mauer, who will turn 27 on April 19, has already won thee batting titles, two Gold Gloves and the 2009 American League MVP Award. He is set to make $12.5 million this season, the final year of a
four-year, $33 million deal.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said on Friday he hasn’t gotten involved in the negotiations concerning Mauer, but he’s optimistic that the club will ink the St. Paul native to a contract
extension. His belief is that something will get done before the team
reports for Spring Training.

“I don’t sit and fret about it,” Gardenhire said. “I think the
right thing is going to happen. I think we all know the ramifications
if something weren’t to happen and it were to go the other way. That
wouldn’t be a good thing for anybody, except for maybe some clubs out

“I think everybody knows what needs to get done here. From our
owners to our general manager to our fan base, we all know what
everybody wants. It is right out there for us … and I think they’ll
make it happen.”

On Friday, Mauer said he hopes his contract
situation doesn’t become a distraction for the team. Pitchers and catchers will report to Fort Myers, Fla. on Sunday, Feb. 21 for the start of Spring Training.

A’s claim INF Steven Tolleson off waivers

The A’s announced today that they had claimed infielder Steve Tolleson off waivers from the Twins.

Twins general manager Bill Smith confirmed Monday that the club put Tolleson on waivers to make room on the 40-man roster for Jim Thome but he said that there wouldn’t be any other news to announce just yet. The Twins are waiting to finalize Thome’s one-year, $1.5 million contract, which includes incentives, until they get all of the results from his physical this weekend, although there is not expected to be any problems.

Tolleson, 26, batted a combined .266 with 27 doubles, eight home runs and 40 RBIs between Double-A New Britain and Triple-A Rochester last year.He was a fifth round pick of the Twins in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft.

“We’re sorry to lose him,” Smith said. “But it’s a good opportunity for him to stay on a Major League roster.”