Results tagged ‘ Twins ’

Pavano, agent meet with the Twins

By: Kelly Thesier/

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The Twins met with Carl Pavano and his agent, Tom O’Connell, on Tuesday afternoon during the second day of the Winter Meetings at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort. 

Pavano traveled from West Palm Beach to the Winter Meetings to meet with a total of four teams. O’Connell said that the meeting with the Twins was productive but that there is no hurry for his client to get a deal completed with any team.

“We’re being very methodical about this and we’re going to take our time,” O’Connell said. “We’re going to evaluate every opportunity before we make a decision.”

There has been mutual interest between the Twins and Pavano, and Twins general manager Bill Smith told reporters on Monday that he believes it’s still a possibility that Pavano could return to the club.

The Twins seem unlikely to join in a high bidding war for Pavano, who is believed to be seeking a three-year deal. But Smith indicated there are other reasons to think that the starter could possibly end up back in Minnesota.

“Players who have made lots of money in this game I think have maybe different priorities than younger players who may be getting the first crack at [free agency],” Smith said. “Where they play, the manager, the coaches, the teammates, the facilities, the living conditions, the travel, the fans, a winning atmosphere — I  think there are a lot of factors that go though [a player’s mind] and I think veteran players weigh them differently than young players.”

Smith added, “I know that Carl Pavano loves playing in Minnesota. He’s enjoyed it over the last year and a half, and I think that’s a factor for him.”

Nishioka’s agent to meet with Twins today

By: Kelly Thesier/

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The Twins were scheduled to meet today with Rick Thurman, the agent for Japanese infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka.

The Twins have been in contact with Thurman since it was announced they had posted the winning bid for Nishioka’s exclusive negotiating rights on Nov. 26. Twins general manager Bill Smith said last week that the two sides would likely talk again this week as they try to make progress on a contract. The club has until Dec. 26 to work out a deal for the switch-hitting infielder or they will have their approximately $5 million posting fee given back to them.

Indications are that Nishioka is seeking a three-year deal. So far the expectation has been that the Twins will get a deal worked out with Nishioka before the Dec. 26 deadline. But the club could try to get something done well before that date if they are serious about trading shortstop J.J. Hardy in the near future. A number of teams are reportedly interested in Hardy, but it seems unlikely that the club would move the shortstop before they are certain that they’ll get a deal done with Nishioka.

Welcome to the Winter Meetings

By: Kelly Thesier/

The Winter Meetings have gotten underway here at the Dolphin and Swan Hotel in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

There has already been some movement with the news yesterday of Jayson Werth’s seven-year, $126 million deal with the Nationals and the Red Sox this morning announcing their trade for Adrian Gonzalez.There is also some buzz this morning about a possible trade between the Orioles and Diamondbacks for Mark Reynolds.

As for the Twins, the team has plenty of needs to address this week although it remains to be seen how much the club will get done. Traditionally the Twins have been quiet during these meetings and have used this time to lay the groundwork for future deals. But that could always change. It was quiet in the lobby regarding the Twins last night since the team had organizational meetings to kick off the week, but today things should really get started.

The Twins are expected to meet with Tsuyoshi Nishioka’s agent, Rick Thurman, of the Beverly Hill Sports Council today. All of the expectations have been that the club will be able to get a deal done with the switch-hitting Japanese middle infielder. It’s a deal that will likely be in the three-year range.

J.J. Hardy’s future is also a big question mark heading into this week with a number of teams reported to be interested in the shortstop. The Twins could listen to offers for Hardy, but until they can sign Nishioka, the club might deem it best to wait before moving the shortstop. It’s also possible that the Twins could keep Hardy and Nishioka. We’ll just have to see what transpires.

That’s about it for now. Carl Pavano’s agent, Tom O’Connell, was around the hotel lobby last night and should be a popular man this week with Pavano considered to be the best free agent starter on the market besides Cliff Lee. The Nationals have strong interest in Pavano, although the Twins have expressed that they would like to bring the veteran starter back as well.

Follow me on twitter @kellythesier and on the blog, as well as, for updates throughout the meetings.

Thome to play in 2011?

By: Kelly Thesier/

MINNEAPOLIS – It appears that Jim Thome is going to be back for his 21st season in the Majors.

Thome’s agent Pat Rooney told the Minneapolis Star Tribune on Thursday night that the 40-year-old slugger has “no intention of retiring” and that the Twins, in addition to some other teams, are in the mix for Thome’s services.

“We have been in contact with his agent and I’ve told him we are interested,” Twins general manager Bill Smith said on Friday morning.

After the Twins’  2010 season ended with a loss in Game 3 of the ALDS at Yankee Stadium, Thome told reporters that he was leaning toward returning for another year but he would go home, talk to his family and see how he felt before making a decision. And now it appears he’s ready to play at least one more season, perhaps more.

Smith has made it clear all offseason that the Twins would love to have
Thome back in Minnesota for the 2011 season.  The expectation is that
the Twins and Rooney will likely talk again next week at the Winter
Meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Thome is coming off a very productive season with the Twins after signing a one-year, $1.5 million, incentive-laden contract last January. The veteran slugger batted .283 with 25 home runs and 59 RBIs in 108 games for Minnesota. He also had a 1.039 OPS — his highest OPS since the 2002 season when he was with Cleveland (1.122).

The Twins loved the leadership that Thome provided in the clubhouse and the impact that he delivered on the field, particularly after Justin Morneau went down with a season-ending concussion on July 7. Thome has also expressed how much he enjoyed his time in Minnesota.

Currently, Thome sits eighth on the all-time home run list with 589 home runs and the Twins would love to see him pursue the 600 home run mark while wearing a Twins uniform. But with other teams in the mix and Thome coming off such a strong season, it remains to be seen if he’ll be playing in Minnesota next season.

So would the Twins pursue another big bat if Thome does end up signing elsewhere?

Smith has said that the club’s two primary goals this winter are addressing the middle infield and the bullpen. Last winter, the Twins were vocal about their desire to improve the depth on their bench and they did so by signing Thome. Now it’s a little more unclear if they’d search for another big bat if Thome doesn’t return.

“As we go though the winter, we’ll be looking to put the best team on the field possible,” Smith said. “We’ve got to solidify our middle infield and our bullpen because that is where we have the most players coming off the roster. So we have to fill those holes first and other than that, the rest is hypothetical. We’ll see what happens with Jim Thome and move forward.”

Twins avoid arbitration with Repko and Neshek

By: Kelly Thesier/

MINNEAPOLIS — The Twins have avoided arbitration with outfielder Jason Repko and right-hander Pat Neshek.

The club agreed to terms Thursday with Repko on a one-year, $600,000 contract and with Neshek on a one-year, $625,000 deal.

Repko and Neshek are two of the 10 arbitration-eligible players that the Twins had to decide whether to tender a contract to by 10:59 p.m. CT on Thursday night.

The Twins will likely tender contracts to the majority of their remaining arbitration-eligible players by the deadline, including shortstop J.J. Hardy.

Repko, who will turn 30 later this month, filled the role as the Twins’ fourth outfielder, playing all three outfield positions, after being called up to the Majors in June. He batted .228 with three home runs and nine RBIs in 58 games for the Twins.Last season, Repko earned $500,000 and he was primarily used as a defensive replacement late in games.

Neshek, 30, spent the majority of last season at Triple-A Rochester in what was his first year back following Tommy John surgery. He posted a 5.00 ERA in 11 relief appearances with the Twins (nine innings) and had a 3.89 ERA in 30 appearances for Rochester. His $625,000 for the 2011 season is the same amount that he made in 2010.

UPDATE: Twins tendered contracts to the remaining 26 players on their 40-man roster for the 2011 season, including Hardy. Clay Condrey, who had been thought to be a non-tender candidate, was actually outrighted off the roster a month ago and elected to become a free agent. The Twins now have seven remaining arbitration-eligible players: pitchers Matt Capps, Francisco Liriano, Glen Perkins and Kevin Slowey, outfielder Delmon Young and infielders Alexi Casilla and Hardy

Arbitration Deadline looms

By: Kelly Thesier/

UPDATE 10:55 p.m. CT: The MLBPA release has come out and only two free agents accepted arbitration — none of those were the three Twins who were offered. So it’s official – Pavano, Crain and Hudson all declined the Twins’ offer of arbitration.

UPDATE: Carl Pavano has declined the Twins offer of arbitration, as expected. Still waiting for official word on Jesse Crain and Orlando Hudson.

There likely won’t be an official announcement until 10:59 p.m. CT tonight whether or not Carl Pavano, Jesse Crain and Orlando Hudson will accept the Twins’ offer of arbitration.

The expectation has been that the three players would decline the offer of arbitration and all indications on Tuesday were that nothing had changed.

If all three players decline, as expected, then the Twins could receive a total of four draft picks for the 2011 First Year Player Draft. Pavano is a Type A free agent so if he signs with another club then the Twins would receive a first or second-round 2011 draft pick from the signing team, plus a supplemental round pick between the first and second round. Crain and Hudson are both Type B free agents and the Twins will receive a supplemental pick for each one if they leave.

The Twins can still try to re-sign those three players even if they decline arbitration.

Playoff bonus and a week lookahead

By: Kelly Thesier/

Happy belated Thanksgiving to everyone. Sorry for the lack of posts on the blog in the past few weeks. I spent most of that time using up vacation from this year but now I’m back on the beat and getting ready like the rest of the baseball world for next week’s Winter Meetings.

Before everyone gathers in Orlando, there will be plenty to look out for this week. Tuesday night at 10:59 p.m. CT is the deadline for free agents that were offered arbitration by their clubs to accept or decline it. Carl Pavano, Jesse Crain and Orlando Hudson are all expected to decline the Twins’ offer of arbitration, which means the Twins could get a total of four draft picks if all three sign with other clubs.

Thursday is the non-tender deadline, which is the date that clubs must tender 2011 contracts to all of their unsigned players that are still under team control. Shortstop J.J. Hardy has been mentioned as a possible non-tender candidate, although it seems more likely that the team will tender him and leave open the possibility of trading him.

One last thing, Major League Baseball announced the postseason shares this morning and the Twins got a nice reward for their playoff appearance.

The total share of players’ pool for the Twins was $1,647,064.93. That leaves the value of each
full share at $30,883.43. The Twins awarded 42 full shares, 10.17
partial shares and 16 cash awards.

From MLB, here is the full club-by-club breakdown:


San Francisco Giants (Share of Players’
Pool: $19,764,779.19; value of each full share: $317,631.29) – The
Giants awarded 50 full shares, 9.89 partial shares and 5 cash awards.


Texas Rangers (Share of Players’ Pool:
$13,176,519.46; value of each full share: $246,279.55) – The Rangers
awarded 44 full shares, 8 partial shares and 12 cash awards.


Philadelphia Phillies (Share
of Players’ Pool: $6,588,259.73; value of each full share: $123,140.50)
– The Phillies awarded 43 full shares, 10.42 partial shares and 1 cash

New York Yankees (Share of Players’ Pool: $6,588,259.73; value of
each full share: $110,302.97) – The Yankees awarded 43 full shares,
15.75 partial shares and 1 cash award.


Minnesota Twins (Share of Players’
Pool: $1,647,064.93; value of each full share: $30,883.43) – The Twins
awarded 42 full shares, 10.17 partial shares and 16 cash awards.

Atlanta Braves (Share of Players’ Pool: $1,647,064.93; value of each
full share: $29,510.57) – The Braves awarded 48 full shares, 7.03
partial shares and 35 cash awards.

Tampa Bay Rays (Share of Players’ Pool: $1,647,064.93; value of each
full share: $28,141.51) – The Rays awarded 45 full shares, 10.48 partial
shares and 20 cash awards.

Cincinnati Reds (Share of Players’ Pool: $1,647,064.93; value of each
full share: $26,910.27) – The Reds awarded 48 full shares, 10.01
partial shares and 20 cash awards.


Chicago White Sox
(Share of Players’ Pool: $549,021.64; value of each full share:
$10,885.57) – The White Sox awarded 43 full shares, 6.33 partial shares
and 9 cash awards.

San Diego Padres (Share of Players’ Pool: $549,021.64; value of each
full share: $10,118.84) – The Padres awarded 47 full shares, 6.75
partial shares and 1 cash award.

Oakland Athletics (Share of Players’ Pool: $549,021.64; value of each
full share: $9,832.05) – The A’s awarded 43 full shares, 12.5 partial
shares and 3 cash awards.

St. Louis Cardinals (Share of Players’ Pool: $549,021.64; value of
each full share: $9,679.42) – The Cardinals awarded 44 full shares,
12.05 partial shares and 4 cash awards.

Morneau update

By: Kelly Thesier/

In yesterday’s Twins Inbox, one of the questions I had received was about the health status of Justin Morneau and how he was progressing. I responded with what I had heard from Twins general manager Bill Smith this week in that Morneau was feeling better but hadn’t started to work out yet.

I got an email back today from Justin updating his status as well and wanted to share. Here is what he had to say:

“For the people that want to know how I’m doing, there is nothing really new to report. I’m feeling a lot better but I haven’t really done much so it’s still hard to tell. There’s no reason to start working out yet. Normally I would start my workouts between Nov. 1 and 15th so I’m not behind schedule at all. I expect to be ready and 100 percent well before Spring Training.”

It sounded like a positive update from Justin, just like I had received from Bill Smith, so I wanted to pass that along to everyone.

Twins sign three to Minor League deals for 2011 season

By: Kelly Thesier/

The Twins have signed three of their Minor League free agents to contracts for the 2011 season.

Right-hander Kyle Waldrop and catcher Jair Fernandez were signed to Triple-A contracts while outfielder Juan Portes was signed to a Double-A contract for next season.

Although the three players are signed to Minor League deals, they would be eligible to be taken in the Rule 5 Draft. So it’s possible that Waldrop could still be added to the 40-man roster before rosters have to be set on Nov. 19.

Twins general manager Bill Smith wrote in an email that the club did not anticipate signing any more of their Minor League free agents prior to Saturday’s 4 p.m. CT deadline and therefore the rest will officially become free agents and sign with any other team.

Among the team’s Minor League free agents are OF Jacque Jones, 1B Brock Peterson, RHP Tim Lahey, LHP Jose Lugo, INF Matt Macri, LHP Mike Maroth, INF D’Angelo Jimenez, SS Yancarlos Ortiz, RHP Matt Williams and RHP Charlie Zink.

Twins announce 2010 Diamond Award Winners

By: Kelly Thesier/

The Twins announced the recipients of the 2010 Diamond Awards, which are
voted upon by the Twin Cities Chapter of the Baseball Writers
Association of America.

Here are the winners:

  • Most Valuable Twin — Joe Mauer
  • Pitcher of the Year — Carl Pavano
  • Most Improved Twin — Delmon Young
  • Rookie of the Year — Danny Valencia
  • Midwest Player of the Year — Mauer
  • Media Good Guy Award — Michael Cuddyer
  • Bob Allison Leadership Award — Cuddyer

The Twins also selected a few winners of their own:

  • Sherry Robertson Award for Minor League Player of the Year: Joe Benson
  • Jim Rantz Award for Minor League Pitcher of the Year: Kyle Gibson
  • Carl R. Pohlad Award for Community Service: Jesse Crain
  • Kirby Puckett Award for Alumni Community Service: Bert Blyleven

The awards will be given out at the Sixth Annual Diamond Awards Dinner,
which will take place on Jan. 27, 2011, at Target Field. The
event will benefit brain, nerve and muscle disorders research at the
University of Minnesota