Looking to add a veteran starting pitcher to their youthful rotation, the Twins have made an offer to left-hander Jarrod Washburn and are awaiting a response this week, according to CBSSports.com sources.
The size of the Twins' offer is not clear, though Minnesota's intent is. The Twins, in need of both pitching and a third baseman, are hopeful of adding a pitcher first. They were in touch on another Scott Boras client, third baseman Adrian Beltre, but deemed him too expensive and shifted their sights away from him earlier this winter.
As for Washburn, 35, the Twins view him as a perfect fit in that he is left-handed, he's got a reputation as being a good guy in the clubhouse, he's pitched enough that he can help anchor a young staff and he's an Upper Midwest native (he was born in Wisconsin and still lives in there in the off-season, in Webster).
Given all that, the Twins view Washburn as an ideal arm to help them open their long-awaited outdoor ballpark, Target Field, in 2010. Aiming for a big splash there, the Twins are projecting a payroll close to $90 million this season, which easily would be a club record.
Washburn was in the midst of a renaissance season in Seattle in 2009 when he was traded to Detroit for the stretch run. But a knee injury sabotaged him and cut his season short. After going 8-6 with a 2.64 ERA over 20 starts in Seattle, Washburn was only 1-3 with a 7.33 ERA in eight starts for the Tigers before being shut down.
The Twins earlier this winter re-signed right-hander Carl Pavano, and they also return youngsters Scott Baker, Kevin Slowey (returning from a wrist injury), Nick Blackburn, Francisco Liriano and Glen Perkins from a team that overtook Detroit for the AL Central title in '09.
Signing Washburn also would give the Twins the ability to trade an arm such as Perkins in their quest for a third baseman. Among others, they have discussed Kevin Kouzmanoff with San Diego.