Tag:Minnesota Twins
Posted on: March 7, 2010 11:31 am
Edited on: March 7, 2010 1:34 pm
 

Closer Nathan returning to Twin Cities for MRI

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- It's hold-your-breath time for the Twins: Closer Joe Nathan, who was removed from Saturday's Grapefruit League game against Boston, will return to the Twin Cities on Monday for an MRI on his surgically repaired elbow.

"We're going to repeat some tests," Twins general manager Bill Smith said Sunday morning. "We want to repeat some tests that we had done on him in September. Those were our baseline tests, and when we repeat those [and compare], then we'll have a much, much better idea of where it's at."

Nathan, following a season in which he had 47 saves, had surgery to clean out the elbow in October. Noted orthopedist Dr. James Andrews removed two bone spurs and some bone chips, and Nathan said Saturday, in describing his elbow as "achy" and saying he felt "tightness", that doctors had warned him he would have moments like that along his recovery.

One of the game's top closers, the prospect of a Nathan-less Twins club -- for any amount of time -- would shake things up in the AL Central.

"He came out of the game, so we're a little concerned," Smith said. "But until we see how the tests compare ... our doctors have talked a lot about establishing baselines, especially with our pitchers' shoulders and elbows, and using that date into the future to evaluate."

Up next in that plan is Nathan.

The Twins are holding their breath.

Posted on: March 6, 2010 2:42 pm
 

Twins closer Nathan leaves game because of elbow

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Twins closer Joe Nathan left Saturday's outing against Boston early when his surgically repaired elbow became "achy" and he felt "a little tightness."

Nathan faced three batters and threw 20 pitches. He walked two batters and was removed following a walk to J.D. Drew.

He was upbeat after the shortened outing and said doctors had warned him that the type of surgery he had would bring days like this in his recovery. He said he will be re-evaluated Sunday and, as of now, does not expect his spring training regimen to change.

"They said it may be scary, but you've got to understand that you're going to go through moments like this," Nathan said.

Though he was relaxed and seemed to take it in stride, he confirmed that the doctors were right, and that it is scary.

"Definitely," he said. "It's never fun when you get pulled out of a game, especially by the training staff. It's just a little speed bump here. We'll see where it goes."

Nathan said he felt "awesome" in the bullpen warming up. But, as he noted, while everything has gone smoothly in his rehab and recovery, he hasn't reached the intensity level in bullpens and live batting practice -- especially with his hard, biting slider -- that he did in Saturday's game.

Nathan, 35, had surgery to remove two bone spurs and some bone chips from his elbow in October. He revealed shortly after a season in which he had 47 saves that his elbow was not right for much of it.

Category: MLB
Posted on: January 4, 2010 9:35 pm
Edited on: January 4, 2010 9:36 pm
 

Twins wooing Jarrod Washburn

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.

Posted on: December 9, 2009 11:17 am
 

Twins express interest in DeRosa

INDIANAPOLIS -- Here's a new player on free agent third baseman Mark DeRosa: The Minnesota Twins.

Looking to fill a hole at either second or third base and hoping to fill it with a productive bat, the Twins spoke with Keith Grunewald, the agent for DeRosa, late Tuesday evening. The Twins are not yet believed to have made an offer yet for DeRosa, who also is a fit with St. Louis, Baltimore and San Francisco, among others.

The Cardinals would like DeRosa back, though their top priority right now is re-signing free agent outfielder Matt Holliday. If the Cardinals lose Holliday, it is believed that they will push hard to re-sign DeRosa -- if he's still on the market.

Minnesota's search, meanwhile, has taken them through San Diego's representatives here in Indianapolis, where the Twins discussed a potential trade for third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff. The Twins also are tracking Adrian Beltre.

Posted on: December 8, 2009 2:24 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2009 4:14 pm
 

Padres dangling Kouzmanoff

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Padres, budget-conscious and dangling third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff as a way to control costs, have talked to the San Francisco Giants and Minnesota Twins -- among others -- about a deal.

The Giants are considering several options as they look to add a bat to a light-hitting lineup that had trouble scoring last year. Kouzmanoff, due for a big arbitration raise this winter from his $432,000 salary in 2009, is one of them. A steady defensive player who finished second in the Gold Glove voting in '09, Kouzmanoff would give the Giants a 20-home run bat and improve their defense. In a Kouzamanoff scenario, the Giants could move Pablo Sandoval over to first base.

The Padres also Tuesday approached the Twins about Kouzmanoff. Those two clubs have had discussions about Kouzmanoff in the past, but the Twins have not been overly interested.

As of Tuesday afternoon, neither discussion had advanced very far, according to sources with knowledge of the talks. Within the Giants-Padres discussions, San Francisco was talking of a deal that would include outfielder Fred Lewis and infielder Kevin Frandsen. "That isn't going to get it done," one source with knowledge of the Padres' thinking said.

One of the options presented in the Twins-Padres discussion was Minnesota sending starting pitcher Glen Perkins to the Padres for Kouzmanoff, but the Padres didn't think that was enough, either. Perkins last year went 6-7 with a 5.89 ERA in 18 appearances (17 starts) for the Twins.

The Padres' issue is that Kouzmanoff, starter Kevin Correia are all arbitration-eligible, and the likelihood is that all three will not fit within the projected $40 million (or so) payroll. Kouzmanoff is likely to earn $3 to $4 million through arbitration in 2010. The Padres also are exploring Bell's value on the trade market and could reach a point where they would non-tender Correia, who led the team with 12 wins in 2009.
Posted on: December 7, 2009 8:07 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2009 1:15 am
 

Pavano remains with Twins

INDIANAPOLIS -- Carl Pavano accepted Minnesota's offer of salary arbitration at Monday's midnight EST deadline, which allows the Twins to retain him in their 2010 starting rotation.

Pavano was seeking a two-year contract, and the hope from his side is that those talks could continue between now and the time when an arbitration hearing would be held. The decision was made easier when Brad Penny and St. Louis agreed to terms on a one-year, $7.5 million deal earlier Monday. Pavano could use Penny's salary as a comparable in an arbitration hearing.

Pavano went 14-12 with a 5.10 ERA in 33 starts for Cleveland and Minnesota in '09 and worked 199 1/3 innings. Pavano wanted to return to Minnesota, sources say, because he enjoyed pitching there last August and September and because the Twins offered him the best chance to win.

The decision probably will rule out Minnesota as a potential landing spot for free agent left-hander Jarrod Washburn. Washburn, a Wisconsin native, was hoping to land a job with either the Twins or the Brewers. But now the Twins are out, and the Brewers late Monday were believed to be closing in on a deal with veteran left-hander Randy Wolf.

Pavano was one of three players who accepted salary arbitration offers at Monday's deadline. Atlanta reliever Rafael Soriano and Colorado reliever Rafael Betancourt were the other two. Having already signed closer Billy Wagner and reliever Takashi Saito, the Braves now could trade Soriano.

Category: MLB
Posted on: December 7, 2009 1:38 pm
 

Twins to continue talks with Pavano into tonight

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Twins continue their dialogue with veteran pitcher Carl Pavano and, though talks so far have not led to a contract, the veteran right-hander is expected to accept the Twins' offer of salary arbitration by tonight's midnight EST deadline.

Though a handful of other clubs have shown interest in Pavano, sources told CBSSports.com, his clear preference is to return to the Twins because they have a chance to win and he enjoyed his stint there last August and September.

The thinking if he does accept arbitration is that, once salary figures are exchanged, he and the Twins still could agree on a two-year deal before the arbitration date later this winter. Pavano went 14-12 with a  5.10 ERA in 33 starts for Cleveland and Minnesota in 2009. Perhaps most attractively, he worked 199 1/3 innings.

Tom O'Connell, Pavano's agent, declined to comment on specifics Monday afternoon here. He and the Twins are scheduled to meet again tonight.

"We'll let the arbitration process play out," O'Connell said.

If the Pavano talks fall through, the Twins' next choice is believed to be free agent left-hander Jarrod Washburn.

Other items:

-- Atlanta hopes to land a middle-of-the-order bat by the time it leaves Indianapolis this week, and the Braves have made it known that they will trade either one of two starting pitchers to get it, Javier Vazquez or Derek Lowe.

-- The Dodgers are pushing hard to trade for a starting pitcher. Among others, they have approached Pittsburgh about Paul Maholm, and the Pirates also have indicated a willingness to clubs to listen to offers on Zach Duke.

-- The Orioles are looking for a third baseman and a closer.

-- Florida is looking to trade two of its three arbitration-eligible relievers, Matt Lindstrom, Renyel Pinto and Leo Nunez.

 

Posted on: November 23, 2009 2:04 pm
 

Mauer wins deserved MVP

The only possible way Joe Mauer could have NOT won the AL Most Valuable Player award this season was if the Twins had fallen hopelessly out of contention by September.

Now, there are those of us who believe Mauer STILL should have won it even under those circumstances, given his historical batting numbers as they relate to catchers, the position he plays, his importance to the Twins and the way he limits opponents' running games.

But that would have been a more difficult argument.

As the Twins chased Detroit into September, that argument was pushed aside. By the time the Twins extended their season to game No. 163 for a second summer in a row, the AL MVP vote had become a no-brainer. In giving Mauer 27 of a possible 28 first-place votes, AL MVP voters, as they should have, easily recognized this.

No disrespect to the handful of other great players in the league, perennial MVP candidates like Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter from the Yankees and Kevin Youkilis from the Red Sox.

But Mauer, who missed April with a lingering groin injury, is on an historic arc offensively while playing well the most important position on the diamond defensively.

In hitting .365 this season, Mauer won his third AL batting title, becoming one of just 10 major leaguers in history to win three or more batting crowns.

In compiling a .444 on-base percentage and a .587 slugging percentage, Mauer became the first catcher in history to lead his league in batting average, OBP and slugging.

He also became only the 13th player in AL history to do it, and the first in nearly 30 years, since Kansas City legend George Brett in 1980.

Of the 12 AL players to accomplish the feat, 10 are in the Hall of Fame: Brett, Fred Lynn, Carl Yastrzemski, Frank Robinson, Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Tris Speaker, George Stone, Napoleon Lajoie (twice), Ty Cobb (three times) and Ted Williams (five times).

It is way too early to know whether Mauer will one day be enshrined in Cooperstown as well. But at 26, he's certainly off to a tremendous start. And we do know this: His decision to decline a football scholarship at Florida State a few years ago not only has turned out to be a brilliant decision by Mauer, but the entire state of Minnesota's gain.

 

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com