Minnesota Twins Winter Meetings Open Thread, Wednesday

Day 3 of the Winter Meetings, here we go...

5:02 pm - It's late in the UK.  But keep checking back for updates from your other admins, should something go down.  In the meantime, be sure to log your own speculation in the comments and keep your own newsflashes coming in!

4:36 pm - The Astros are definitely shopping Ty Wigginton, which is something that we already knew...more or less for sure.  Tim Dierkes at MLB Trade Rumors mentions the Twins have been attached to his name over the last couple of days, as have been the Toronto Blue Jays.  He'd be another decent Twins-type acquisition that shouldn't break the bank on prospects.

Baseball trades, rumors and blog coverage - SB Nation MLB Hot Stove

3:27 pm - Corey Brock at MLB.com has more on the Cubs-Padres-Twins-Phillies go-round.  He says this could actually be a three or four team deal, and tosses out a few names of use.

2:53 pm - Carrie Muskat at MLBlogs has written what can only be described as a forceful entry, whose tone seems annoyed or angered more than anything else, about the Twins activity on Mark DeRosa.  It sounds like she feels the Twins are trying to wedge themselves into a situation they don't belong:

The Twins are reportedly trying to become the third team in the Padres-Cubs talks regarding Jake Peavy, and have come up with a package of young players in hopes of luring Mark DeRosa from Chicago. But a Cubs source said Wednesday the versatile DeRosa is staying put and not going to be dealt.

The Cubs, Philies and Padres are still talking about a potential deal, but there is no timetable. There also is no pressure on the Cubs to get something done.

Whether it's true or not, it smacks of posturing and contradicts what we've been hearing for most of today.  Also, she spelled "Phillies" incorrectly.  Stay tuned to find out how this one turns out.

2:02 pm - LEN III is back with an early afternoon update.  Not much to report, just a couple of quick points.

  • Both Minnesota and Philadelphia are hawking Mark DeRosa, but it sounds like the Twins have more ammunition for pulling the trigger.
  • Nick Punto might be the Phillies' next choice, if they can't land DeRosa.
  • The Twins have a real opportunity to be a pain in another team's rear end, even if it's not on purpose.  If the Twins get DeRosa, re-sign Punto, and then if Minnesota decides to be difficult should the Phillies decide to chase Delmon Young?  That'd be a good way to strain a relationship.

11:33 am - With the idea of a Twins-Cubs-Padres three-way flowing through our heads, could the Twins find their infield upgrades in one fell swoop?  This chart is far from finished, but the main players are in place.  A few prospects can be plugged in to make this deal suitabe to all three clubs.  Who are the extra pieces?

Teams Padres Receive Cubs Receive Twins Receive
Twins Trade 3B Luke Hughes (?)
RHP Anthony Swarzak (?)

RHP Philip Humber (?)
RHP Boof Bonser (?)

X
Cubs Trade *Fill in names here* X 2B Mark DeRosa
Padres Trade X RHP Jake Peavy 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff

From a Twins angle, another pitching prospect or two would need to be involved. Some of the prospect names I've thrown out on Minnesota's behalf can be mixed and matched, but they do need to be good prospects.  Would Delmon Young need to be involved?  I'm not sure he would be.

10:40 am - Joe C. runs through the halves of '08 for a number of players, including Delmon Young, and made an astute observation:

"[After May 31 Delmon Young] batted .305/.343/.444 with 10 homers and 54 RBI. For comparison, after May 31, Torii Hunter batted .275/.342/.461 with 14 homers and 52 RBI in a solid first season with the Angels."

10:23 am - A morning update from LEN III, and it sounds like the Twins are trying to hone in on an infield upgrade.

  • The Twins and the Cubs talked yesterday about Mark DeRosa.  He recorded 670 at second base for Chicago, and over 100 innings at third.  Although he'll be 34 next year, he's blossomed over the last three years as an everyday player.  From '06 - '08, he's hit .291/.368/.453.
  • Sounds like today the Cubs are submitting a list of pitchers they'd need for DeRosa.
  • Ron Gardenhire isn't opposed to trying Alexi Casilla at shortstop.
  • La Velle believes that the Twins, Cubs and Padres might work a three-way deal that would move Jake Peavy to Chicago.
  • Nick Punto will come back to the Twins for an offer before he signs anywhere else.
  • Minnesota is interested in Kevin Kouzmanoff of the Padres, and Neal thinks he might be the primary fall back option of nothing happens with DeRosa.
  • Ty Wigginton is a "gamer" in Twins circles, and is another player they have discussed.
  • Jorge Cantu is falling on the charts.
  • Doesn't sound like Michael Young is on the radar, either.


G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2008 - Mark DeRosa 149 505 103 144 30 3 21 87 69 106 6 0 .285 .376 .481

9:50 am - It's been a quiet morning so far, so let's take a quick cruise around Minnesota's SB Nation sites...

  • The Wolves lost...again.  McHale is now 0-1 as the Pups' head coach.
  • The VIkings won't be getting another Prime Time slot until the playoffs, if they make it.  This means I'll need to go to a friend's place on Sunday afternoons and hope that SKy is covering them.
  • Golden Gopher basketball is off to an 8-0 start.  An inflated record?  Possibly.  Probably.
  • Finally, Marian Gaborik is back with the Wild, but not yet ready to play.  Could he stay healthy for just one season, and then maybe pull his head out of his ass?  That'd be great.  The Wild need his contributions.

7:07 am - Already a few more things on the table.

  • Thanks to Adam Peterson for the heads up in the comments of Tuesday's thread, but The New York Post is reporting that the Yankees will sign C.C. Sabathia today.
  • Something else from LEN III last night, where he outlines the current options for Nick Punto.  Neal says he could start at second for Arizona, shortstop for the Dodgers or the Twins, or be a backup option for the Phillies.  He also says it'd probably take about $4 million per year to keep Punto.

6:47 am - Things will start to kick off over the next couple of hours, but in the meantime here's a roundup of what's happened overnight...

  • The Rockies have agreed in principle on a deal for southpaw Alan Embree.  Does this make Huston Street more expendable?  I wouldn't think so, but you never know.
  • Mark Sheldon at MLB.com says three teams are interested in infielder Jerry Hairston, Jr.  Cincinnati has made themselves a suitor at the Winter Meetings, and it sounds like Philadelphia could be in the mix as well.  Last year, the utility player hit .326/.384/.487 in 80 games with the Reds, but has a career .700 OPS.  I'm chalking some of that up to luck, some of it up to a hitter's park, and some of it to just having a good year.  I don't want anything to do with Hairston, but I do find it interesting to keep track of free agent infielders...or super-utility guys, like Hairston.  Hairston's father, grandfather, uncle and brother have all appeared in baseball sometime over the last sixty years...so that's interesting.
  • This was briefly covered in the comments last night in yesterday's thread, but the Twins have inquired on pitcher Joaquin Benoit from Texas.  Benoit is a strikeout pitcher (215 strikeouts over 206.2 innings the last three years) with control problems (a disturbing 7.00 BB/9 in '08, due in large part to shoulder issues), and a tendency to lean toward being a fly-ball pitcher.  If healthy, this is they kind of guy that could actually help the bullpen...but he has to be healthy.  He's right-handed, throws a fastaball with movement (90-92), a slider/curve and a changeup.
  • In that same report, it's said that the Twins are dangling Boof Bonser.  In spite of his performance last season, he does have some things going for him:  versatility (bullpen/rotation), age (27 for '09), decent control, the ability to miss bats, and (when he's on) a good fastball/curveball combination.
  • The competition is nearing a deal for Kerry Wood, on what sounds like a two-year deal with a vesting option.
  • Last night an LEN III's blog, he poses some questions regarding the Twins, and what they could have done to make their offer more attractive to Casey Blake.
  • Blake's contract breaks down thusly (courtesy of La Velle).  2009:  $5 million.  2010:  $6 million.  2011:  $5.25 million.  2012:  $6 million, with a $1.25 million buyout.  All of this tells me that, no matter what we might speculate, if the Twins offer of two years at $14 million wasn't good enough, then it was indeed about the years AND the money.  The Dodgers will either pay $17.5 million over three years (very likely), or $22.25 million over four (shock horror!).
  • Finally, late last night, Jerry Fraley posted that the Pirates are looking to trade their "front-line" shortstop, Jack Wilson.  Fraley brings up a few teams looking for a "front-line" shortstop--including Kansas City, Oakland and the Dodgers.  Minnesota wasn't listed.
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