- MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger reports the Twins have "called" about Josh Willingham, but cautions that at this stage it's nothing more than getting information. (10:51 am)
Let's dive right into this morning's news and notes, as baseball's winter meetings get going this morning.
- According to Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman, the Twins are part of the Mark Buehrle sweepstakes. MLB Trade Rumors says that the asking price is in the range of $14 million, and Buehrle wants a full no-trade clause. Throw in that there's apparently 14 teams interested (Heyman again, via MLBTR), and that Miami's busy throwing around money right now, and I'd say the chances on this one aren't very good.
- Again via MLBTR, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports says the team also remains interested in Edwin Jackson.That said, right now Buehrle and C.J. Wilson are the prettiest girls at the starting pitching dance, and Jackson probably wants to wait for those two to set the market before signing.
- Phil Mackey of ESPN 1500 says that Michael Cuddyer is the key to the Twins' actions - whether he comes back will make all the difference in what they do.
- Manny Ramirez is coming back, though he'll have to serve a 50-game suspension first. He's right-handed and can DH and "play" left field and - oh, forget it. Nobody can talk themselves into this being a good idea. Also, if the Twins signed him, Ron Gardenhire would probably resign effective immediately.
- Speaking of the Marlins, ESPN's Buster Olney is reporting that they've signed Jose Reyes for 6 years and $106 million. I would like to make a joke about this being around $1 million per game, but then there's Joe Mauer right there and I should probably shut up. Reyes is the first of the big dominoes to drop; we now wait on Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder, and if you can believe it, Olney says that the Marlins are making a run at Pujols as well. This, I suppose, is the kind of thing you can do if you're starting with a payroll at $45 million.
- Elsewhere in the Central, Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star says that the Royals won't be looking for upgrades on the free-agent market. Since they re-signed Bruce Chen, I guess we already knew that.