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Minnesota Twins Winter Meetings Open Thread, Thursday

4:32 pm - Silence abounds for the Twins.  It's looking like this will be another year where the Winter Meetings yield nothing for Minnesota definitively, but there's a lot of off-season left.  Even if nothing gets done tonight, there's no doubt that the Twins have done a lot of leg work the last few days, and they're clearly trying to make something happen.

I'm calling it for tonight, at least here from the UK--continue to add your own updates as you hear them and keep the conversation going.  I'll leave you with my Top 5 Third Basemen Wish List, with names populated solely by either A) names we've heard bantered the last few days, or B) free agents.  Think of it as the Twins-related Christmas list that I've sent to Santa.

1 - Adrian Beltre, Seattle
2 - Ty Wigginton, Houston
3 - Garrett Atkins, Colorado
4 - Kevin Kouzmanoff, San Diego
5 - Brian Buscher (and others), Minnesota

They all rank higher than Joe Crede, and they all definitely rank higher than Miguel Tejada.  Also...looks like I prefer a trade to any of the free agents still available.  Go figure.

2:33 pm - Additional information from Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times in regards to Adrian Beltre, the no-trade clause, and the Twins:

When [the Twins] attempted to investigate a possible deal, they discovered that -- since the last time they'd looked into Beltre during the season -- he'd added the Twins to a list of teams on his limited no-trade clause.

While Beltre is clearly not the only option for upgrading third base, he still is the best option available via trade.  Or anywhere else for that matter.  Unless this no-trade option has a ludicrous financial payout, it shouldn't be considered a massive obstacle in a potential deal.

1:59 pm - LEN III just checked in with an Adrian Beltre update.  It appears that, yes, the Twins ARE on Beltre's no-trade list...meaning the Twins would need to buy out that option if they want him that bad.  No word on what sort of numbers we'd be dealing with there.

Was this something done fairly recently?  Neal asks the same question, and it's a good one.  If so...well...Scott Boras, you bastard.

1:11 pm - Just a few things we missed over the course of the morning.  Nothing serious, but I always like to keep a wide view of the situation.

  • LEN III thinks that Adrian Beltre might have the Twins on his "no-trade" list.  That'll cause some problems, and might be why we haven't heard more about him over the last four days.
  • In a potential deal for Mark DeRosa, which would not just be a Twins-Cubs transaction, Neal also believes the Twins wouldn't part with Jason Kubel (Chicago is apparently looking for a left-handed hitting outfielder) or Kevin Slowey (who the Cubs wanted to draft, apparently...there's a story, follow the link to Neal's blog).
  • Interest in Kevin Kouzmanoff and Ty Wigginton has faded into the background for the time being.

12:48 pm - Not much going on today, but here's the big news.  Courtesy of Joe C., the Twins have re-signed Nick Punto.  Sounds like it's a two-year deal worth $8.5 million dollars, with an option for 2011.  Call me crazy, but I think this is about twice what a player of Punto's profile is worth.  Straight from Christensen's blog, here are the specifics:

The deal is for two years, $8.5 million with an option for 2011. Punto will get $4 million in 2009, $4 million in 2010 and the option is for $5 million in 2011 with a $500,000 buyout.

9:00 am - Might as well kick off Day 4 of the Winter Meetings - hopefully Jesse will be around throughout the day to update.

Here's the morning updates:

  • Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette says, regarding Jack Wilson, that "only the Twins are known to be interested."  He speculates that the Dodgers could get involved, though, if they can't re-sign Rafael Furcal.  Could be another Dodgers-vs-Twins scenario, just like it was with Casey Blake.
  • Phil Miller at the PiPress notes that the Twins could end up being the last team in major league history to lose a coin flip.  GM's unanimously approved a rule change that would award home-field advantage to the team with the better head-to-head record, not to the outcome of chance.  Looks like Joe Nathan's whining has been heard and acted upon.  Miller also writes about the Twins' bullpen situation.
  • LEN3 is getting antsy: "Man, the team I cover never makes a trade here..... "
  • Looks like the folks in San Diego want this Jake Peavy trade done today - and Mark DeRosa appears to be the key.

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