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Winter Meetings Open Thread, Day 1

7:45 pm-

A tweet from ESPN's Buster Olney:

Sources indicate Brian Fuentes is seeking between $6-8M a year.

If you were one of the two people who purchased Brian Fuentes Twins jerseys last fall, and you were hoping the Twins were going to bring him back, I think it's now officially safe to store that piece of clothing right between your Mike Fetters and Michael Nakamura jerseys.

4:45 pm -

A whole lot of nothing has been happening for the Twins for most of the winter meetings' first afternoon, but that can always change in an instant. Right now, all we have is this Tweet from TwinsNow:

GM Bill Smith said only two positions are uncertain: SS and 2B, indirectly confirming that Hardy's role w/ the team is up in the air.

Hoorrrrrrayyyyyy.......fin sarcasm.

1:50 pm -

A few post-lunch updates to kick off your afternoon.

MLB Trade Rumors says the Pirates are interested in Cardinals shortstop Brendan Ryan. Oddly enough, both of those teams are rumored to be interested in J.J. Hardy. Meanwhile, the Twins are still in on Carl Pavano (in other words, nothing has changed between getting ousted from the playoffs and six minutes ago...I think it's safe to assume the Twins will remain interested in Pavano until he signs elsewhere), as are the Nationals.

Also, a few notes from LEN III's latest update (from this morning):

  • The Twins had an organizational meeting on Sunday night to go over their gameplan for the week.
  • The general consensus is that Greinke will be moved this week.
  • More rubbish about Hardy. Seriously, this makes me nervous. If Hardy does end up being moved, it had better be for something good. A pair of marginal (or even good) relievers just isn't anything resembling good enough.

12:30 pm -

Your Nishioka news update, from Kelsie Smith: the Twins will meet with his agent this afternoon, his agent being Rick Thurman of something called the "Beverly Hills Sports Council," which apparently represents Japanese middle infielders in between building safe playgrounds for the children of the rich and famous.

Also, Smith says that, should the Twins sign Nishioka, five Japanese reporters will cover the team on a daily basis. I think I speak for all of us when I express my regrets that Mike Redmond isn't still with the team for this.

10:50 am -

Just a couple of small bits that have trickled in, with one new name in the mix.

  • According to Orioles Insider, the Twins are one of six teams interested in closer Koji Uehara. Uehara will be 36 this year, throws right handed, and improved dramatically since his 2009 debut. He recorded 11.3 K/9, 1.0 BB/9, 7.6 H/9 and 1.0 HR/9. I'm not sure what he'd cost, but even for a guy of his age he probably won't come cheaply. It sounds like he prefers Baltimore but would consider a two-year deal anywhere. Seems sketchy.
  • The Red Sox like Brian Fuentes. Pretty sure there wasn't ever a chance of him coming back.
  • Jon Heyman's latest Tweet: theriot is #cardinals ss at least "for now." Don't count them out on bartlett. So far, asking price on bartlett just 2 rich for cards
  • Heyman also mentions that Nishioka is looking for a three-year contract, which is shorter than some people were anticipating but still pretty fair. Bill Smith and Nishioka's agent will be meeting today.
  • LEN III says the Twins are in on "a couple of free agent relievers". Not a surprise, but there it is.

8:40 am -

I missed this as I was trolling through bits this morning, but LEN III says the Twins have contacted Kansas City about the availability of Zack Greinke. He goes on to mention:

There have been reports of a four-player package that would have to include a couple of young players ready to contribute. Other reports have mentioned two Greinke-like pitching prospects as part of a deal.

The Twins don't have two Greinke-like pitching prospects...I'm not sure they have one. At least not one that's close. There's certainly a lot of potential coming up, but no pitchers are grading out as an A-level prospect. The Royals have also said recently that they don't want to trade within the division. While this could certainly be overcome with an offer that was simply too good to refuse, it's probably not in the Twins' best interest to bid so high.

We'll be updating big stories seperately (if they happen) but in the meantime we'll have a couple of open threads today. If you're anything like me, your productivity is going to suffer this week. So, without further ado, let's get your morning started.

6:50 am -

  • SI's Jon Heyman says the Twins and Tsuyoshi Nishioka's agent are meeting this morning.
  • Joe Crede's poised for a comeback, read more from MLB Trade Rumors. There isn't a place for him in Minnesota, but he was a good guy and we wish him well.
  • Jayson Stark thinks Jason Bartlett is the most likely player to be traded this week. I'm not sure how this will affect any market for J.J. Hardy--either the main bidder will be out of the way and reduce Hardy's value, or else the lack of another decent option on the market may hike it up. Either way, I still want him back in 2011.
  • The Twins are looking for a starter, and Chien-Ming Wang might be an option. He wants a Major League deal, which seems unlikely. He's bound to come cheaply, so if the Twins want to take a gamble he's another option. Not ideal, but the price may be right.