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Winter Meetings Day Three: Twins aren’t joking about Yu Darvish pursuit

Everyone is realizing the Twins are here to play (and win) in the Yu Darvish race, plus more rumors from the MLB Winter Meetings.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Texas Rangers
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The third and final full day of the MLB Winter Meetings is wrapping up, and it seems like the Twins made good headway, though few actually signings. Apparently, by Day Three of the Winter Meetings people are pretty groggy.

Some things did get done today, though:

  • The Twins still seem very much in the race for Darvish, if not the forerunners. The problem is that the top tier of free agent pitchers hasn’t been cracked at all yet. As Berardino also posits, the Twins might make more traction on Darvish once Alex Cobb, Lance Lynn, and/or Jake Arrieta signs. That’s probably going to happen in the coming weeks, because hey — the offseason doesn’t last forever! These guys got to sign somewhere...
  • According to Bill Brink, Scott Boras — who represents Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole — said there is “no evidence” the Pirates intend to trade Cole. Keep in mind, however, neither Cole or Boras are the ones personally making trade talks (that would be the Pirates front office). The Twins have previously contacted the Pirates about Cole’s availability.
  • The Twins also checked in on the Rays’ Jake Odorizzi, who the Twins have also previously inquired about. The Twins offered a modest package of prospects but it didn’t go anywhere, according to Berardino.
  • On the relief pitching front, the Twins checked in on Steve Cishek, per Mike Berardino. Cishek, 31, posted a 2.01 ERA with a 0.90 WHIP over 44.2 innings last year for the Mariners and Rays. The Twins have said they want a veteran closer to start 2018, so Cishek could be that guy.
  • The Twins had previously met with agents for Juan Nicasio, but he signed today with the Mariners. Other relievers to sign today include Greg Holland (back with the Rockies), and old friend Anthony Swarzak (with the Mets... two years, $14 million).
  • Reliever Fernando Rodney highly enjoyed his meeting yesterday with Thad Levine and Paul Molitor, but the Twins are not one of the teams that have made him an offer, per Darren Wolfson.
  • When asked if the Twins would take anyone in tomorrow’s Rule 5 draft, Derek Falvey said they were going to discuss it tonight over sushi. Freakin’ sushi! There’s no way these hot shots aren’t going to land Yu Darvish, am I right?!
  • Speaking of Derek Falvey, the Twins CBO made an appearance on MLB Network today to talk (what else?) Twins.
  • Oh, and the American League managers took a group photo today. Check out Paul Molitor’s suit: