Twins notes: MLB Winter Meetings: Day One
Below are a few notes to come out of Day One of the MLB Winter Meetings so far today:
- Phil Mackey of 1500ESPN.com reports that Twins GM Bill Smith has been talking a lot about Tsuyoshi Nishioka today. You can visit his article just recently posted here. Smith met with Rick Thurman this morning who is the agent for Nishioka. By many reports today; Nishioka is seeking a 3 year deal. Most are predicting it will land in the 3 year/$15 million range. For updates on the Winter Meetings, make sure you follow Mackey on twitter. You can find a link to his twitter page here.
- Kelsie Smith of the Pioneer Press tweeted earlier that Smith said the only two uncertain spots for the Twins right now is SS and 2B. If the Twins do sign Nishioka; he will take up one of those spots. The Twins are also expected to give the other starting spot to Alexi Casilla. This leaves an uncertain future for JJ Hardy with the Twins. Will he be traded during the Winter Meetings? My guess is no as I am guessing the Twins will want to make sure they sign Nishioka first.
- MLB Trade Rumors has some updates on Carl Pavano (link). Reports today say the Nationals are preparing to make a heavy push to sign Pavano. The Twins are also a favorite as Pavano recently called Twins GM Bill Smith to let him know how much he enjoyed his time in Minnesota and how much he would like to return (twitter link). Pavano is looking for a Ted Lilly contract (3 years/$33 million) and it is highly unlikely that the Twins are willing to go to 3 years to sign the veteran right hander. Sports Illustrateds Jon Heyman tweets that the Pavano deal could be done this week (twitter link).
- Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com reports that the Twins and Pirates were working on a deal to send JJ Hardy to Pittsburg but a deal could not be reached. The Twins and Pirates may re visit a trade during this weeks Winter Meetings but once again I expect the Twins to make sure they can reach an agreement with Nishioka before they try to trade Hardy again.
- Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that there is “mutual interest” between the Indians and Twins IF Nick Punto. He tweets that talks are expected to continue this week at the Winter Meetings (twitter link). Honestly, this does not disappoint me at all.
- LaVelle E Neal III of the Star Tribune reported earlier today that the Twins have contacted the Royals about the availability of Zack Greinke. The Royals are said to be looking for a minimum of 4 players in return and would prefer them to be close to major league ready. LaVelle also reports that the Royals are looking for either one or two pitching prospects that have a Greinke ceiling. The Twins do not have two and possibly not even one in their system that fits that bill. I would recommend that Twins fans don’t get their hopes up about a 2011 rotation that features Liriano and Greinke at the top. SI’s Jon Heyman also tweeted last week that the Royals do not want to trade Greinke within the division (twitter link).
- Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that six teams are interested in Koji Uehara . He is reporting that the Twins are one of the teams inquiring about the free agent reliever.
For more coverage of the MLB Winter Meetings I highly recommend joining Twitter and following all the Twins beat writers who are down in Florida for the Winter Meetings. If you don’t need the information right away like I do, you can always check www.startribune.com and www.mlbtraderumors.com throughout the day for updates. Also if you have MLB Network on cable or Directv, make sure you tune in for their Hot Stove show which is televising live from the Winter Meetings this week.