As a handy one-stop shop for all Twins-related offseason rumors, we'll be running frequent "Rumor Mill Round-Up" columns here at Twins Daily, wherein we gather up all the recent rumblings involving the local club.
With each rumor, we'll provide some analysis and a "Steam Rating," assigning a 1-5 score to the report based on the level of likelihood we'll actually see something materialize.
With the annual Winter Meetings getting underway this week, here's a quick rundown of the players the Twins are being connected to:
* John Buck
has "climbed to the top" of Minnesota's wish list at catcher, according to Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press
With Jarrod Saltalamacchia and A.J. Pierzynski off the board, the Twins have apparently turned their attention to the veteran Buck as an option to ease the transition of young Josmil Pinto behind the plate.
I viewed Buck as a likely target for Minnesota and listed him in my blueprint in the Offseason Handbook. I like that he'll be relatively cheap and can operate as a quality backup or a serviceable semi-regular starter in the event Pinto needs more time. Buck is far from a great hitter but he has averaged 119 games played and 16 homers over the past four seasons.
The fact that Buck has worked extensively with Ricky Nolasco, a former teammate in Miami, probably enhances the probability of this match. I see the interest here being very real.
Steam Rating: 5/5
* The Twins are one team that has expressed interest in Oakland's Brett Anderson
, according to Susan Slusser
, who does a fantastic job covering the Athletics for the San Francisco Chronicle.
I wrote last week
about the merits of pursuing Anderson, concluding that at the right price he'd be a great gamble for Terry Ryan. Whether A's GM Billy Beane is willing to deal the durability-challenged former top prospect for what we'd construe as the "right price" is unknown, but with his value depressed the Twins would be silly not to at least explore.
Steam Rating: 3/5
* The Pirates are set to meet with Bronson Arroyo
's agent, via ESPN's Buster Olney
The Twins were reported to be interested in Arroyo prior to the Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes signings, and there has been some buzz that their interest remains, although we haven't heard anything connecting the two sides in a while. I would guess that if the Twins are going to sign another starter, it will be more of a low-level signing, so Arroyo is probably not a realistic target unless his price really drops for some reason.
Steam Rating: 2/5
UPDATE: ESPN 1500's Darren Wolfson says
the Twins are meeting with Arroyo's agent on Monday afternoon, so there may be more to this possibility than we think. (h/t JimCrikket
* It sounds like former Twins starter Carl Pavano
is interested in resuming his playing career but doesn't view the Twins as a likely destination, per Berardino
Pavano missed the entire 2013 season after rupturing his spleen in a freak shoveling incident. He told Berardino, "I'm going to give it a try. What else have I got?" Asked about the Twins specifically, he said he hasn't been in contact and added, "I think we're in different places. They need those younger guys in their rotation."
Steam Rating: 1/5