The last two weeks have been rather slow for the Twins, as well as all of baseball and the corporate world in general. Holidays falling on successive Wednesdays will do that. With that season now officially over, things should start kicking back into gear.
And fortunately, even though we've seen little meaningful roster action recently, there are still plenty of intrepid reporters working diligently to keep our rumor appetites satiated. Let's get caught up on all Twins-related whispers:
* Via an MLB contact, Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500 reports that the Twins are still "kicking the tires" on Matt Garza
. He notes that the club is willing to spend significantly on the free agent starter but are concerned about the number of guaranteed years in a potential contract.
My assumption was that any interest the Twins had in Garza evaporated when they signed Ricky Nolasco, so I'd be really surprised if they're doing anything more than passively monitoring his situation at this point. He'll likely cost more than Nolasco to sign (perhaps more than Nolasco and Phil Hughes combined) and -- as I've discussed in these columns previously -- there's logic in leaving one rotation spot open for competition.
The one thing that keeps this rumor faintly realistic is the fact that Garza is not tied to any draft pick compensation. If he would be willing to go as low as three years and the Twins are looking for a complete rotation overhaul, maybe something could work out. But it's really unlikely, as he remains one of the top names on the market.
Steam Rating: 1/5
* Wolfson also mentioned that, as of the end of December, the Twins still had not offered a contract to Johan Santana
, adding that they "remain interested."
Wolfson suggested that Santana does have offers on the table (all of the minor-league variety, presumably) and there was some buzz last week that the lefty was getting close to making a decision. Still nothing yet, though. I would guess that the Twins won't make a play unless he remains unsigned into February, when they'll have a better idea of his condition for the start of the season.
Steam Rating: 3/5
* John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer wrote on Friday
that the Reds have no money to spend and are thus very unlikely to re-sign Bronson Arroyo.
Arroyo has been cited frequently as a target for the Twins, although the likelihood of such a match decreased substantially after the club brought back Mike Pelfrey.
There hasn't been much buzz connecting the parties recently, and Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com wrote a couple weeks ago
that Arroyo "denies that he was ever close to an agreement" with Minnesota, contradicting a Ken Rosenthal report
from earlier in the month that talks between the two sides were gaining momentum.
I don't doubt that the Twins are still keeping an eye on Arroyo, but the same caveat applies as with Garza; it just doesn't make a ton of sense to spend big on filling that final rotation spot when you've got a handful of reasonable candidates to compete and prospects in waiting.
Arroyo's price would have to drop to a pretty low level for this scenario to be plausible. Considering how slowly his market has developed, I suppose it's possible.
Steam Rating: 2/5
* Last week Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors listed the Twins among teams that could use Stephen Drew the most
Indeed, few teams across baseball have as great a need for an adequate short-term or long-term solution at shortstop, but Minnesota has been openly wary about surrendering a draft pick to sign any free agent and Drew would require one.
As Dierkes notes in his column, "they seem set with [Pedro] Florimon." And for better or worse, that's probably true.
Steam Rating: 1/5