The Twins on Friday added four players to the 40-man roster, which now stands at 38. This gives them room to sign a couple of free agents (remember, their 10 free agents are not on the 40) or make a Rule 5 pick, but my guess is that they won't try the latter.
None of the four -- one pitcher, two outfielders and a first basemn/outfielder -- are particularly likely to make the 25-man roster out of spring training, or even during the season. Chris Parmalee, former first-round pick, is long-term Justin Morneau insurance at first base, but the Twins have signed minor-league vet Justin Huber to a minor league deal, and Huber is the better immediate bet if Morneau's return stalls this spring. (The even better immediate bet is the Michael Cuddyer-at-first routine, but as the roster stands that would leave a hole at DH.)
Seth Stohs is at least mildly surprised that relief prospect Kyle Waldrop didn't get added, but that's been in the cards since Waldrop signed a minor-league deal earlier this month. He may be a Rule 5 draft target next month.
The free-agent market at this point is rather frozen as we await the deadline for offering arbitration; I believe that's Tuesday. Leaving two open spaces on the 40 doesn't necessarily limit the Twins to two arbitration offers to free agents, but if they offer to three and all three accept, they'll have to get rid of somebody.
But while few are signing, there's no shortage of speculation, and Carl Pavano is prominent in said speculation.
Here's some speculation that points to him staying with the Twins. Here's some that suggests that the Brewers and Nationals are better bets to land him. Milwaukee seems more plausible than Washington; I can't imagine how a mid-30s middle-of-the-rotation guy fits in a building process.The Brewers, on the other hand, are capable of contending if they can find a way to get some outs. Pavano makes sense for them, at least in the short term.
And the short term is the only term that makes sense with Pavano for anybody. My view is unchanged: If it's going to take a multi-year deal to retain him, the Twins should wish him well and walk away.
Something may happen with Pavano sooner rather than later. Normally the second and third best pitchers on the market are seen as reasonable consolation prizes for the suitors for the No. 1 free agent arm, but there's a big gap between Cliff Lee and the rest of the field, and we can be pretty sure the Yankees aren't turning to Pavano if Lee decides to stay closer to his Arkansas home. There's not a lot of reason for Pavano to stall.