Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Winter meetings, midway through

The Twins have been on the sidelines through the first two days of the Winter Meetings -- no trades, just talk and some indications.

Indication One: Reluctant as I am to accept this, the Twins are certainly behaving as if they are serious about this Miguel Sano-to-the-outfield concept. Reports out of Nashville indicate that the Twins will listen to trade offers for Trevor Plouffe but aren't showing any urgency about moving the veteran third baseman.

Another factor in this: Oakland is apparently eager to trade Brett Lawrie, a very comparable third baseman. If the Twins were pushing for a Plouffe trade, the immediate effect would be a buyer's market. Taking their time on moving Plouffe, assuming they want to, might well be the best tactic.

Indication Two: Brian Duensing and Blaine Boyer, two free agent relievers who between them made 123 appearances for the Twins last year, won't be back. The Twins are, however, interested in bringing back Neal Cotts. As lefty relievers go, I'd probably prefer Duensing to Cotts, but Duensing figures to be the more expensive of the two.

Indication Three: Minnesota's top focus so far is said to be relief pitching, particularly left-handed, but there is also chatter that the Twins are shopping Ricky Nolasco. It's a good guess that moving Nolasco will either require the Twins to take on somebody else's bad contract or hand over a chunk of money to cover Nolasco's remaining years. Or both, Dumping Nolasco looks like addition by subtraction at this point, however. The Twins need to clear some rotation space.

Indication Four: Unless something happens today, the Twins will sit out the Rule 5 draft on Thursday. They have a full 40-man roster. They have seldom skipped Rule 5, but this year may be the exception.

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