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  1. Is Lame Duck Gardy Good as Gone?

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ID:	2873For the first time in his tenure as manager, Ron Gardenhire will enter the 2013 season without a contract extension in place that carries him beyond the coming year. Lacking job security, Gardenhire spoke openly last week about the possibility of moving on.

    "If I don't make it through this year, I'll be OK," Gardenhire told reporters during the Winter Meetings. "I've had a great opportunity here, I love the Minnesota Twins, I love where I'm at and hopefully ...
  2. Correia Signing is a Sad Thing

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Size:  17.0 KBTerry Ryan has seemed exasperated when discussing his efforts on the free agent market this offseason. In an interview on MLB Network shortly after the Ben Revere trade took place, the Twins' general manager reacted incredulously to Ken Rosenthal's suggestion that it might behoove him to get on his horse and sign a pitcher.

    "We've tried," Ryan chuckled. "Sometimes you just can't give your money away."

    Well, Terry, you have finally managed to ...
  3. Hicks Positioned to Take the Leap

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ID:	2843After the Twins parted with franchise mainstay Torii Hunter back in 2007, they needed to make a decision about who would take his place in the middle of the outfield. Finding a veteran placeholder was an option, but instead they ultimately decided to go straight to Hunter's heir apparent: a raw but tremendously athletic kid acquired in the Johan Santana trade.

    Carlos Gomez was clearly rough around the edges when he assumed the important roles of center fielder ...
  4. Twins Punting 2013? Not So Fast

    Ben Revere swingsTrading established players for prospects is the sign of a rebuilding team, and that is certainly what we've seen from Terry Ryan with his first few major moves this offseason. Many casual fans have expressed outrage over trades that sent Denard Span and Ben Revere cornerstones in the Minnesota outfield to the NL East for young pitching geared more toward the big picture than immediate improvement.

    The two prizes acquired in these deals, Alex Meyer ...
  5. Is Marcum the Twins' Best Hope?

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Size:  17.5 KBJon Morosi of FoxSports.com reported via Twitter on Tuesday that the Twins have "checked in" on right-handed pitcher Shaun Marcum. This isn't really noteworthy, since Terry Ryan has already told reporters that he's been in contact with the agents for every free agent starter, but Marcum's name in particular is an interesting one.

    Most of the pitchers that the Twins have been specifically connected to thus far names like Joe Blanton, Brett Myers and John ...
  6. In Terry I Trust

    If you were surprised in any way by return in the Denard Span trade, you shouldn't have been. Terry Ryan told us this was coming four months ago.

    Back in July, with the trade deadline approaching, Ryan spoke about his approach:

    As desperate as the Twins are to find starting pitching for 2013, a Liriano or Denard Span trade might not even address that specific need. Speaking only generally Thursday, GM Terry Ryan said, "When you're out there looking around, I think it's
    ...
  7. Winter Meetings Set to Commence

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ID:	2774Last weekend, I traveled down to Nashville to see one of my best friends get married. The fantastic event took place at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, which coincidentally is where general managers and other key executives from around baseball will congregate next week for the annual Winter Meetings.

    Rather than flying, we elected to drive down to Tennessee for the wedding. It was a slow, dull, 14-hour road trip that involved ...
  8. Cubs Signings Spell Trouble for Twins

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ID:	2746With as many as four spots needing to be filled in the rotation, it figured that Terry Ryan with his traditionally risk-averse nature in free agency would target low-cost pitchers with upside who could be acquired on one-year deals. This strategy makes sense for a couple reasons: it adds multiple options to the starting pitching mix without requiring huge commitments, and hurlers looking for the one-year make-good deal ought be more apt to sign with a club that ...
  9. Twins Must Pay to Improve

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ID:	2723Ask Terry Ryan what his payroll limitation is for next year and he'll tell you that he doesn't view payroll as a limitation. It's his way of sidestepping an important question, possibly at the behest of an ownership that has notoriously shied away from big spending.

    Ryan can downplay the importance of allotted budget and the significance of $85 million versus $100 million all he wants, but there's no escaping the fact that his level of financial flexibility ...
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  10. The Rising Tide

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ID:	2712The free agent market has been slow to develop early in the offseason, with very few high-profile signings in the books as Thanksgiving approaches. Things should start kicking into gear now that the Winter Meetings are just two weeks away, but it's worth wondering whether the first few contracts are indicators of how the offseason climate will shape up once the dominos really begin to fall.

    When the Cubs lured Scott Baker away from the Twins earlier in the ...
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  11. Character vs. Production

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ID:	2699In their blockbuster trade with the Blue Jays earlier this week, the Marlins acquired a player who has been discussed in some circles as a potential target for the Twins: Yunel Escobar.

    The 30-year-old shortstop is coming off a rather tumultuous year in Toronto, but there's no denying that he's got some legitimate talent, which has been in short supply at the shortstop position here in Minnesota.

    Interestingly, the Marlins won't be using Escobar ...
  12. Baker Follows a Good Deal

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ID:	2679It didn't come as a surprise that Scott Baker signed a contract just a couple weeks into this offseason. He's not the first recognizable pitcher to come off the board, as Bartolo Colon and Hisashi Iwakuma preceded him.

    Baker is, however, the first to land with a new team. And I think that does come as a surprise to a lot of people, given the Twins' well publicized efforts to bring him back.

    Baker didn't spend much time testing the open market, ...
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  13. Eyes on Torii

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Size:  53.5 KBIt was right around this time in 2007 that Torii Hunter officially left the Twins, signing a five-year, $90 million contract with the Angels. That total was more than most people thought he'd get in free agency, and it was widely believed that the Halos had overpaid, but Hunter made good on the deal, hitting .286/.352/.462 while averaging 21 homers over five seasons.

    Hunter just finished up the final year of that contract, and although he missed 22 games ...
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  14. Assessing Hellickson

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ID:	2627The Rays, possessing a glut of quality starting pitchers and seeking an outfielder who can be an asset at the top of the order, have been pointed at frequently around here as a logical trade partner for the Twins. The Offseason Handbook specifically calls out James Shields and Wade Davis as potential targets in Tampa's pitching corps, and there are several other names that hold appeal.

    According to reports, the Rays hurler drawing the most interest is Jeremy ...
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