Twins General Manager Terry Ryan was asked on Tuesday if there was any chance he would bring back Blaine Boyer or Brian Duensing, who are both free agents.
``I would say the chances are not all that strong,'' Ryan said. ``You go through it and you make decisions on personnel.
``Duensing has been with us for a decade. We know what he's done for us, not only on the field but in the community and being the type of guy that represents our organization, which he did well. I have a lot of respect for him and I also have a lot of pride in what he did accomplish.'
``Blaine, I only got to know him for one short year. He did a nice job for us.''
Let's focus on Duensing, because his departure ends an interesting chapter in Twins history.
He was a third round pick in 2005 out of Nebraska. He made his debut April 10, 2009. He had stretches in his Twins career during which he bailed out the team as a starter and as a reliever.
His place in Twins history? He's the final tentacle from the Chuck Knoblauch trade of Feb. 6 1998.
The Twins traded Knoblauch to the Yankees for Danny Mota, Cristian Guzman, Brian Buchanan and Eric Milton. Mota never panned out and was released in 2001. Buchanan was dealt to San Diego in 2002 for Jason Bartlett. In 2003, Milton was dealt to Philadelphia for Carlos Silva, Nick Punto and Bobby Korecky.
In 2004, Guzman signs as a free agent with Washington. The Twins received a B Compensation pick and used that pick to draft - Duensing.
In 2007, Bartlett, Matt Garza and Eduardo Morlan are dealt to Tampa Bay for Delmon Young, Brendan Harris and Jason Pridie. This vine died, as Young was later dealt to Detroit for Cole Nelson and Lester Oliveros, who are no longer in the organization. Harris was dealt with J.J. Hardy for Brett Jacobsen and Jim Hoey. Both are no longer with the team. Pridie was claimed off waivers from the Mets.
Duensing was the last survivor. But the 17-year life of the Chuck Knoblauch trade tree has ended.
``It's amazing how that tree continued and where it led,'' Ryan said.
Well, there is one minor remnant remaining. Ryan called Duensing to make sure there would be no hard feelings if free agent signee Byung Ho Park wore his No. 52.
``I wanted to get permission for Park to take that number,'' Ryan said, ``which is very sensitive, I think.''
Duensing went 41-37 with a 4.13 ERA as a Twin. I checked in with him on Monday, and he hadn't received much interest from clubs. But that could change as teams fill out spring training rosters.