The center fielder was only offered a three-year contract by the Twins, who want to wait and see what other teams offer him before pitching a new deal.
When Torii Hunter asked the Twins to make him a contract offer, they came up with a three-year, $45 million deal, which the All-Star center fielder turned down in late August.
Hunter has asked the Twins to negotiate with his agent Larry Reynolds, and new General Manager Bill Smith has had more than one conversation with Reynolds since the season ended.
The Twins are reluctant to give Hunter the five-year deal he is asking for but might go to four under the right circumstances. The Twins likely will wait until the start of free agency signing period to see what other teams offer him first before making any other offers themselves. But at the same time, Jim Pohlad and the other owners of the Twins are willing to do anything they consider reasonable to sign Hunter.
The Twins have not yet exercised their $6 million option for 2008 on closer Joe Nathan, but they have until within five days after the end of the World Series to do so. Meanwhile, Smith has been talking to Peter Greenberg, the agent for free-agent pitcher Carlos Silva.
The Twins have signed infielder Tommy Watkins to a minor-league contract. Watkins earned his first major league callup over the summer but got hurt and was dropped from the 40-man roster after the season.
Infielder Alejandro Machado, the Rule 5 draft pick who spent the entire season on the 60-day disabled list because of a shoulder injury, accepted an outright assignment to Class AAA Rochester.
No excuses on block
In Sunday's 24-14 loss at Dallas, Vikings kicker Ryan Longwell had a 48-yard field-goal attempt blocked in the third quarter, and the ball was returned 68 yards for a touchdown by Pat Watkins. It was a critical point in the game that saw what could have been a 17-14 Vikings lead instead become a 21-14 deficit.
There was some talk that Cowboys defensive lineman Chris Canty, who blocked the kick, lined up directly over Vikings long snapper Cullen Loeffler, which is illegal. But Loeffler had no complaints.
"It's a new rule that was implemented a couple of years ago in the NFL, that you can't line up directly over the snapper's head, and there's a fine line of how it's been called," said Loeffler, who in his fourth season is one of the best long snappers in the game. "And they've done a really good job at it, and in all honesty the Cowboys just had a really good rush. They did a good job and obviously I have to get down lower and try and hold my ground, whatever the front may be, regardless of what the rule is.
"It's such a hard rule to enforce because it's such a quick time period of when it's broken or not broken. It's hard to see and it's not an easy call to make."
However, Loeffler pointed out the call was made the previous week when Chicago visited Green Bay. On fourth-and-3 from the 18-yard line, Chicago kicker Robbie Gould made a 36-yard field goal, but the Bears were awarded first down because Packers defensive tackle Corey Williams was flagged for illegal formation. Two plays later, Chicago got a 10-yard touchdown run from Cedric Benson.
With the price of steel rising, Twins officials and representatives of M.A. Mortenson Co., the stadium construction manager, held a long meeting Thursday to talk about possible cost overruns on the team's new ballpark. Right now they are on budget, but there is a good chance that the Pohlad family, which is responsible for overruns, will have to cough up more money if they want to build the park according to plans.
Twins Vice President Eric Curry, also an NCAA Division I men's basketball official, again has been assigned to do games in the Mountain West and Big Ten conferences.
Kelly Holcomb, who spent training camp with the Eagles before getting traded to the Vikings in August, had praise for Philadelphia fullback Thomas Tapeh.
"Thomas Tapeh's a good football player," Holcomb said of the former Gophers and St. Paul Johnson athlete. "He's a physical fullback and he allows Brian Westbrook to run the ball the way he does. Very smart, he's good in the passing game and he can catch the ball. ... Thomas is one of those football players where whatever you ask him to do, he does it and he doesn't bicker about it."
Antoine Walker, the veteran forward the Timberwolves acquired from the Miami Heat, has four seasons and $38.8 million left on his contract. But only the next two years are guaranteed, for a total of $17.87 million, with the Wolves having an option for the 2009-10 season. Walker had a poor relationship with Heat coach Pat Riley that resulted in a four-game suspension last year because he was out of shape. I don't believe the Wolves would have made this deal unless they had another trade in place for Walker. After all, Ricky Davis, the key player in the trade for Miami, is in the last year of his contract. ... The first-round pick the Wolves got from the Heat is lottery protected for this year, meaning the Wolves will get it in 2008 only if Miami makes the playoffs.
|Chicago Cubs||6||Top 7th Inning|
|Los Angeles||3||Bottom 7th Inning|
|Cleveland||3||Top 8th Inning|
|Kansas City||5||Top 7th Inning|
|Seattle||12||Top 8th Inning|
|Arizona||5||Top 8th Inning|
|Oakland||4||Top 8th Inning|
|New York||6:30 PM|
|Ottawa||5||3rd Prd 5:58|
|Mount St Marys||77||FINAL|
|Arkansas||48||2nd Half 4:23|
|Pittsburgh||58||2nd Half 4:17|
|South Carolina||68||2nd Half 1:03|
|Oral Roberts||70||2nd Half 1:14|
|Arizona||46||2nd Half 8:48|
|Missouri||39||2nd Half 4:35|
|Auburn||65||2nd Half 1:09|
|Texas||45||2nd Half 6:40|
|Colorado State||54||2nd Half 8:55|
|Seton Hall||35||2nd Half 14:10|
|George Washington||40||2nd Half 15:26|
|Ball State||34||2nd Half 15:26|
|Arizona State||35||2nd Half 17:38|
|USC||37||2nd Half 18:44|
|Incarnate Word||41||2nd Half 11:36|
|New Orleans||22||1st Half 0:01|
|Sam Houston St||43|
|Georgia||30||1st Half 0:00|
|Weber State||27||1st Half 4:40|
|Holy Cross||5||1st Half 15:52|
|Loyola Marymount||10||1st Half 12:00|
|Southern Ill||13||1st Half 9:30|
|Jackson State||5:00 PM|
|Ga Southern||5:00 PM|
|James Madison||5:00 PM|
|Saint Peters||5:30 PM|
|Texas Southern||5:30 PM|
|Grambling St||6:00 PM|
|Eastern Ky||6:00 PM|
|Wright State||6:00 PM|
|SE Louisiana||6:00 PM|
|UC Riverside||6:00 PM|
|Long Beach State|
|Northern Colorado||6:00 PM|
|St Bonaventure||6:00 PM|
|UC Davis||6:30 PM|
|Central Arkansas||6:30 PM|
|Stephen F Austin|
|Grand Canyon||7:00 PM|
|Prairie View||7:30 PM|
|Miss Valley St||7:30 PM|
|Texas State||7:30 PM|
|Coll of Charleston||7:30 PM|
|William & Mary|
|McNeese State||7:30 PM|
|North Carolina||8:00 PM|
|Santa Clara||8:00 PM|
|UC Santa Barbara||9:00 PM|
|Fresno State||9:00 PM|
|San Jose St|
|Idaho State||9:05 PM|
|Montana State||9:05 PM|
|New Mexico||9:05 PM|
|San Diego St|
|Cal State Fullerton||10:59 PM|
|Sporting Kansas City||0||FINAL|
|Red Bull New York||6:30 PM|
|New England||7:30 PM|
|Real Salt Lake||9:30 PM|
|(5) South Carolina||58|
|(18) Oklahoma St||67|
|East Tenn St||50||FINAL|
|Fla Gulf Coast||74||FINAL|
|(15) Texas A&M||77||FINAL|
|Sam Houston St||87|
|No Dakota State||64||FINAL|
|Eastern Washington||63||2nd Half 3:56|
|Northern Ariz||64||2nd Half 1:27|
|Sacramento St||57||2nd Half 2:55|
|Utah Valley U||50||2nd Half 1:03|
|TX-Pan American||53||2nd Half 3:46|
|Jackson State||56||2nd Half 2:17|
|Prairie View||41||2nd Half 6:30|
|Texas Southern||55||2nd Half 6:16|
|Louisiana||44||2nd Half 0:39|
|Western Carolina||45||2nd Half 9:33|
|Cal-Irvine||28||1st Half 0:09|
|(14) NC State||15||1st Half 2:40|
|(2) Notre Dame||38|
|UMKC||26||1st Half 2:38|
|Central Arkansas||13||1st Half 2:06|
|Stephen F Austin||27|
|SE Louisiana||28||1st Half 3:49|
|Cal Poly||36||2nd Half|
|UC Santa Barbara||35|
|ULM||6||1st Half 14:57|
|(16) Nebraska||4:55 PM|
|(19) Michigan State|
|Miss Valley St||5:00 PM|
|Texas State||5:15 PM|
|Chicago State||6:00 PM|
|(7) West Virginia|
|(13) North Carolina||6:30 PM|
|Cal State Fullerton|
|Northern Colorado||8:30 PM|
|Long Beach St||9:00 PM|
|Washington St||10:30 PM|
Poll: Which free-agent quarterback would you most like the Vikings to sign?