ANAHEIM, CALIF. Twins pitcher Carlos Silva can become a free agent at season's end, but his agent recently told the team that Silva would be willing to negotiate a discounted contract extension.
Silva, 28, is making $4 million this year, and the team's decision to pick up his option has proven wise. After struggling in 2006, Silva enters tonight's start against the Angels at 9-12 with a 4.51 ERA.
His record could be better, but Silva has received the lowest run support of any Twins starter besides Matt Garza, at 4.2 runs per game. The Twins have been shut out in six of Silva's 23 starts.
Silva's wife is a St. Paul native. They had their first child in June and are planning to purchase a Twin Cities home.
As a free agent, Silva would seem to have a better bargaining position than Jason Marquis did last year after going 14-16 with a 6.02 ERA for the Cardinals. Marquis wound up getting a three-year, $21 million deal from the Cubs.
Silva's agent, Peter Greenberg, told the Twins his client wouldn't need to test the market if they wanted to negotiate now. As with Torii Hunter, the Twins said they would wait until season's end.
Asked about the talks Friday, Silva said he hopes to stay.
"Definitely," he said. "This is the team I feel comfortable with. My friends are here. But sometimes it's not in our hands. This is my priority, and [the Twins] know that."
As for the potential discount, Silva said, "We have a saying [in Venezuela] that the rich people are already complete. We don't have to get the most money."
Signing Silva could increase the Twins' chances of signing his countryman and fellow Greenberg client Johan Santana, a free agent after 2008.
The mother of Angels slugger Vladimir Guerrero, Altagracia Alvino, has moved to California from the Dominican Republic, and her cooking has become so popular that opposing players now make requests.
So when the Twins' Dominican natives, Alexi Casilla and Ramon Ortiz, arrived in the visiting clubhouse at Angel Stadium on Friday, they found Tupperware filled with Alvino's chicken and rice specialties.
"It's pretty nice," Casilla said. "It's like being home."
White back in left field
Rondell White returned to left field for the first time since April 4.
White said the one-week rest he got during the last home-stand helped his right hamstring feel better, and he went right to manager Ron Gardenhire's office Thursday, telling him he was ready to play the outfield again.
Asked if the Twins gave any thought to releasing White, Gardenhire said, "We were more concerned that he was going to retire than us releasing him. I'm sure his frustration got to the point where he was ready to say, 'Enough of this.' "
The Twins expected third baseman Brian Buscher to be released from the hospital Friday after having the swelling on his right shin drained.
Twins General Manager Terry Ryan said Buscher could resume baseball activities in three to five days, and he sounded optimistic about Buscher being ready to come off the disabled list when he's eligible, on Aug. 22.
"That might be premature telling you that," Ryan said. "But so far, so good. I think he's responded favorably to the hospital visit. That was the right thing to do."