La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

Twins remain interested in Saunders as offseason closes

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: January 16, 2013 - 5:36 PM

The Twins continue to show interest in free agent lefthander Joe Saunders, according to a source with knowledge of negotiations. And there are indications that the sides have made recent progress on a deal.
After signing Rich Harden to a minor league contract last month, the Twins indicated that they we no longer actively pursuing pitchers this offseason but would listen if prices dropped.
Their interest comes two days after the club announced that righthander Nick Blackburn would need wrist surgery that's expected to knock him out of the early season. Blackburn had successful surgery on Wednesday and will be in a cast for six weeks.
Saunders, 31, was 9-13, 4.07 last season with Arizona and Baltimore and had a 1.59 ERA in two postseason starts with the Orioles.

Rosario to WBC

Twins prospect Eddie Rosario has been hitting well for Mayaguez of the Puerto Rican winter league as the team has reached the Caribbean postseason.
He's hit so well, .338 heading into the postseason, that he's expected to be named to Puerto Rico's roster for the upcoming World Baseball Classic. Rosario is playing second base for the Twins after moving from the outfield. But look for him to be part of a four-man outfield with Carlos Beltran, Angel Pagan, Alex Rios for the WBC.

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