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.

Afternoon update: Pitching search, Pelfrey, Rincon, Deduno, SU2C

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: December 9, 2013 - 1:58 PM

Rumblings are that Twins GM Terry Ryan is still looking for starting pitching as we're knee-deep in the first day of the winter meetings. Even after signing Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes last week, the Twins feel they could use another starter. If it's Mike Pelfrey, indications are it will have to be close to their previous offer of $10 million over two seasons.

Sometimes a marquee free agent or two will show up at the winter meetings to check in with clubs or sign deals. Then there are a few of the other guys, free agents still holding out hope they can extend their career a year or two.

I was reminded of the latter when I walked past a table of men, stopped and exclaimed, ``Juany, what the heck are you doing here!?''

Juan Rincon is at the winter meetings, looking for a chance to prove he can still get people out. Rincon, 34, pitched for York of the Independent League in 2013. In 2012, he split time with independent ball and Class AAA Salt Lake. He hasn't pitched in the majors since 2010. His best years were when he was with the Twins from 2001 to 2008. He served a 10-game suspension in 2005 for violating the MLB drug policy.

But he wants back in the game and hopes to hook on with a team this week. Haven't heard if the Twins will take a chance on him or not.

Some of you have asked for a Samuel Deduno update. Deduno, the one starter from last season who could miss a bat once in awhile, is working out down in Fort Myers, Fla., Twins GM Terry Ryan aid. Deduno is not quite ready to begin a throwing program yet. Deduno had shoulder surgery late in the season and the Twins are expected to take it easy with him early in spring training.

The Twins showed some interest in catcher J.P. Arencibia before he agreed to terms with Texas over the weekend.

Finally, MLB is heavily involved in the Stand Up 2 Cancer cause and this week is auctioning off several experiences,  like Bryce Harper visiting your school, Michael Cuddyer coming over to do a magic show and the World Series trophy visiting your home or office. The two Twins-related items are a tour of the clubhouse and dugout by Glen Perkins and a chance to be an intern during the All-Star Game at Target Field. Head here for more details.

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Toronto 0 Postponed
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