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.

Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won't miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.

Pierzynski: Twins were hard to turn down

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: December 10, 2013 - 2:17 PM

Former Twins catcher A.J. Pierzynski appeared in the lobby of the Dolphin Hotel on Tuesday. Pierzynski  lives in the area and attended Dr. Phillips High School (same one as Johnny Damon.) He chatted with some folks, including Twins scout Larry Corrigan before I could chat him up.

Pierzynski confirmed that the Twins made a two-year offer for him to return to his original team. He spoke with manager Ron Gardenhire by phone, and the manager made a strong recruiting pitch. Pierzynski understood that the Twins were trying to turn things around and wanted his help.

In the end, Pierzynski couldn't turn down the chance to play for the defending World Series champs. He's played in four postseason series, winning the World Series with the White Sox in 2005, and wants to win again.

``Minnesota made it hard,'' Pierzynski said.

The Twins tried a two-year offer to Jarrod Saltalamacchia but he took three years to go back home to Florida. John Buck's name has come up as a free agent option, but the Twins might just go with Josmil Pinto behind the plate. They like the kid and thought Pierzynski or Saltalamacchia could help with his learning curve. But they might go with what they have in Pinto, Ryan Doumit and & Co. with catching savant Terry Steinbach to provide guidance.

The Twins remain involved in talks for righthander Bronson Arroyo, who is receiving a lot of interest. I mentioned yesterday that the Phillies were one of his suitors but someone I know with the organization said that is not true.

By the way, Corrigan officially rejoined the organization last month. He left in 2007 to join the Pirates then, later, the Angels. Now he's back as mainly a pro scout.

That's all for now. I'm hearing the Twins have been very active in pursuing players, so there might be more news later!

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