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.

Twins, Slowey avoid arbitration

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: January 25, 2011 - 5:05 PM

The Twins and righthander Kevin Slowey have agreed to a one-year, $2.7 million contract to avoid going to arbitration.

It was a midpoint deal, as the Twins filed for $2.3 million and Slowey filed for $3.1. Good for both sides, because there are times when egos get involved and one side just has to get a little over or a little under the midpoint just to prove a point.

Slowey, 26, was 13-6 last season with a 4,45 ERA. He's 39-21 in four seasons but will have to fight for a spot in the rotation. Francisco Liriano, Carl Pavano and Scott Baker should be locks with Slowey, Brian Duensing and Nick Blackburn left having to prove themselves.

UPDATE: I think Duensing should be a lock too, but you never know how spring will turn out. Unfortunately, Duensing has proven he can be that swingman. Don't agree with the negativity toward Baker. He twice needed shots in his elbiw during last season. When healthy, he was 15-9 in 2009. He's 55-42 in his career. You don't vote someone off the island with those numbers......

That leaves Francisco Liriano and Delmon Young as the two remaining arbitration cases.

For Young, the Twins filed at $4.65 million. He filed at $6.25 million. (Midpoint is $5.45 million). For Liriano, the Twins filed at $3.6 million. He filed at $5.0 million. (Midpoint is $4.3 million).

Arbitration hearings take place Feb. 1-18 and teams have negotiated with their players right up until the start of the hearing before agreeing to deals. Torii Hunter tells the story of when he had one foot in the hearing room when the Twins finally said the number he wanted to hear.



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