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, Liriano avoid arbitration

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: February 5, 2011 - 5:02 PM

The Twins and Francisco Liriano have agreed on a one-year, $4.3 million deal that will keep the lefthander out of arbitration.

It's another midpoint deal, as Liriano had filed for $5 million and the Twins filed for $3.6 million.

Liriano went 14-10 with a 3.62 ERA last season in what was big bounce back year for him. There have been no indications that the Twins were interested in signing him for more than one. If that's the case, it makes sense for the Twins to wait one more year to see if Liriano can put together back-to-back good seasons.

That leaves Delmon Young as the lone Twin with a chance to end up in arbitration. The Twins filed at $4.65 million. He filed at $6.25 million. Arbitration hearings began on Tuesday and continue through Feb. 18. It's unclear when Young's case has been scheduled.

Using information on www.cotsbaseballcontracts, the Twins have about $105 million tied up in 18 players. Signs point to their payroll landing between $113-115 million.

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