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 notes: The Happy Hour edition

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: November 9, 2011 - 5:55 PM

A few Twins notes to chew on:

WHO WILL MANAGE ROCHESTER?

The Twins hope to name a new manager for Class AAA Rochester no later than Thanksgiving, perhaps as soon as next week.

The list of candidates is an interesting one.

Former Cubs manager Mike Quade, former Red Sox first base coach Ron Johnson, former Mets bench coach Ken Oberkfell, former Braves hitting coach Larry Parrish and former White Sox third base coach Jeff Cox are all on the Twins' list of candidates.. All have extensive minor league managing experience.
As of Wednesday, the Twins have spoken directly with Johnson and Cox but planned to contact Quade, Oberkfell and Parrish.

The Twins are looking for a replacement for Tom Nieto,who lost 186 games in two seasons with Rochester.

GARDY IS GONE

Toby Gardenhire, that is.

There’s one less Gardenhire in the Twins organization as free agent infielder Toby Gardenhire - son of the Twins’ manager - has been told that he wasn’t being offered a contract for the 2012 season.

Gardenhire, drafted in the 41st round in 2005, Gardenhire batted .247 in 103 games with the Red Wings and appeared at second, third short, the outfield and catcher. He even was an emergency pitcher.

The Twins expect several prospects to jump to Rochester from Class AA New Britain, headed by shortstop Brian Dozier, first baseman Chris Parmelee and outfielder Joe Benson. Rantz said Rochester is headed in a different direction and they didn’t see a role for Gardenhire - even if he’s the manager’s son.

``I think he wants to stay in the game,’’ Rantz said. ``He’s a terrific kid. He can do a lot to help a ballclub because he’s going to play a lot of positions.''

REACHING OUT

Terry Ryan has spent the first couple of days on the job calling every player who was on the major league roster last season. And that included Michael Cuddyer, who is being courted heavily by the Phillies.

``Yes, I have spoken with Cuddyer,’’ Ryan said. ``I called and left a message, and he returned the call.''

Ryan didn’t divulge what was said. The Twins would like to bring Cuddyer back but the veteran outfielder spent Tuesday meeting with Phillies officials and having lunch with manager Charlie Manuel.

OTHER STUFF

+Former GM Jim Bowden, who told the world that Denard Span was  being traded to Washington at the July deadline, is at it again.

``Twins and Nationals have a trade match-up that makes too much sense..Twins need a SS (Desmond or Espinosa) & Nats need a CF (Span or Revere).'' he tweeted.

The Twins and Nats talked about a Span-Drew Storen swap at the deadline but it fell apart. It's not unusual for teams to re-visit trades that fall apart once the offseason begins. But there's a new sheriff in town in Terry Ryan, and he might not feel the same way that Bill Smith felt about the deal.

+Also, it wouldn't be surprising if the Twins and Rockies picked up where they left off at the trade deadline concerning Kevin Slowey. In fact, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reported after the season ended that Slowey and Carl Pavano were among a group of pitchers the Rockies were interested in.

I'm starting to think that the Twins will trade Pavano during the offseason. They can trim payroll and get something decent in return.

+The Twins have had a scout at Yoennis Cespedes' workouts in the Dominican Republic. Cespedes defected from Cuba during the summer is about to be declared a free agent. It appears that the 26-year old stud center fielder is going to draw huge offers, probably beyond the Twins' reach.

 

 

 

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