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.

The noonish update from the winter meetings.

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: December 6, 2011 - 12:37 PM

There was a report this morning from SI's (soon-to-be CBS Sportsline's) John Heyman that the Twins have offered Michael Cuddyer a three-year, $25 million contract. I have confirmed the three years but was told the deal was for a tad less, around $24 million.
The Twins this week want to know where they stand with their utility hitter and clubhouse leader. But how many teams are in the running for Cuddyer?
Philadelphia was the early leader but has added Ty Wigginton and Laynce Nix and appear to no longer be looking for outfield help.
Boston could use an outfielder, but the Red Sox are making pitching a higher priority. They need two starters, unless they move Daniel Bard to the rotation, then they would need a starter and a closer.
The Giants could use an outfielder but can't afford a big jump in payroll. They appear to have $81 million in commitments to eight players, not including Tim Lincecum, who needs to be signed.
Seattle needs offense. Cuddyer would have to play left because King Ichiro is not moving out of right field.
It doesn't appear that there's a big market for an outfielder who is worth $8-plus million a season. Since the Twins are willing to go to three years, there's a decent chance Cuddyer sticks with the Twins. That's just my opinion.

Other stuff

  • The Twins have not had one conversation with Scott Boras, the agent for free agent pitcher Edwin Jackson.
  • They have not had one conversation with the agent for Jeff Francis.
  • Their interest in Japanese pitchers Hisashi Iwakuma and Tsuyoshi Wada is almost at zero.


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