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.

Some notes as baseball heads to Nashville for the winter meetings

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: November 28, 2012 - 1:32 PM

Some mammals are in hibernation at this time of year, but I have emerged from my slumber in time for next week's winter meetings in Nashville

By now, you have read this story about the possibility of Francisco Liriano returning to the Twins. Nothing's a done deal yet, but many of you are not fired up about Frankie returning.

My take: If the Twins emerge from the offseason with two starters who can eat innings at the front of the rotation, I can handle someone like Liriano (if they feel they can fix him) on the back end of the rotation. If they can't, they are asking for trouble.

Catching up on some other notes on a Wednesday afternoon:

  • Greg Genske is Liriano's agent. Genske also represents Joe Saunders, who's a potential innings-eating solution. Wouldn't be surprised if the Twins ask about him - or if Genske pitches him to the Twins.
  • The Twins have signed DH-1B-C Jeff Clement to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. Clement, 29, batted .136 in 23 games with Pittsburgh last season. But the former No. 3 overall pick in 2005 has been unable to break through, playing in only 152 major league games. The Twins have followed Clement for many years, drafting him in the 12th round in 2002. Clement opted to attend USC that year, then he was drafted by the Mariners in 2005.
  • In case you missed it, outfielder Nate Roberts and righthander Kyle Gibson were named to the all-prospects team at the recently-completed Arizona Fall League.
  • The Twins were talking with reliever Jared Burton on a contract that would avoid arbitration, but those talks have been put on the back burner as the Twins look for starting pitching. The Twins are expected to be in contact with Burton's agent during the winter meetings.
  • Watch out on Friday, which the deadline for teams to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players. Starting pitchers like Jair Jurrjens, Mike Pelphrey and John Lannan could join the free agent ranks. For the Twins, Burton, Brian Duensing and Drew Butera are eligible for arbitration.
  • This just in: Danny Valencia has been sold by the Red Sox to the Orioles.
  • You can keep up with Twins players in winter leagues here.






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