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 sign Harden, Diamond has minor surgery. Non-roster invites

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: December 21, 2012 - 10:20 AM


The Twins have reached agreement with righthander Rich Harden on a minor league contract that includes an invitation to spring training.

Harden missed all of last season while recovering from rotator cuff surgery in January. It's a very low-risk move to see if the oft-injured Harden can bounce back. Despite his injuries, Harden averaged 9.20 strikeouts per nine innings from 2003-11, thanks to top shelf stuff.

But the other news is that lefthander Scott Diamond, the Twins' most effective starter last season, was in New York on Tuesday to have a bone chip removed from his left elbow. The procedure is a simple one but still raises an eyebrow.

The Twins also announced their list of non-roster invites to spring training: : Righthanders Bryan Augenstein, Nick Blackburn, Deolis Guerra, Alex Meyer, Lester Oliveros and Anthony Slama; outfielders Brandon Boggs and Clete Thomas; infielders Jeff Clement, Chris Colabello, Ray Olmedo and Mark Sobolewski; and catchers Kyle Knudson, Danny Lehmann and Dan Rohlfing.


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