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.

Arroyo talks free agency, names Twins among interested teams

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: November 18, 2013 - 5:37 PM

Righthander Bronson Arroyo - who has made at least 32 starts in nine consecutive seasons - spoke on MLB Network Radio on Monday about how his free agency is going so far.

And, yes, he mentioned the Twins.

"Yeah, it’s definitely in the early stages,'' he said. "Nobody’s really put a dollar bill in front of me, but I have, I think, the Phillies, the Dodgers, the Angels, the Giants, the Twins, maybe even the Orioles, I think all those teams have called, you know, just to say that they are interested.  I’m not really sure how interested, you know?  I think the Giants called back a couple of times and so did the Twins.  But nobody really wants to put any money down on the table yet.''The Giants made the first dip into the free agent starting pitching pool today when they signed veteran Tim Hudson to a reported two-year, $23 million deal. And San Francisco might not be done adding to its rotation.

The Twins have contacted pretty much every starting pitcher on the market. The names I've heard include Arroyo, Scott Kazmir, Josh Johnson, Ricky Nolasco, Ervin Santana and Jason Vargas are in the group they have made calls on. What's not known is who they have the most interest in or who they have crossed off their list.

(Yes, there has been contact with Johan Santana's agents, but he must be treated as a separate entity at this point because he won't be ready for the start of the 2014 season and might not be ready until well into the season.)

Arroyo indicated that he's prepared for the process to play out.

"I figured it could take a while,'' he said during his interview with Casey Stern and former GM Jim Bowden. "And there’s other guys, I think, in the market.  I might not be the first choice for some teams and I think there are some guys on the market that are going to affect how everybody else kind of plays out in the game.  So I’m just sitting back and waiting to see who is interested in me.  I’m 36.  I’m going to pitch [at] 37 next year, but I’ve never missed a start, I feel like I’ve got as much energy as anybody at the ballpark on an everyday basis.  We’ll see what happens.  It’s going to be interesting.''

Arroyo is 138-127 in his career. He was 14-12 last season with a 3.79 ERA with 34 walks and 124 strikeouts in 202 innings. He led the league with 32 home runs given up, which should come down some if he pitched in Target Field.

He's like most free agents in that he would like to pitch for a contender within the next year or two, which might not make the Twins the best fit. He also is seeking three years, something the Twins might not want to do for a pitcher turning 37 in February.

"I feel like I’ve proven myself in the game,'' Arroyo said. "I feel like I’ve given every team that I’ve ever played for their money’s worth. And so I really would like somebody to come further than two years and give me a three-year deal. I feel like I’ve got plenty left in the tank for that.

"All those factors are going to play a part and I’m just going to sit back and kind of evaluate each individual team. There’s probably going to be no place that’s absolutely perfect because if it were a perfect world I’d probably retire in a Reds uniform, but that’s not going to happen. So I’m going to take in all the details and see what fits best for me.''

The Twins are in a position where they desperately need to upgrade their roster. So they might have to part with more dollars and years for free agents than they have in the past. Arroyo is a durable workhorse who is getting up there in age. It will be interesting to see if the Twins make an offer for him.


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