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.

Winter meetings Day 3: Garza? Really?

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: December 11, 2013 - 9:42 AM

Between 11 p.m. Monday night and 3 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, four different people told me that the Twins were in on Matt Garza. The last person was Garza himself, as I reached him by phone as he prepared to head out on vacation.

The Twins certainly haven't limited themselves in their search for starting pitching. Now the chances of pulling off a Garza deal, in my opinion, are somewhat slim. Garza is going to be coveted by the big boys with the fat local TV deals. I mean, the Yankees need starting pitching, so you know they will be ready to pounce. Garza and Ervin Santana shouldn't be in a hurry to sign until anxiety among pitching-needy clubs peaks.

I like the fact that they could jump in on the Tanaka sweepstakes, too. With the new posting system, they would be one of a few and perhaps several teams to put in the max bid of $20 million and take their chances in negotiations. Now, will Tanaka be posted by his Japanese league team? That remains to be seen. It doesn't like the Rakuten Golden Eagles are thrilled with getting a $20 million posting fee when it was over $50 last year for Yu Darvish.

I think the Twins have a better chance at signing Mike Pelfrey or Bronson Arroyo. But they haven't limited their pursuit to just those two. To someone that has watched the Twins do little at these meetings through the years, it's interesting to see them at least linked to better players.

There was a report yesterday linking the Twins to shortstop Stephen Drew. That's one I'll be looking into today. Bartolo Colon has been mentioned elsewhere too.

It's already been a busy day down here in sunny central Florida. The day began with BBWAA duties, as I addressed all the league's media directors. Then I shot a video with our own Michael Rand that should be hitting the website soon. And now the blog.

I'm headed to the lobby of the Dolphin and Swan Resort right now to stake out sources and see what the Twins are up to today. Then the annual manager's luncheon is at 12:30 p.m. These days are long and busy, but have been fun so far. Especially when the team you cover is doing interesting things.


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