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Twins Insider

La Velle E. Neal III and Phil Miller report on the Twins from wherever they make news

Twins manager Molitor would like to add another veteran

The Twins have not burned up the transaction wire this offseason, but they continue to look for upgrades before pitchers and catchers report on Feb. 14

Pitching remains the constant priority. But Twins manager Paul Molitor has talked with his bosses Derek Falvey and Thad Levine -- I'll refer to them as, "Falvine" for brevity -- about bringing a veteran presence into a clubhouse of developing players.

"I've talked to Thad and Derek about my opinions about adding, where we could, more experienced people who have the reputation of being influential in clubhouse culture as well as leadership,'' Molitor said, "and a guy who can still play."

The guess here is that player would likely be an outfielder. The Twins seem to be covered in the infield. And they have plenty of DH options. That's why reports of them being interested in Mike Napoli earlier in the offseason didn't seem plausible, but they could bring a veteran outfielder off the bench to spot start or pinch hit. 

There are plenty of free agents still on the market. But I'm not sure who among the group of veteran outfield types -- Brandon Moss, Chris Coghlan and Ryan Rayburn are a few that come to mind -- is considered to be a good chemistry guy. Tat appears to be an area the Twins would like to address before camp opens.

Actually, free agency across the league has bogged down in recent weeks, as Matt Wieters, Jose Bautista (although there are reports he's going back to Toronto), Billy Butler, Justin Morneau, Kurt Suzuki, Jason Hammel and Mat Latos are recognizable names without a home.

I joked to Molitor that he doesn't want to go to Torii Hunter or Michael Cuddyer -- who are joining the club as special assistants -- and ask them to come out of retirement. Molitor did say that he hopes catcher Jason Castro, who signed early in free agency, will help some in that area.

We'll see if Falvine can come up with a player or two for Molitor before camp opens.

"We have looked at positions where someone could come in an make our team and make an impact," Molitor said. "Haven't found the right fit yet." 

Twins sign catcher Chris Gimenez to minor-league contract

    The Twins’ spring competition to back up new catcher Jason Castro became a three-man battle on Thursday when Chris Gimenez, a veteran of four major-league teams, agreed to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training.

    Gimenez, who batted .216 with four home runs in 68 games last season for Cleveland, joins John Ryan Murphy and Mitch Garver in a three-way race for a backup job. Castro, who signed a three-year contract as a free agent in November, is the heavy favorite to claim the starter’s role.

    Gimenez, 34, 19th-round pick in the 2004 draft by Cleveland, and he debuted five seasons later for the Indians. He’s also played for the Mariners, Rays and Rangers, batting a career .218 with 15 home runs in 289 games. Nine of his 15 home runs have come in the past two seasons, however, which he spent with Texas and Cleveland — teams that new Minnesota leaders Thad Levine and Derek Falvey worked for before being hired by the Twins.