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

Day 1 for Twins at winter meetings: Brian Dozier set to arrive

Under Armour this afternoon is set to announce a 10-year deal to be the official uniform provider for Major League Baseball. It just so happens that Twins second baseman Brian Dozier will be in town to take part in the announcement.
 
As of now, we're not expecting Dozier to be modeling a Dodgers uniform.
 
The Dodgers have engaged the Twins about Dozier, with indications that the Twins' interest has been "piqued" of late. Dozier is in the prime of his career, is coming off of a 40-plus homer season and is making just $15 million over the next two seasons. That makes him the most interesting power hitting middle infielder in the world.
 
The dynamic duo of Derek Falvey and Thad Levine both have recently said it would take a lot for them to trade Dozier, which the right approach to take here. The Twins aren't motivated sellers, they are opportunistic sellers. If they can get the Dodgers or another team to pony up a package of prospects, then pull the trigger.
 
Dozier would likely push for a contract extension wherever hes dealt.
 
But there's no rush here to move Dozier. If the Twins don't like the names they are hearing, they can hold on to Dozier and see who caves at the trade deadline.
 
This is the first full day of the winter meetings. While teams are looking to make moves, there are plenty of meetings. The scouting directors, general mangers, trainers, doctors, managers and the BBWAA gather for annual meetings.
 
Falvey is using this week to meet more of his staff. Most clubs have organizational meetings in October to assess where they are and get organized for the offseason. The Twins canceled theirs because of the search for a new leader. Falvey was hired, but is still meeting all his pro scouts, affiliates and other members of the organization for the first time.
 
One Twins official told me that engaging with those folks might be the most important part of the winter meetings for them.
 
I'm not anticipating the Twins making a big move this week, partially because Falvey and Levine are still trying to take inventory of their organization. Solidifying the catching position was their offseason priority, and they filled that hole with Jason Castro. What about pitching? Well, upgrading their pitching staff will be a never-ending task.
 
Some other notes
 
After the press conference, Dozier, Francisco Lindor, Freddie Freeman, Ryan Zimmerman, Clayton Kershaw, Brandon Phillips and Rick Porcello are scheduled to be part of a roundtable discussion hosted by MLB Network's Harold Reynolds.
 
Looks like the Twins will avoid going to arbitration with reliever Brandon Kintzler. There's no deal to announce at the moment, but initial talks have been encouraging to the point where a deal looks likely.
 
Look for the Twins to be active in the Rule 5 draft. They wouldn't have cleared space last week (they didn't offer Yorman Landa a contract) unless they had something in mind. They will being serious Rule 5 draft preparations on Tuesday.
 
Former Twin Joe Nathan wants to keep pitching, and there are a few teams that are interested.
 
The pressure is on the host Washington Nationals to make splash this week, and they reportedly are talking about deals for Andrew McCutchen and Chris Sale.
 
New Twins front office employee Michael Cuddyer does not live far away from here, but will not be stopping by the meetings. "I've got (youth) basketball to coach,'' he said.  
 
The Twins have just announced that Deron Johnson has been promoted to Senior Advisor to the scouting department and that Sean Johnson will become the scouting director. It's shaped as a promotion for Deron Johnson, but it also gets a fresh set of eyes on the draft. Deron Johnson and Mike Radcliff will probably have plenty of input in the draft.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Twins shake up scouting department

The Twins have announced a shakeup of their scouting department.

Deron Johnson, who has been the director of scouting since 2007, has been promoted to Senior Advisor to the scouting department. Johnson has been with the Twins since 1994 and was named scouting director in 1997. Aaron Hicks was his first draft pick.

In his new role, Johnson will scout the best talent in the domestic and international markets.

Sean Johnson, who has been the Twins' West Coast Supervisor since 2008, has been promoted to director of scouting and will oversee preparations for draft as well as develop their 27-man scouting staff.

This news comes on the first day of the 2016 winter meetings in National Harbor, Maryland.

“These promotions reflect the evolution of our scouting department and shape our scouting philosophies moving forward,” Twins GM Thad Levine said in a news release.

Deron Johnson, 50, joined the organization in 1994. According to the news release, he will "scout the best talent in the domestic and international, amateur markets. In addition, he will assist the Professional Scouting Department by undertaking targeted Minor and Major League scouting assignments."

Sean Johnson, 41, joined the Twins as an area scout in 2002. The Twins' release said his duties will make him "responsible for the strategic preparation of the Amateur Draft, and he will be charged with developing the 27-man amateur scouting staff."