Winter meetings confidential

– I’m hearing rumblings that Toby Gardenhire will be named manager of the Twins’ Class A Fort Myers Miracle. The son of former Twins (and current Tigers) manager Ron Gardenhire would move from Class A Cedar Rapids, where he managed for one season. And former Twins relief great Joe Nathan will be a special instructor in spring training.

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The Twins added a pitcher during the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft. Righthander Dusten Knight spent most of last season with Richmond of the Eastern League, posting a 4-1 record and a 2.27 ERA. He also had a cup of coffee with Class AAA Sacramento in the Giants organization. Knight’s fastball-curveball combination attracted the Twins’ attention, and he will be assigned to Class AAA Rochester.

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Seattle General Manager Jerry Dipoto was in a Vegas hospital with what turned out to be a blood clot in his lung. Undeterred, he put the final touches on a big deal while bedridden. The Mariners, Cleveland and Tampa Bay swung a three-player deal that sent Edwin Encarnacion to Seattle, Carlos Santana and Jake Bauers to the Indians, and infielder Yandy Diaz and righthander Cole Sulser to the Rays. Competitive balance picks and cash were also part of the swap.

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Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino was a great venue, if you didn’t mind walking hundreds of yards at a time to get around. The media workroom was the largest ever, complete with a lounge with leather chairs that made it easier for folks to peel off and have phone conversations. And one of the restaurants in the hotel brought hors d’oeurves in every afternoon. Winter Meetings Confidential is committed to attending every year to stay on top of this issue. San Diego next!

LA VELLE E. NEAL III