Will the Twins add a designated hitter or go with the players they already have on the roster? There could be some clarity coming soon.
Nelson Cruz appears to be close to deciding where to play next season. It was learned before the winter meetings that the Twins were interested in Cruz as a DH, and a report Tuesday claimed Cruz was choosing between the Twins and Rays. He hit .256 last season for the Mariners with 37 homers and 97 RBI.
The Rays are coming off a surprising 90-win season and could be more attractive than the Twins. But Cruz could reunite here with General Manager Thad Levine, who was with the Rangers when Cruz came into his own as a power hitter.
The Twins could opt to stick with what they have in-house if they don’t land Cruz. The Mariners are trying to trade Carlos Santana and the Cardinals are willing to move Jose Martinez in the right deal, but the Twins might pass on both first basemen.
“I would anticipate for us, because of how our team is built and some flexibility between positions for some of our guys — particularly the outfield group that can bounce around — we feel like we have the ability to be a little choosy on what the next bat is for our team is,” Twins Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey said.
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A couple other nuggets from Falvey on Wednesday as the winter meetings neared an end.
Falvey confirmed that Trevor May will be solely a reliever. The righthander went 4-1 with a 3.20 ERA while notching three saves last season, a decent return following his recovery from Tommy John surgery. May should be a factor in late-inning situations and could be an option to close.
“Definitely has got experience toward the back end,” Falvey said. “When you look up at closer options, certainly there’s some external options, too. At some point, some guys get handed the keys and you’ve got a chance to do it and you’ve got to start with Save 1 at some point.”
And, barring a late change in strategy, the Twins will not be active in the major league phase of the Rule 5 draft on Thursday. Their 40-man roster is full and there were no plans to move anyone off to create space. The Twins could lose a player, such as former first-round pick Tyler Jay, a lefthander.