LAS VEGAS – The Twins aggressively shot down rumors Monday about their level of interest in a few free agents, such as slugger Nelson Cruz, righthanders Trevor Cahill and Joakim Soria and even former Twins catcher Wilson Ramos.
The Twins definitely have checked in on these players, but nothing more at this point. Could they grow more interested? Absolutely. But now they’re just in the preliminary stages.
“There have been a lot of reports and indications,” Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey said. “I would say a lot of this right now — and to be truly candid — is like due diligence work. There are a lot of rumors. I think there is a responsibility to check in with different people around potential fits for our team. That’s where things stand.”
A club could have general interest in a free agent but want to make sure he’s healthy. So it requests medical reports. Someone on the other side could read that as serious interest, when it is not. Of course, when there is a report that Cruz and the Twins have “mutual interest,” that’s a way of Cruz’s side making it known he’s cool with playing in the Twin Cities.
For now, the signals point toward the Twins not being very active this week. They will meet with agents and explore trades, but it doesn’t look like anything big will go down.
• Managers have news conferences during the winter meetings. Tampa Bay’s Kevin Cash was asked about one of his former employees, new Twins manager Rocco Baldelli.
Cash was full of praise. He believes that Baldelli’s ability to understand new-school dynamics while connecting with individuals personally is a great combination.
“To watch how he really learned to communicate with players and have some difficult conversations and also understanding the game, the end game decisionmaking, he’s going to do a really good job in Minnesota,” Cash said.