Daily dispatch from Fort Myers
Arbitrators side with Twins over Gibson
FORT MYERS, FLA. – Twins righthander Kyle Gibson can now focus on spring training.
The 30-year-old lost his salary arbitration case Thursday when a three-member panel ruled in favor of the Twins. Gibson and the Twins spent Wednesday in Arizona at an arbitration hearing haggling over a $355,000 difference in salary requests.
The Twins will pay Gibson $4.2 million this season; he requested $4.55 million. It’s the first arbitration involving the Twins since Kyle Lohse in 2006.
Gibson made $2.9 million last year, when he was 12-10 with a 5.07 ERA. His case was argued Wednesday before Robert Herzog, Elizabeth Neumeier and Gary Kendellen.
The ruling was announced after Gibson talked to reporters Thursday morning, when he declined to say much about the proceedings.
“It’s just part of the process, really,” he said. “It is designed to help teams and players alike and with the help comes a solution.”
He said it was strange to miss the first workout Wednesday: “Always. Always. Whether you take a day off, whenever you’re not supposed to or you’re not where you’re not supposed to be, I’m where I’m supposed to be now and I’m going to have fun.”
Rodney at Super Bowl
Signing in Minnesota provided Fernando Rodney one special opportunity: He was able to attend his first Super Bowl.
“Expensive ticket too,’’ said Rodney, who reported to camp Thursday after missing Wednesday’s opening workout to take care of a personal matter.
Rodney was one of the announced 67,612 at the game. Twins communications director Dustin Morse posted a video on twitter of Rodney doing his celebratory “arrow shot” while in the upper deck of U.S. Bank Stadium.
Rodney, who will throw in the bullpen Friday, rooted for the Eagles, too. He was very impressed with the relatively new stadium.
“It’s nice,” he said. “It felt like a World Series game. There was a lot of energy on both sides.”
The Twins have several solid shortstop prospects, including Nick Gordon, who spent last season at Class AA Chattanooga.
But some refer to him by his rap name, G Cinco.
Gordon released his first album, “My Life,” during the offseason. LaTroy Hawkins, a special instructor in camp, played the album before Wednesday’s workout.
Some players bobbed their heads as “I’m The Man” spilled out of the clubhouse sound system. OK, most of those bobbing their heads were his Class AA Chattanooga teammates from last year, like catcher Brian Navaretto and pitcher Felix Jorge.
“Thumbs up for sure,” said outfielder Lamote Wade, another of Gordon’s Lookouts teammates. “Much respect for that. He did a great job. I liked it a lot.”
The Twins announced that single game tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday. Tickets can be purchased at mntwins.com, by using MLB.com’s Ballpark app, by calling (612) 33-TWINS or by visiting the main ticket office located near Gate 29 at Target Field. Tickets for the April 5 home opener against Seattle remain available.
Let’s meet Lamonte Wade
2017 stats: .292 with seven homers, 67 RBI and a .397 on-base percentage at Class AA Chattanooga.
Acquired: Selected in the ninth round of the 2015 draft.
Role: Competing for a spot at Class AAA Rochester.
Did you know: Wade has more walks (177) than strikeouts (151) through three minor league seasons. He credits his coach at Maryland, John Szefc, for helping him with his plate discipline. Szefc is now at Virginia Tech. Wade hit .238 in 19 games for the Surprise Saguaros of the Arizona Fall League during the offseason. He suffered a concussion Nov. 11 but returned to action shortly thereafter.
La Velle E. Neal III