Tagged: Kevin Kouzmanoff

Third Base Options Dwindling

The off-season plan is much of the same for the left side of the infield after the Minnesota Twins again received little production at both third base and shortstop in 2009. Less than two days after the World Series, the Twins upgraded at shortstop, but as the year nears an end, third base remains uncertain and time is running out. 

In recent weeks the list of third base options has been nearly cut in half. Garrett Atkins is off to Baltimore, Troy Glaus is off to Atlanta, and Pedro Feliz is headed to Houston. Remaining are Mark DeRosa, Adrian Beltre, trade candidate Kevin Kouzmanoff, and the often injured Joe Crede. 
The price tag for both DeRosa and Beltre has been high. At the Winter Meetings nearly three weeks ago, reports put their price at $9 to $10 million per season for three seasons. While the Twins will see an increase in payroll for the 2010 season, that price is far too high for most major league ball clubs. 
Earlier this week, DeRosa reportedly was offered a two-year, $12 million contract by the San Francisco Giants. If the price has fallen to that point, the Twins could be in on the veteran third baseman capable of playing second base and the corner outfield positions as well.
Outside of the two remaining premier free agents lies Kouzmanoff. The Twins had interest last off-season according to reports, and had several talks with the Padres at the Winter Meetings in Indianapolis earlier this month. 
Kouzmanoff is expected to make around $5 million next season and is under control for three more years. The Twins have offered Glen Perkins according to reports, but on Thursday it was reported that talks have “cooled” and there is a possibility he could now stay in San Diego.
When all is said and done, the team’s only option just might be to re-sign Joe Crede. After playing in just 90 games last season, Crede will be cheap on an incentive-laden deal, and he is willing to return to Minneapolis for the first season at Target Field.
Fans almost certainly would favor DeRosa, Beltre or Kouzmanoff, but the options at third base are dwindling, and unless the team acts fast, they may have the same starting third baseman on Opening Day for the first time since 2007.

Winter Meetings: Third Base Talks

There is still no action on the Minnesota Twins’ front, but there have been several rumblings in the past day regarding the team and several players. There has been no talk of starting pitchers or second baseman, just third basemen. 

With just three days to go by, indications are that the club is looking at third base as the position of choice to upgrade. Currently it seems that they’ll go in-house to fill the second base void and sign a free agent or make a trade to finish off the left side of the infield. 
So who have the names been?
Mark DeRosa 
The Twins apparently have “strong” interest in DeRosa. The veteran apparently is looking for a three-year, $27 million deal. That won’t happen in Minnesota, but if the price drops, he could be a fit. 
So far it seems, there have been only preliminary talks:

Just spoke with Mark DeRosa’s agent, Keith Grunewald, and he confirmed that he’s talked with the Twins about the free agent third baseman. They haven’t talked much and it’s just been preliminary. Grunewald said there’s a great deal of interest in DeRosa and called him one of the best commodities in the third base market.

Pedro Feliz
While FoxSports reported yesterday that Pedro Feliz was interested in Minnesota and the Twins were potentially interested in him, that doesn’t seem to be the case. It seems the Twins especially haven’t been looking in his direction:

…The agents for Feliz have not heard from the Twins. 

…Indications are that the Twins just aren’t feeling Pedro Feliz.

Kevin Kouzmanoff
The Twins seem to have the most interest in Mark DeRosa as far as free agents are concerned, but the name Kevin Kouzmanoff has been a popular one recently. There were several indications Wednesday that there is mutual interest between the Twins and Padres. 
The talks were first reported on Tuesday night when it was learned that the Twins had offered the Padres Glen Perkins and were rejected with San Diego asking for another player. Wednesday talks apparently continued:

The Twins and Padres have had several discussions about Kevin Kouzmanoff, perhaps a better (cheaper) fit for Twins than other 3B options.

Later in the day the Padres heated talks and continued to talk with the Twins:

Padres now “aggressively” trying to move Kevin Kouzmanoff, says one source who spoke with them. Hear Twins & Giants have been most interested. 

Hearing that Padres offered Kouzmanoff to Giants for Fred Lewis & Kevin Fransden. Asked Twins for Glen Perkins & 2nd player.

With all of those talks, the general feeling is that nothing will happen at least until the non-tender deadline passes Saturday. Several infielders are expected to be let go by their teams rather than offered contracts, with Garrett Atkins being one potential player. 
The Twins are apparently not keen on giving up more than Glen Perkins in a Kouzmanoff deal, but he’s cheap with pretty good production, and if other options don’t become available, something could happen. 

Winter Meetings: Day Two Rumblings

The Minnesota Twins are traditionally a quiet team at the Winter Meetings, and halfway through the 2009 session they’ve maintained that quietness. The Twins have locked up Carl Pavano for next season, but no other moves have been made with one full day remaining in Indianapolis.

No moves doesn’t mean no news however. The Winter Meetings are a time for many talks and many rumors, and the Twins can be found sparingly in the Tuesday rumblings.

Perkins Trade? Kouzmanoff Coming?
When Carl Pavano was signed it secured four of five rotation spots for next season. Only one spot now remains, and several pitchers including Francisco Liriano and Brian Duensing will likely compete next spring to fill it. 
A fallout between the organization and lefty Glen Perkins along with a crammed roster has many believing Perkins may be traded rather than tendered a contract by this Saturday’s deadline. 
Tuesday afternoon reports broke that the San Diego Padres were interested in talking with the Twins regarding third basemen Kevin Kouzmanoff. Late Tuesday evening it was reported by USA Today sportswriter Bob Nightengale that the Twins had made an offer:

“The Minnesota Twins are offering pitcher Glenn Perkins for Padres 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff, but the Padres are seeking more.”

How much more the Padres want, and how interested the Twins truly are remains to be seen. But for the first time at the 2009 Winter Meetings, Minnesota seems to be active. 
Third Base Options
Outside of Kevin Kouzmanoff third base options remain on the free agent market. FoxSports.com says the Twins have interest in four players thus far:

The Twins are sifting through a number of free agent options at third base, including Adrian Beltre, Pedro Feliz, Mark DeRosa and Juan Uribe, according to a major league source. 

Beltre will probably be out of the team’s price range. DeRosa might be, too. But Feliz and Uribe could fit.

Bonser Designated

With the 40-man roster full and no room for Carl Pavano, the Twins were faced with a decision Monday night. On Tuesday they announced that Boof Bonser had been designated for release or assignment.
The Twins now have until Saturday to non-tender him (release him) or trade him according to the Pioneer Press

Blockbuster in Detroit
Finally, the Detroit Tigers may have moved on to the future after trading away both Edwin Jackson and Curtis Granderson. They received a pretty good package, but it seems as though they’re now looking past the 2010 season.