By Joe Christensen
After breaking off their negotiations with free agent reliever Eric Gagne earlier this week, the Twins continue to explore relief options on the trade and free agent market.
I’ve heard no specifics on their trade pursuits, but I was told they’ve had discussions about free agent reliever Luis Ayala, who posted a 5.71 ERA last year in 81 appearances for the Nationals and Mets.
Ayala, a 31-year-old righthander, did post a 2.66 ERA and 3.19 ERA in his previous two seasons with the Nationals and made $1.7 million in 2008.
(*) The Twins actually had two scouts watching Joe Crede’s workout on Wednesday in Arizona — West supervisor Sean Johnson and area scout Ted Williams. The Twins’ Williams is no relation to The Splendid Splinter.
Spoke to several Twins officials about Crede, and it sounds like they need to see him more times before they’ll feel safe investing millions of guaranteed money. Crede made $5.1 million last year, and is looking for a base at least that high with incentives. Other players have taken pay cuts this offseason, but he made the All-Star team last year for the White Sox.
I’m putting the odds of the Twins signing Crede at 3-to-1 (they get lower, the more I think about it). The Giants or Rangers could snatch him first, though the Giants added to their infield today by signing Juan Uribe.
(*) I’ll have more on these and other items in tonight’s first editions.
Update: The notebook has been posted, with a new twist in the curious case of Jose Mijares.