By La Velle
The Twins have offered arbitration to righthander Carl Pavano, which comes several hours before the 11 p.m. deadline for clubs to offer arbitration to their free agents.
Pavano is a Type B free agent. If he signs with another club, the Twins would receive a sandwich pick as compensation. The Twins remain interested in re-signing Pavano, who was 5-4, 4.64 for the team after being deal from Cleveland.
Cleveland, ironically, is one of the teams interested in signing Pavano.
“I have spoken to Carl and to his agent and informed them of this decision and we look forward to continued negotiations with them,” Twins GM Bill Smith said in an e-mail.
Orlando Cabrera, Mike Redmond, Ron Mahay and Joe Crede also are Twins free agents. Cabrera is a Type A free agent, but had it written into his contract that he couldn’t be offered arbitration. Redmond, Mahay and Crede don’t have Type A or B status and aren’t expected to be offered arbitration.
There was a yahoo! report late last night that Joe Mauer had set a Opening Day deadline for contract negotiations.
I found that rather odd. This is the same Mauer who, at the end of the season and again last week at his MVP press conference, said that he’s not the type of guy to say he needs a contract done by a certain date.
I texted Mauer last night, and he responded today with the following:
“Sorry for the late reply. Just got back to FL and it feels great. As far as that report, that’s news to me. Don’t know where that came from.”
Historically, players who begin their walk year break off negotiations to concentrate on the season. Mauer, I feel, is a little different. His agent, Ron Shapiro, has a history of taking negotiations into a walk year. The combination of Mauer and Shapiro makes it hard for me to believe that they would really shut things down.
The X factor, of course. is the player’s association. I’m sure the union sees Mauer as the rising tide that lifts all boats and might push for such a stance. Shapiro’s track record says that he’s his own man.
Even if it was true, you can’t convince me that Shapiro would turn down a big offer in June if it’s the right number.
There has been contact between the Twins and Joe Speed, the agent for former Gopher Robb Quinlan. The Twins could use a bat off the bench, and Quinlan could back up at first, third and the outfield. Quinlan, does have some interest from other clubs and might opt to sign with a National League team.
“I’m sure we’ll get together at the winter meetings and explore if there’s a good fit,” Speed said.
Third base prospect Danny Valencia has agreed to play winter ball in Puerto Rico. That’s a good move because he has a lot to prove in camp. Not sure which team he’ll play for yet.
Update: Valencia will play for Ponce in the Puerto Rican league. He either left tonight or is leaving tomorrow.
And, yes, Miguel Angel Sano is now known as Miguel Jean. After using his mother’s last name he now uses his fathers. It’s not the first time that’s happened. Remember David Arias? Most Red Sox fans call him Big Papi.