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Camp Notes: Twins in Ft. Myers

The Twins make Spring Training home right across town from the Red Sox, which usually just means that things are a bit quieter on their side of town. Not this year. For the first time in, well, a long time, the Twins camp may be more intriguing than Boston's right now. That comes in large part due to speculation about two potential late additions -- former Diamondbacks reliever Juan Cruz and former White Sox third baseman Joe Crede. Here's some of the more significant nuggets from Twins camp as they officially opened camp today:

  • Minneapolis Star-Tribune writer La Velle Neal was the first to speculate about sing-and-trade possibilities for Cruz, so it's not surprising that Cruz is getting a lot of attention, both from Minnesota media and some national outlets. We linked to this earlier, but to date it's the most intricate break down of what could precipitate Cruz landing in Ft. Myers sometime soon. Ken Rosenthal has also confirmed that Cruz's agents are in discussion with the Diamondbacks about a potential sign and trade, so there seems to be some movement. When or if it will land Cruz with the Twins, who knows.
  • Guys have barely entered camp and the Twins are already nursing their first pitching injury: Boof Bonser has a sore shoulder and didn't throw this morning.
  • Third baseman Joe Crede is the other big name getting a lot of attention from the Twins, though the two sides seem to be very far apart in compensation. Is it a surprise that Crede is represented by Scott Boras? No, we didn't find it surprising, either. As of now, the Twins seem to be the only team seriously interested in Crede at all. The Giants were interested earlier, but have since backed off. On Friday, Neal reported that the gap between the Twins and Boras's asking price was $3 million guaranteed (the Twins were offering $4 million, up to $7 million with incentives while Crede wants $7 million, up to $11 million with incentives). Yet Sunday Boras told Neal, " ... you might have a solution on where Joe is going. I can't say a definite amount of time, but I think it's a shorter than longer amount of time." It's all very cryptic, but it sure sounds like Crede will end up as a Twin, doesn't it? Fellow Star-Tribune baseball writer Joe Christensen also weighed in on Crede with some excellent points right here.
  • If Crede isn't the man at the hot corner, who is? Probably lefty-hitting Brian Buscher, who hit .294 with 47 RBI in only 70 games last year. The Twins have always viewed Buscher as a platoon player, and he could split time this year with Brendan Harris.
  • Joe Mauer had offseason kidney surgery, but there doesn't seem to be any scuttlebutt about him missing significant time. That might be surprising to Mauer, who told the Pioneer Press's Phil Miller, "We're just going to take it slow. ... I'm feeling pretty good, but it's going to take some time."
  • The Twins bullpen is almost identical to the one that they played with last year, with the exception of a swap of righty Luis Ayala for left-handed specialist Dennys Reyes. We know the Twins won't re-sign Reyes -- only the A's and Dodgers seem to be in close contact with the Mexican lefty -- but what will they do if they lose another arm to injury during training camp or early in the season? Is Cruz enough of a patch?

By Cameron Smith  |  February 17, 2009; 2:32 AM ET
Categories:  Twins  
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Next: Tuesday Triple-Play: A-Rod, A-Rod, A-Rod


"Joe Mauer had offseason kidney surgery"

What the heck is offseason kidney surgery?

Posted by: cbm91 | February 17, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

I'm just grasping at straws here, but I'll wager that offseason kidney surgery is surgery, performed on the kidney(s), and done during the offseason.

A little crazy, I know, but it might just be true!

Posted by: Scooter_ | February 17, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

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