Despite saying earlier in the offseason that they would "aggressively pursue" starting pitching, the Minnesota Twins have yet to make an offer to several of the top names on the market, reports Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN.
The Twins want to acquire two starting pitchers this offseason to round out their pitching staff but thus far appear to be moving quite slowly. None of Matt Garza, Ricky Nolasco, Bronson Arroyo or Phil Hughes have been offered a contract by the team at this point, and the likes of Jason Vargas, Dan Haren and Tim Hudson already have signed elsewhere for reasonable money or years.
It's readily apparent why the Twins are hoping to bring in some new starters — and why they might need to get a move on the market. The team had 11 different pitchers start a game in 2013, with only three of them posting an ERA under 5.00. Just one, Samuel Deduno, maintained an ERA under 4.00. The rotation's combined 5.26 ERA was easily the worst in the majors in 2013.
Perhaps the most surprising non-move has been the lack of an offer to Arroyo. Minnesota has been connected to him since he first became a free agent, with many analysts believing the two sides are perfect for one another. Arroyo has been a solid pitcher over his career, posting an ERA between 3.74-3.88 in four of the past five seasons and pitching at least 199 innings each of the last nine years. That kind of consistency could play perfectly in Minnesota.
The Twins are willing to give a five-year contract to the right pitcher. It appears the team would like to wait for the market to flesh out first before they jump in with a big offer, but as stated, that's already begun to happen. There also has been no news on whether the team has made a contract offer to other free agent pitchers like Ervin Santana, Ubaldo Jimenez, or Scott Kazmir, though, unlike Garza, Arroyo, and Nolasco, the first two of those would require draft pick compensation thanks to the qualifying offer. Minnesota also could be exploring the option of trading to acquire starting pitching, which would explain their current negotiating pace.