The Minnesota Twins have already locked up Ricky Nolasco, Phil Hughes and Mike Pelfrey this offseason. Despite interest in a number of other pitchers, they might not add any more pieces, reports LaVelle Neal of the Star Tribune.
Minnesota entered the offseason with the goal of pushing hard for two new starting pitchers. They did just that by giving Nolasco $49 million and Hughes $24 million. Pefrey, signed Saturday to a two-year contract for $11 million, will return to the Twins after posting a 5.19 ERA in 2013.
The Twins have also been chasing Bronson Arroyo. There had been rumors that Arroyo could sign at the Winter Meetings, though that never transpired. Minnesota has been the team most oft-mentioned for his services as he could provide a consistent veteran presence in the rotation. He has pitched at least 199 innings each of the last nine seasons and has had an ERA between 3.74 and 3.88 in four of the last five seasons. The Twins are still strongly interested in bringing him aboard.
In addition, Minnesota has been rumored to be in on two other, more big-name starters. The first, and most attainable at this point, is Matt Garza, who is still waiting for a market to fully flesh out. Garza began his career with the Twins and played two seasons before being traded to the Rays. They, in turn, traded him to the Cubs a few years later, only for him to be traded again, this time to the Rangers at the trade deadline last year. Because he was traded mid-season, Texas was not able to offer arbitration. Thus, any team that hopes to sign Garza would not be required to forfeit a draft pick.
The second big-name that the Twins have had interest in is Japanese starter Masahiro Tanaka, who had been anticipated to receive a record posting bid before the system was redone to cap bidding at $20 million. However, the big snag here is that Tanaka may no longer be posted. His Japanese team, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, are upset about the money they are losing due to the bidding cap and may instead choose to keep him.
That the Twins have been desperately looking to re-do their rotation should come as little surprise. The team ranked dead-last in baseball in both starting ERA (5.26), WHIP (1.54) and FIP (4.64). However, given the moves they have already made, Minnesota is no longer quite so desperate to change things up.