Twins shortstop Orlando Cabrera cannot be offered arbitration due to it being written in his contract. Cabrera qualified as a Type-A free agent, but since the Twins cannot offer him arbitration, any team looking to sign him won't have to surrender their first round pick to the Twins. There have been rumblings about bringing Cabrera back as a second baseman, but that's about all there's been.
Several players the Twins may show interest in this off-season weren't offered arbitration. Second basemen Orlando Hudson and Placido Polanco are two players the Twins will likely discuss bringing to Minnesota and neither were offered arbitration by their former teams. Both players would fit into Minnesota's lineup well.
Other players that weren't offered arbitration and which the Twins could target:
- Randy Wolf
- Ronnie Beliard
- Erik Bedard
- Felipe Lopez
- Rich Harden
- Jon Garland
- Miguel Tejada
- Melvin Mora
There are reports that the Red Sox are "serious" about signing Rich Harden which could very well take the Twins out of the running to sign him. But, as with every free agent, anything can happen.
And the reports of Joe Mauer's supposed "deadline" has been refuted by, whoelse?, Joe Mauer himself. It's funny how quickly some things can be squashed.
Seth Stohs reported yesterday that Twins prospect Danny Valencia is heading to Puerto Rico to play Winter Ball. The Twins have expressed their desire for Valencia to play over the Winter in order to give himself a legitimate shot at making the Opening Day roster. While that could be true, the liklihood that Valencia will make the Opening Day roster even after playing Winter Ball is small. That's not because he's not ready, it's because the Twins will most likely find a second baseman or third baseman (making Nick Punto the other starter) by that time. If it were up to me, I'd want Valencia to rest over the Winter to prepare as well as he can for the upcoming season.