As spring training creeps closer — yes, it’s only two months away — we have the same old Twins. They speak optimistically of making impactful moves, fail to do so, then talk about how hard they tried. Or so it seems. This offseason still could be different. The Twins seem determined to try to sign one of the top free-agent pitchers, Yu Darvish — a concept skeptical Twins fans still are trying to fathom. General manager Thad Levine called Darvish “a priority.” Manager Paul Molitor, at the winter meetings on Wednesday in Florida, said the Twins have, “tremendous interest” in him. The Twins might be serious this time. Players and front office members, over the past few days, are speaking more optimistically about the 31-year-old righthander than they ever have about top free-agent targets. They think that Darvish’s relationship with Levine, who held a similar position with Texas when the righthander first came to America from Japan, will play a huge role. They think that coming to the Minnesota market to join a team on the rise would be the perfect move for Darvish. With Darvish added to a rotation that already includes Ervin Santana and Jose Berrios, the Twins would have a starting staff that gives them a shot at winning four out of seven games a week, which helps good teams grind through a season. The Twins are aware that it could take a few more weeks before Darvish makes a decision. The market for him has been slow to develop. Darvish and Jake Arrieta are the top two arms on the market, with a second tier that includes Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb. As soon as one signs, the others will fall in line. Arrieta is represented by Scott Boras, who will play negotiations out as long as it takes to get the best deal. One Twins official feels it will be a month before Darvish signs.
Twins are still part of the Yu Darvish sweepstakes
Minneapolis Star Tribune | Dec 18