Twins' farmhands lead Australia to WBC rout

Beresford, Wade help Qualifier hosts invoke mercy rule on Philippines

SYDNEY, Australia -- Twins Minor Leaguer James Beresford went 4-for-5 with three RBIs from the leadoff spot as Australia cruised by the Philippines, 11-1, prompting the mercy rule after seven innings on Thursday in the second game of the World Baseball Classic Qualifier at Blacktown International Sportspark.

Joining Beresford in Team Australia's rout, fellow Twins farmhand Logan Wade had two doubles and Stefan Welch went 2-for-4 with three RBIs.

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Niall Adler is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Twins add pop, defense with offseason moves

Club hoping Park's power translates to Majors

Twins add pop, defense with offseason moves

MINNEAPOLIS -- After taking a look at players on the rebound in the first part of the Spring Training preview for the Twins, it's time to shift gears and focus on the offseason additions.

The Twins were active early, signing Korean slugger Byung Ho Park and trading Aaron Hicks to the Yankees for catcher John Ryan Murphy, but have made only a series of minor moves since then.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: How will Twins' rotation shape up?

Beat reporter Rhett Bollinger fields fans' questions

Inbox: How will Twins' rotation shape up?

MINNEAPOLIS -- Spring Training is almost here, as Twins pitchers and catchers report on Feb. 21 with the first workout set for Feb. 22.

Plenty will be decided during spring, including the Opening Day rotation, which brings us to this week's Twins Inbox:

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Five Twins looking for a rebound season in '16

Five Twins looking for a rebound season in '16

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins were a surprise team in 2015, winning 83 games en route to their first winning season since 2010. But not everything went right for Minnesota, as several veterans and youngsters had down years. In Part I of our Spring Training preview series, we take a look at Twins players on the rebound in '16, led by Joe Mauer, who was healthy in '15, but is looking to bounce back offensively.

1B Mauer: The Twins believe Mauer can be better offensively than he's shown the last two years after sustaining a concussion at the end of the '13 season. Mauer played in a career-high 158 games last season, but he hit .265/.338/.380 with 10 homers and 66 RBIs. It marked the first time in Mauer's career that he had an OPS below the league average. If Mauer can stay healthy and increase his production offensively, it would be a major boost for the Twins. He's under contract through 2018 and the Twins are crowded at the corner infield spots and designated hitter.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Slimmed-down Graham feeling stronger, faster

Twins reliever drops 30-40 pounds this offseason

Slimmed-down Graham feeling stronger, faster

MINNEAPOLIS -- It would've been easy to understand if Twins reliever J.R. Graham's teammates didn't recognize him at TwinsFest last weekend.

Graham showed up to the event having lost roughly 30-40 pounds this offseason, as he went from weighing 210 last season to about 170-175. Graham didn't change his workout routine, but simply adjusted his diet because he didn't like the way he felt physically in his first year in the Majors as a Rule 5 Draft pick with the Twins.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Murphy catching on with Twins in offseason

Catcher eager for new opportunity, more playing time in 2016

Murphy catching on with Twins in offseason

MINNEAPOLIS -- John Ryan Murphy woke up from a midday nap after an early morning hunting session with his friend in Virginia on Nov. 11 and noticed he had a voicemail on his cellphone.

It was Yankees general manager Brian Cashman telling Murphy to give him a call back. Murphy wasn't sure what to think, but once he got Cashman on the phone, he was informed that he had been traded to Minnesota for center fielder Aaron Hicks. Twins general manager Terry Ryan was the next to call to welcome Murphy to the organization.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Twins sending 7 Minor Leaguers to Classic

Beresford heads group playing for Australia, S. Africa in qualifier

Twins sending 7 Minor Leaguers to Classic

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins will have seven Minor Leaguers participating in the upcoming World Baseball Classic qualifying round, including five players on Team Australia and two on South Africa's roster.

Infielder James Beresford, an International League All-Star with Triple-A Rochester last year who is a non-roster invitee to Spring Training this year, is joined by fellow infielder Logan Wade, outfielder Aaron Whitefield and right-handers Sam Gibbons and Todd Van Steensel on Team Australia. Van Steensel and Wade played for Class A Advanced Fort Myers, Gibbons played at Class A Cedar Rapids and Whitefield participated in the Gulf Coast League last year.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Twins sign Quentin to Minor League deal

Twins sign Quentin to Minor League deal

MINNEAPOLIS -- Veteran outfielder Carlos Quentin is coming out of retirement and signing a Minor League deal with an invitation to Spring Training with the Twins, the team announced Tuesday.

Quentin didn't play last year and announced his retirement last May after a nine-year career that included two All-Star appearances. But Quentin, 33, decided to give it another shot with the Twins, who have been looking for a fourth outfielder this offseason.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ryan reflects on releasing Papi in 2003

On Groundhog Day, GM calls letting slugger go a 'mistake'

Ryan reflects on releasing Papi in 2003

MINNEAPOLIS -- Rarely are there do-overs in life, but Bill Murray's 1993 film "Groundhog Day" offered a scenario where a person can receive multiple chances to get a day right before moving forward.

In the spirit of Groundhog Day, MLB.com is taking a look at one move each general manager would like a do-over of if he had the chance.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Buxton has best package of tools among Top 100 Prospects

Buxton has best package of tools among Top 100 Prospects

Ever since Byron Buxton started tearing up the low Class A Midwest League and emerging as baseball's best prospect in 2013, the Twins center fielder has been drawing comparisons to Mike Trout.

Trout had done the same three seasons earlier, earning parallels to Mickey Mantle. Veteran scouts said Trout had the best combination of tools they had seen in years. Now they're saying that Buxton has the best combo since Trout.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Get to know the Twins' new faces with Two Truths and a Lie

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Get to know the Twins' new faces with Two Truths and a Lie

When a rookie debuts for your favorite team, it's a bit like getting a new classmate. The school has a certain dynamic established -- everyone knows the teacher's pet and the class clown and you already have your group of friends -- but man, the new kid in school seems so cool. And eventually, everyone forgets he transferred in from that weirdo school across town and it's like he's been with you since kindergarten.  

The 2016 Twins are about to have a lot of new kids in school.

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Set to stay at third, Plouffe optimistic for 2016

Park takes over as designated hitter, Sano moves to outfield

Set to stay at third, Plouffe optimistic for 2016

MINNEAPOLIS -- Despite reports to the contrary, the Twins never shopped third baseman Trevor Plouffe at any point this offseason, as they believe he's still a big part of the club's future despite the signing of Byung Ho Park and the emergence of Miguel Sano.

After the Twins won the bidding for Park, who will be the club's designated hitter, in early November with a $12.85 million posting fee, they contacted Plouffe to assure him he wasn't going anywhere and that Sano would make the move to the outfield. So while Plouffe saw some reports that he could be traded, he knew from what he had heard from the front office and manager Paul Molitor that it wasn't going to be the case.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Vargas hoping to capitalize on trip to Caribbean Series

Slugger hopes winter ball in Puerto Rico helps him earn more time with Twins

Vargas hoping to capitalize on trip to Caribbean Series

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- Kennys Vargas stood near the steps in the visiting dugout at Estadio Quisqueya Juan Marichal hours before the first pitch against Venezuela, folded his arms and stared across the diamond.

Vargas signed a few autographs for Team Puerto Rico fans and chatted up reporters in town to cover the 2016 Caribbean Series.

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Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

More than 15,000 fans flock to TwinsFest

Club thrilled with huge turnout; event raises over $300K for Twins Community Fund

More than 15,000 fans flock to TwinsFest

MINNEAPOLIS -- After the Twins posted their first winning record since 2010 last season, TwinsFest had a different feel over the weekend as there was more buzz coming from fans at Target Field.

More than 15,000 fans came to the three-day event at Target Field that saw more than 70 current, former and future Twins attend. The event helped raise more than $300,000 for the Twins Community Fund.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Park feeling welcome as he adjusts to life in US

Korean slugger spends week in Minnesota, meets teammates at TwinsFest

Park feeling welcome as he adjusts to life in US

MINNEAPOLIS -- When Byung Ho Park walked into TwinsFest for the first time Friday, he was greeted by a team of Twins employees who learned a few Korean phrases such as "Hello" and "Thank you."

It helped Park feel a bit more at home despite the fact he's more than 6,000 miles away from his native Seoul, South Korea. Park, who joined the Twins on a four-year deal worth $12 million after the club won the bid for him with a posting fee of $12.85 million, spent this week in Minnesota trying to acclimate himself with the culture and meet his teammates at TwinsFest.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Emotional Carew stresses importance of heart health

Feeling better after major heart attack, Hall of Famer urges people to undergo checkups

Emotional Carew stresses importance of heart health

MINNEAPOLIS -- Hall of Famer Rod Carew gave an emotional interview on stage at TwinsFest in front of hundreds of Twins fans Saturday morning, encouraging people to have their hearts checked after he suffered a major heart attack Sept. 20.

Carew traveled from his home in Southern California to help announce a major initiative with the Twins, who created a yearlong partnership with the American Heart Association called "The Heart of 29" campaign to raise funds and awareness. Carew, who has to wear a left ventricular assist device until he undergoes a heart transplant, said the first thing he told his wife, Rhonda, after his heart attack was that he felt it was his mission to help raise awareness so the same thing wouldn't happen to others. It's similar to his work as an advocate for leukemia patients, as his daughter, Michelle, died from the disease at age 18 in 1996.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sano switching to right field, with Torii's help

Young Twins slugger excited to learn new position, play every day

Sano switching to right field, with Torii's help

MINNEAPOLIS -- Much has been made about Miguel Sano's impending move to right field after the Twins decided to hold onto third baseman Trevor Plouffe and sign Byung Ho Park to be a designated hitter this offseason, but the young slugger doesn't see it as a big deal.

Sano, a natural third baseman who served mostly as Minnesota's designated hitter last year after being called up on July 2, joked that he'd even catch if it meant being in the lineup every day.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Buxton No. 2 prospect; Twins boast 6 on list

Center fielder falls from perch on Top 100 with Dodgers' Seager named No. 1

Buxton No. 2 prospect; Twins boast 6 on list

MINNEAPOLIS -- Byron Buxton fell from the No. 1 overall prospect to the No. 2 prospect, but the Twins placed six players on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list, as announced Friday night on MLB Network.

Buxton, who made his Major League debut last year but still has rookie status going into 2016, was replaced by Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager as the game's top prospect. But the center fielder headlines a crop of impressive prospects from the Twins' organization, including right-hander Jose Berrios, (No. 19), outfielder Max Kepler (No. 44), left-hander Tyler Jay (No. 60), shortstop Nick Gordon (No. 91) and infielder Jorge Polanco (No. 97).

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Torii, radio vet Gordon elected to Twins Hall of Fame

Nine-time Gold Glover, 25-year broadcaster to be honored in July

Torii, radio vet Gordon elected to Twins Hall of Fame

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins are adding two members to their Hall of Fame, as outfielder Torii Hunter and broadcaster John Gordon both were elected, the club announced at their annual media luncheon before TwinsFest on Friday.

A year after no one was elected to the Twins Hall of Fame, the club waived its two-year wait period to make Hunter eligible, and he was voted in by a landslide. He received the highest percentage of votes since Jim Kaat was elected in 2001.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sano, Hunter honored at Diamond Awards

Twins' annual event contributes to university programs

Sano, Hunter honored at Diamond Awards

MINNEAPOLIS -- Miguel Sano was the big winner at the 11th annual Diamond Awards on Thursday at Target Field, as the young slugger took home both the Calvin R. Griffith Award for Twins MVP and the Bill Boni Award for Twins Most Outstanding Rookie.

It was another successful night for the Diamond Awards, which are based on voting by the Twin Cities chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. The event benefits research, education and care in brain, nerve and muscle disorders at the University of Minnesota.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Buxton tops MLB Pipeline's Top 10 OF Prospects list

Twins' Buxton tops list, Rangers' Brinson and Mazara follow

Buxton tops MLB Pipeline's Top 10 OF Prospects list

MLBPipeline.com will unveil its 2016 Top 100 Prospects list on Friday on MLB.com. The Top 50 will be revealed during a one-hour show on MLB Network at 9 p.m. ET. Leading up to the release, we look at baseball's top 10 prospects at each position.

For the third (and likely the last) time, this Top 10 -- the final by-position ranking unveiled prior to the Top 100 Prospects list -- is headed by the Twins' Byron Buxton. He may not have taken the world by storm during his big league debut, but neither did Mike Trout. And, let's face it, Buxton's tools across the board are unparalleled.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayo on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Is big Hot Stove move near for Twins?

Beat reporter Rhett Bollinger answers fans' questions

Inbox: Is big Hot Stove move near for Twins?

MINNEAPOLIS -- With the annual Diamond Awards at Target Field on Thursday and TwinsFest starting on Friday, it's a sure sign that Spring Training is right around the corner.

The two-week Twins Caravan comes to a close on Thursday as well, and I was able to tag along with Byron Buxton, Casey Fien, Paul Molitor and Dick Bremer last week throughout Minnesota. Twins general manager Terry Ryan joined the caravan last Thursday and gave the latest on where his club stands in free agency this late in the offseason. And with that in mind, it brings us to the first question in this week's Twins Inbox.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

To Phil Hughes, Alex Rodriguez is #BaeRod

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To Phil Hughes, Alex Rodriguez is #BaeRod

Phil Hughes used this particular nickname in reply to Rodriguez's own tweet of himself working out in the pool. Because he is not above teasing his former teammates on Twitter, especially not when it involves calling a 40-year-old man bae.

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Fien sees stability after rocky road to Majors

Reliever marvels at being one of longest-tenured Twins, considering steps it took to get here

Fien sees stability after rocky road to Majors

MINNEAPOLIS -- While his Twins Winter Caravan teammate Byron Buxton took a straightforward route to the Majors as a former No. 2 overall Draft pick, Casey Fien's road to becoming a solid big league reliever was a bit more unconventional.

It saw him pitch at three different colleges before being drafted by the Tigers in the 20th round of the 2006 Draft. He ended up pitching in the Majors briefly in 2009 with Detroit before a wild Spring Training in '10 that saw him claimed by both the Red Sox and Blue Jays before ultimately going back to the Tigers.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Twins sign Plouffe, wrap up arbitration cases

Twins sign Plouffe, wrap up arbitration cases

The Twins wrapped up their final arbitration case Monday when they agreed to a one-year contract worth $7.25 million with third baseman Trevor Plouffe.

Plouffe, 29, had initially filed at $7.95 million for his second year of arbitration-eligibility, while the Twins countered at $7 million.

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Jamal Collier is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Jepsen avoids arbitration, gets more than midpoint

After asking for $5.4 million and Twins offering $5.05 million, reliever to earn $5.31 million

Jepsen avoids arbitration, gets more than midpoint

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins avoided arbitration with reliever Kevin Jepsen on Friday, as they signed him to a one-year deal worth $5,312,500.

Jepsen filed at $5.4 million and the Twins filed at $5.05 million on Jan. 15, so Jepsen receives a higher amount than the midpoint. The 31-year-old right-hander excelled for the Twins after being traded from the Rays on July 31, posting a 1.61 ERA with 10 saves in 29 appearances.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Mike Bauman

Don't underestimate Twins in 2016

If club gets big years out of Sano, Park and Buxton, Minnesota could contend in tough division

Don't underestimate Twins in 2016

The Minnesota Twins were a pleasant surprise last season. Nobody should be surprised if they become even better in 2016.

The Twins, a popular pick for fifth place in 2015 preseason predictions, made a 13-game improvement over '14 and finished second in the American League Central. They remained in contention for an AL Wild Card berth until the final days of the season.

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Mike Bauman is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.