Twins talk with Torii about possible reunion

Free-agent outfielder a former teammate of new Minnesota manager Molitor

Twins talk with Torii about possible reunion

MINNEAPOLIS -- Could the Twins be heading for a reunion with free-agent outfielder Torii Hunter?

A Major League source familiar with the situation said the Twins have been in contact with Hunter and his agent, Larry Reynolds, about a return to Minnesota. Hunter, who played the first 11 seasons of his 18-year career with the Twins from 1997-2007, also told the St. Paul Pioneer Press he's contemplating signing with Minnesota this offseason and has talked with Twins general manager Terry Ryan about it.

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

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Three coaches join new manager Molitor's staff

Twins confirm Allen, Guardado and Vavra for 2015 season

Three coaches join new manager Molitor's staff

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins officially added three coaches to their staff under new manager Paul Molitor on Tuesday, as Neil Allen was hired as pitching coach, Eddie Guardado was named bullpen coach and Joe Vavra was moved to bench coach.

Allen is the first coach hired by the Twins for Molitor's staff without any ties to the organization, as he comes from the Rays' organization. This will be Guardado's first full-time stint on a Major League staff, although he has served as a special instructor for Minnesota in Spring Training. Vavra was retained from last year's coaching staff, but he will move to bench coach after having served as third-base coach.

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

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Swarzak outrighted to Triple-A Rochester

Twins' move leaves 39 players on 40-man roster

Swarzak outrighted to Triple-A Rochester

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins outrighted right-hander Anthony Swarzak to Triple-A Rochester on Tuesday, creating an open spot on their 40-man roster.

Swarzak, 29, posted a 4.60 ERA with 47 strikeouts and 28 walks in 86 innings last season. He made four spot starts and 46 relief appearances as a long reliever. He went 1-1 with a 6.50 ERA in 18 innings as a starter, and 2-1 with a 4.10 ERA in 68 innings as a reliever

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

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Guardado among first-timers on Hall of Fame ballot

Guardado among first-timers on Hall of Fame ballot

The newest list of candidates for the Hall of Fame's Class of 2015 is headlined by dominant pitchers like Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz, as well as power hitter Gary Sheffield.

But beyond the stars, others who had stellar Major League careers also are eligible for the first time. Although they didn't throw with Johnson's velocity or swing with Sheffield's ferocity, at one time or another, many of them carried their clubs and will forever be remembered by baseball fans.

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Adam Berry and Cash Kruth are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Willingham opts to retire after 11-year career

Outfielder, 35, who played for five teams, finishes with .253 average, 195 homers

Willingham opts to retire after 11-year career

Outfielder Josh Willingham is reportedly retiring after 11 Major League seasons split among five clubs.

ESPN.com first reported the news on Monday. Willingham, 35, split time last year between the Twins and Royals, batting .215 with 14 homers and 40 RBIs in 92 games.

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

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Twins waiting to see if they have highest bid for Yang

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins have not been informed they have won the bidding for Korean left-hander Hyeon-jong Yang, according to a Major League source familiar with the situation.

A report on Saturday from the St. Paul Pioneer Press indicated that the Twins had won the bidding for Yang, who won the equivalent of the Cy Young Award last year while pitching for the Kia Tigers in the Korean Baseball Organization. But there are now conflicting reports from MK Sports in Korea that Texas actually won the bidding, although the Rangers also said Monday they haven't been told they had the winning bid, either.

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

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Top prospects Sano, Meyer, Rosario on 40-man roster

Wheeler also added; Adam, Gilmartin among players who could go in Rule 5 Draft

Top prospects Sano, Meyer, Rosario on 40-man roster

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins added four players to their 40-man roster Thursday, including top prospects Miguel Sano, Alex Meyer and Eddie Rosario, to protect them from being selected in the Rule 5 Draft in December.

Sano, Meyer and Rosario were all considered locks to be added before Thursday's 10:59 p.m. CT deadline, but the addition of left-hander Jason Wheeler is a considered a minor surprise. With the four roster additions, Minnesota's 40-man roster is full.

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

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MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Buxton, Rosario rank among top prospects from AFL

Buxton, Rosario rank among top prospects from AFL

The 23rd edition of the Arizona Fall League wrapped up with Salt River's win in the championship game over Peoria on Saturday. Once again, the AFL was jam packed with elite-level prospects.

That made putting together a top prospects list fairly easy. There were so many good players, it was decided to expand the list to a top 25, up from the typical 20. The list was compiled by Jim Callis, Jonathan Mayo and Teddy Cahill, along with feedback from a number of scouts who covered the league this fall. This list is more about long-term potential, but AFL performances were certainly taken into account.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com and writes a blog, Callis' Corner. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayoB3 on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Nunez steps in to help MLB All-Stars in victory

Twins utility man drives in two against Japan after replacing Longoria at third

Nunez steps in to help MLB All-Stars in victory

After entering as a substitute in the fourth inning of the MLB All-Stars' game against Samurai Japan on Tuesday, infielder Eduardo Nunez made the most of his opportunities.

The Twins' utility man was right in the thick of things from the minute he stepped on the field, going 2-for-3 with an RBI at the plate in the MLB club's 3-1 win.

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

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Twins aim to build off strong offensive foundation

Minnesota focused on boosting rotation, adding outfield depth

Twins aim to build off strong offensive foundation

MINNEAPOLIS -- When the Twins wrapped up Spring Training, one of the biggest questions heading into the season was where the offense was going to come from. After all, the Twins were 25th in the Majors in runs scored in 2013 with 614 and then struggled to score in Spring Training, finishing third-to-last in runs scored with just 105 in 28 games.

But Minnesota got off to a fast start in 2014, largely due to its patience at the plate, and despite a rough patch in the middle of the season, finished the year strong offensively. The Twins scored the seventh-most runs in baseball with 715, despite ranking 19th in homers with 128.

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

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Twins' Rosario stands tall in AFL's season finale

Pairs of Rays, Royals prospects combine for five of game's seven home runs

Twins' Rosario stands tall in AFL's season finale

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Eddie Rosario's bounce back came quickly and at a perfect time.

Rosario, who lost the batting title on the final day of the Arizona Fall League's regular season, found a fitting consolation prize with a 4-for-5 performance in Saturday's title game. The Twins' No. 10 prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com, homered in the first inning and delivered three more hits in a 14-7 win over Peoria.

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Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Twins prospects fare well in Arizona Fall League

Rosario, Kepler, Jones, Reed impress; Buxton's campaign halted by injury

Twins prospects fare well in Arizona Fall League

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Arizona Fall League, which saw its regular season come to a close Thursday, was a mixed bag for the Twins.

The Twins saw some impressive performances from a few of their prospects, but also dealt with yet another injury to top prospect Byron Buxton. The Twins were hopeful Buxton would use the AFL to allow him to finish the season healthy and on a high note after playing in just 31 games in the Minors due to wrist injuries and a concussion. Instead, Buxton, ranked as baseball's No. 1 overall prospect by MLB.com, suffered a broken left middle finger Oct. 26, and underwent surgery three days later, which will keep him out of action until Spring Training.

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

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MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Top performances, prospects from 2014 Fall League

A team-by-team breakdown of who impressed and how each club's top player fared

Top performances, prospects from 2014 Fall League

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Arizona Fall League is known as baseball's finishing school because it has graduated a ton of talent to the Major Leagues since it began play in 1992. The AFL has produced 212 All-Stars, including 35 in this year's Midsummer Classic, 25 Rookies of the Year, 13 MVPs and five Cy Young Award winners.

Based on the quality of the talent in the AFL this year, more big leaguers and stars are on the way. The league wrapped up its 23rd season on Saturday, with the Salt River Rafters outlasting the Peoria Javelinas, 14-7, for their fourth title and first since 2011.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com and writes a blog, Callis' Corner. 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.

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Inbox: Don't expect status quo with Molitor

Beat reporter Rhett Bollinger answers Twins fans' questions

Inbox: Don't expect status quo with Molitor

It's been a busy offseason for the Twins so far, as they named Hall of Famer Paul Molitor their new manager and have hired three coaches to join him.

Hitting coach Tom Brunansky will return, while Gene Glynn will serve as third-base coach and Rudy Hernandez will act as an assistant hitting coach. Minnesota still has four more coaches to hire, including a pitching coach and a bench coach.

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

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MLB.com Columnist

Barry M. Bloom

Twins GM Ryan 'doing well' after cancer battle

Twins GM Ryan 'doing well' after cancer battle

PHOENIX -- Terry Ryan is back in full throttle, back at the annual General Managers Meetings where the long-time Twins' GM feels most at home -- doing his job.

After the sudden diagnosis of throat cancer earlier this year, Ryan said his weight is still too low and he can't taste food the way he used to. Anything acidic, like tomatoes, or spicy concoctions, do a number on his still tender throat.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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TwinsFest returns to Target Field, Jan. 23-25

Tickets go on sale to the general public on Dec. 11 at 10 a.m. CT

TwinsFest returns to Target Field, Jan. 23-25

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins are set to host TwinsFest at Target Field for a second straight year, as the event will be held inside the ballpark from Jan. 23-25, the club announced Wednesday.

The Twins have been hosting TwinsFest since 1989, but the event moved from the Metrodome to Target Field last year after the Metrodome was demolished. Target Field provides for a more intimate setting, and the Twins also have incorporated new activities and experiences over the past two years.

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

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Glynn, Hernandez named to Twins' coaching staff

Glynn, Hernandez named to Twins' coaching staff

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins added two coaches to new manager Paul Molitor's staff on Wednesday, as Gene Glynn was promoted to serve as third-base coach and infield instructor and Rudy Hernandez was named assistant hitting coach.

Both coaches are signed through the 2015 season and are in-house hires, as Glynn served as manager at Triple-A Rochester for the last three years, while Hernandez just finished his 14th season in the Twins organization. They join Tom Brunansky, who was retained as hitting coach last Thursday, on the current coaching staff. Minnesota still needs to hire four more coaches, including a pitching coach and a bench coach.

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

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MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Prospects Rosario, Reed boosted stock in AFL

Performances in the desert can influence expectations, change career course

Prospects Rosario, Reed boosted stock in AFL

Playing in the Arizona Fall League can serve a number of purposes for the prospects who attend. Top prospects can put the finishing touches on their development en route to All-Star careers. Perhaps on the other side of the spectrum, several prospects who need to be protected will either earn spots on the 40-man roster or have made a strong enough impression with one of the other 29 teams to be selected December's Rule 5 Draft.

Every fall, Minor Leaguers raise their stock with their performances in Arizona. The caveats that are typically thrown out when discussing such matters: it's a small sample size and the AFL is always very hitter-friendly. Those are true, and as a result, evaluations have to be taken in context. But it's also undeniably true that every year, expectations around some prospects are heightened based on what they did during six weeks in the desert.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayoB3 on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Rogers twins reconnect in Arizona Fall League

Rogers twins reconnect in Arizona Fall League

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Like mirror-image bookends, Tyler and Taylor Rogers take up opposite ends of the couch, regaling each other with their unique and shared perspectives on baseball and life.

It's a nightly occurrence now for the twin brothers, much like it was before they parted paths to play college baseball and enter the professional ranks. Tyler and Taylor are serving as roommates, but not teammates in the Arizona Fall League, and they're doing their best to make up for lost time.

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Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Blyleven could fill bill as Twins' pitching coach

Blyleven could fill bill as Twins' pitching coach

PHOENIX -- With the recent hiring of Paul Molitor as manager, the Twins are looking for a bevy of coaches to fill out the staff. As it turns out, general manager Terry Ryan may have a pitching coach right under the club's own umbrella: fellow Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven.

The always funny and loquacious Blyleven has been a Twins broadcaster since 1996. He entered the Hall in 2011, his 14th year on the ballot. And during his 22-year Major League career, Blyleven played 11 seasons in two stints for the Twins, inclusive of the 1987 team that defeated the Cardinals in a seven-game World Series. Talk about homegrown talent.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Twins' new home uniforms have touch of gold

Minnesota had worn pinstriped jerseys, pants since 1987

Twins' new home uniforms have touch of gold

MINNEAPOLIS -- After 28 seasons of wearing white pinstriped jerseys and pants at home, the Twins will move to a new home uniform for 2015, the club announced on Monday.

The Twins are introducing a new color to their scheme, as the uniform will feature the traditional scarlet red and navy blue, but it will be accented by Minnesota Kasota Gold, a color symbolizing the Mankato limestone that is featured throughout Target Field.

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

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Die-hard Twins fans in Japan? You betcha

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Die-hard Twins fans in Japan? You betcha

With Minneapolis and Nishinomiya separated by over 6,000 miles (and the largest ocean on Earth), you may think Twins fans are hard to come by in Japan -- but then you meet this family of Minnesota die-hards taking in the action of the MLB All-Stars' exhibition opener in Japan.

Continue Reading on Cut4

Twins Minor Leaguer Real suspended

Twins Minor League catcher Erwin "Alex" Real has been handed a 50-game suspension without pay for violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

The suspension was announced on Tuesday by the Office of the Commissioner.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Twins' Santana gets recognition in AL ROY voting

One second-place vote for rookie shortstop/outfielder

Twins' Santana gets recognition in AL ROY voting

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins shortstop/center fielder Danny Santana finished seventh in the balloting for the 2014 American League Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award, getting one second-place vote to receive three points.

White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu won the award unanimously on Monday, as he received a first-place vote from all 30 voters from the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Angels right-hander Matt Shoemaker finished second with 40 points, while Yankees reliever Dellin Betances finished third with 27 points.

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

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Twins infielder Nunez picked for Japan All-Star Series

Twins infielder Nunez picked for Japan All-Star Series

MINNEAPOLIS -- Infielder Eduardo Nunez is set to represent the Twins in the upcoming Japan All-Star Series, Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association announced Friday.

Nunez is the lone Twins player set to participate in the five-game series against Japan's national team next week. Pitchers Phil Hughes and Glen Perkins were both on the preliminary list, but they were left off, as Hughes reached a career high in innings pitched and Perkins suffered a season-ending forearm injury in September. Second baseman Brian Dozier expressed interest, but he was also left off the roster.

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

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Twins keeping hitting coach Brunansky on Molitor's staff

Twins keeping hitting coach Brunansky on Molitor's staff

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins made their first addition to the 2015 coaching staff under new manager Paul Molitor, bringing back hitting coach Tom Brunansky on a one-year deal, the club announced Thursday.

Twins general manager Terry Ryan called the hire an easy one, and stated that it was a mutual decision between Molitor and himself. Ryan called Brunansky to inform him he'd be back just hours after Molitor's introductory news conference on Tuesday.

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

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Twins to open spring slate at renovated park on March 5

Two-year Hammond Stadium project to be on display when club hosts Red Sox

Twins to open spring slate at renovated park on March 5

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins announced their 2015 Spring Training schedule at renovated Hammond Stadium at the newly renamed CenturyLink Sports Complex in Fort Myers, Fla., on Thursday. Ticket information will come at a later date.

Pitchers and catchers are set to report on Sunday, Feb. 22, with the first workouts slated for Feb. 23. The rest of the squad is set to report on Feb. 27, with the first full-squad workouts scheduled for Feb. 28. It leads up to a scrimmage against the University of Minnesota on March 4, before Grapefruit League play begins on March 5 with the home opener against the Red Sox at Hammond Stadium.

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

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Molitor ready to start new chapter as Twins' manager

Hall of Famer believes Minnesota can get on winning track quickly

Molitor ready to start new chapter as Twins' manager

MINNEAPOLIS -- Paul Molitor's message was clear in his introductory news conference at Target Field.

The Hall of Famer, who was officially named as the 13th manager in Minnesota Twins history on Tuesday, took the position believing the club can turn it around in a hurry after four straight seasons with at least 92 losses.

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

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