Santana, Escobar to engage in shortstop competition

Santana, Escobar to engage in shortstop competition

MINNEAPOLIS -- When Paul Molitor took over as Twins manager from Ron Gardenhire, one of the major questions was how he'd handle the shortstop position in 2015.

Gardenhire opted to play Danny Santana mostly out of position as a rookie last season, as he made twice as many starts in center field than he did at his natural position with 62 starts in center and 31 at shortstop. It was mostly out of necessity, as the Twins didn't have a capable everyday center fielder and Eduardo Escobar had a breakout season at shortstop, hitting .275 with 35 doubles in 133 games.

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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.

Twins, left-hander Duensing avoid arbitration

Twins, left-hander Duensing avoid arbitration

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins agreed to terms with their sixth and final arbitration-eligible player on Saturday, as they signed left-handed reliever Brian Duensing to a one-year deal worth $2.7 million. The club confirmed the deal.

After Minnesota couldn't come to an agreement with Duensing before the Jan. 16 deadline, the southpaw filed for $3.1 million and the club countered with $2.4 million. But the two sides were able to work out a deal to keep the Twins from going to an arbitration hearing for the ninth straight year.

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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.

Fans show support, optimism at Target Field TwinsFest

Fans show support, optimism at Target Field TwinsFest

MINNEAPOLIS -- TwinsFest was held at Target Field for a second straight year this weekend, and generated a similar turnout to last year, when it was held at the stadium for the first time since the event was created in 1989.

Twins president Dave St. Peter said roughly 14,000 fans attended the event, which helped generate $300,000 for the Twins Community Fund. The event was previously held at the Metrodome until it was demolished last year.

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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.

Perkins recovered from arm injury, prepared for camp

Twins closer optimistic with new pitching coach, manager heading into 2015 season

Perkins recovered from arm injury, prepared for camp

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins closer Glen Perkins said he's fully recovered from his left forearm injury that saw him miss the last two weeks of the 2014 season, and he'll be ready to go for Spring Training.

Perkins, who was diagnosed with a left forearm strain and secondary nerve irritation on Sept. 19, said he took two weeks off after the season to let the injury heal and underwent another precautionary MRI exam to make sure the injury wasn't serious.

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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.

Torii returns to open arms at TwinsFest

Popular outfielder commands long autograph lines, admiration from fans

Torii returns to open arms at TwinsFest

MINNEAPOLIS -- For Torii Hunter, it felt like he never left.

Hunter, who signed a one-year deal worth $10.5 million this offseason to rejoin the Twins after leaving Minnesota following the 2007 season, was perhaps the most popular player at TwinsFest this weekend, as he commanded long lines for his autograph and had his name chanted by fans as he walked from each event to the next.

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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.

Mauer, Molitor excited to work together in 2015

Twins star supported Hall of Famer's hire, had 'great offseason'

Mauer, Molitor excited to work together in 2015

MINNEAPOLIS -- It was just two St. Paul natives having lunch in their hometown this week, but for Joe Mauer, it was a chance to keep picking the brain of new Twins manager and Hall of Famer Paul Molitor.

Molitor said during the Winter Meetings in December that he planned on sitting down with Mauer before Spring Training to give the 31-year-old advice on how to stay productive in the second half a career while also laying out expectations for the 2015 season. Molitor, who played for 21 seasons before retiring when he was 41, came away impressed with Mauer and his desire to bounce back from his uncharacteristically down year in '14, when the first baseman hit .277/.361/.371 with just four homers and 55 RBIs in 120 games.

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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.

Meyer ready to compete for Major League rotation

Twins' No. 4 prospect heads into Spring Training set to prove himself

Meyer ready to compete for Major League rotation

MINNEAPOLIS -- All Alex Meyer had to do was get through one final start at Triple-A Rochester last season, and the Twins' No. 4 prospect (according to MLB.com) was finally going get to his chance to get called up to the Majors for the first time.

But it wasn't to be, as Meyer left his start early and was diagnosed with shoulder inflammation, which ended his season on Aug. 30. So while Meyer has tried not to harp on his missed opportunity to come up and pitch in relief down the stretch, the 6-foot-9 right-hander believes he's now primed to make an impact with the Twins in 2015.

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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.

Milone out to prove himself to Twins' faithful

With neck issue resolved, left-hander ready to compete for rotation spot

Milone out to prove himself to Twins' faithful

MINNEAPOLIS -- After the 2014 season came to an end, Tommy Milone figured the inflammation in his neck that plagued him while with the Twins would quickly subside.

But even after receiving a cortisone shot in his neck after the season, Milone still felt stiffness and couldn't pinpoint why. So he went and saw a specialist in Beverly Hills, Calif., who found a small tumor behind his neck that was causing the issue.

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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.

Twin goals: Buxton, Sano striving to debut in '15

Minnesota's top prospects looking to bounce back after injury-filled season

Twin goals: Buxton, Sano striving to debut in '15

MINNEAPOLIS -- When top prospects Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano made their TwinsFest debuts last year, there was some hope the highly touted duo could potentially make their Major League debuts in 2014.

But it wasn't to be, as Sano suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow that required Tommy John surgery on March 12 and kept him out for the season, while Buxton's season was marred by several injuries, including a sprained left wrist, a concussion and broken finger that limited him to just 31 games in the Minor Leagues and 13 games in the Arizona Fall League.

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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.

Plouffe fully recovered from broken left forearm

Third baseman rested and on normal timeframe for 2015 season

Plouffe fully recovered from broken left forearm

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe said he's fully recovered from a broken left forearm suffered on Sept. 24 in a collision at third base, and has been able to start his workouts at his usual timeframe.

Plouffe said he was fortunate the injury came when it did because he was able to rest after the season and began his baseball activities at his normal time once he was done rehabbing his forearm.

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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.

TwinsFest opens with address from St. Peter

Club president discusses team Hall of Fame, ticket sales, promotions

TwinsFest opens with address from St. Peter

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins president Dave St. Peter kicked off TwinsFest weekend with a state of the franchise address at the annual media luncheon at Target Field on Friday, addressing a wide range of topics, including ticket sales, promotions and the club's Hall of Fame.

The biggest news was that for the first time since the Twins Hall of Fame was created in 2000, no one was elected for induction in 2015. The top three vote-getters among players were Dan Gladden, Cesar Tovar and Mudcat Grant, while the top three vote-getters among non-players were John Gordon, Andy MacPhail and Jerry Bell. The Twins didn't have a ceremony last year.

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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.

Molitor set to focus on defense, baserunning in spring

Skipper anticipates competitions in spring before locking down lineup

Molitor set to focus on defense, baserunning in spring

MINNEAPOLIS -- Paul Molitor has already been hard at work planning his first Spring Training as Twins manager and said there will be tweaks from former manager Ron Gardenhire's format.

Molitor, who has been working with bench coach Joe Vavra, said some of the core tenets of the program will remain the same, but there are issues he feels need to be addressed, especially with baserunning and defensive alignments.

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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.

Twins, Schafer agree to terms on 1-year deal

Club, center fielder avoid arbitration hearing by meeting in middle

Twins, Schafer agree to terms on 1-year deal

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins made a roster announcement on the first day of TwinsFest on Friday, as they agreed to terms with outfielder Jordan Schafer on a one-year deal worth $1.55 million to avoid arbitration.

After the Twins couldn't come to an agreement with Schafer before the Jan. 16 deadline, Schafer filed for $1.7 million and the Twins offered $1.3 million. So the two sides settled at the midpoint.

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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.

Twins aid research, honor year's best with Diamond Awards

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins' annual Diamond Awards celebrated their 10th anniversary on Thursday night with the awards banquet at Target Field continuing to benefit research and patient care focused on neurological disorders.

The awards themselves are based on voting conducted by the Twin Cities chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, but the impact goes much deeper to help fund the University of Minnesota's research and patient care focused on ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease), ataxia, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease.

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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.

Twins wrap up 'awesome' Winter Caravan

Manager, players, GM, broadcasters visit fans outside the Twin Cities

Twins wrap up 'awesome' Winter Caravan

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The 55th annual Twins Winter Caravan came to a close on Thursday after four different routes made stops in more than 40 communities in four states over the last two weeks.

The 2015 Winter Caravan, presented by AmericInn Hotels and Suites, was hailed as another success for the Twins and featured visits to schools, hospitals, local businesses and more, while also featuring a nightly Hot Stove program where fans interacted and asked questions.

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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.

Hughes happy to be with Twins long term

Hughes happy to be with Twins long term

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- After seven years playing for the Yankees under the bright lights of New York City, Phil Hughes found himself in a different environment in 2014, but one that made him feel right at home.

Hughes left New York for Minnesota, inking a three-year deal with the Twins worth $24 million despite posting a 5.19 ERA in 145 2/3 innings the previous year. The Twins were banking on Hughes bouncing back, and he did it in a big way last season.

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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.

Dozier, Hughes hop on Twins Winter Caravan

Dozier, Hughes hop on Twins Winter Caravan

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- The Twins' annual Winter Caravan continued to roll through the Upper Midwest on Wednesday, as two different routes made a combined eight stops on the second-to-last day of the caravan.

Right-hander Phil Hughes joined the first leg of the caravan, making three stops in Minnesota at Walser Auto Group in Owatonna, Chatfield Elementary and the night stop at Canadian Honker Events Apache in Rochester.

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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.

Ryan senses fans' urgency during Caravan stop

Twins GM impressed with turnout, says club needs to turn corner

Ryan senses fans' urgency during Caravan stop

MANKATO, Minn. -- A special guest joined the Twins on their annual Winter Caravan on Tuesday, as general manager Terry Ryan made an appearance during the evening stop at the Kato Ballroom to participate in a question-and-answer session with fans.

Ryan, who also appeared at the club's Hot Stove event on Jan. 12 in St. Paul, said he's been impressed with the Caravan turnout despite the fact the Twins have lost at least 92 games in each of the last four seasons. Ryan said he senses more optimism from fans than in recent years after the signings of Torii Hunter and Ervin Santana, as well as the extension given to right-hander Phil Hughes, but the GM cautioned that Minnesota still has plenty to prove in 2015.

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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.

Dozier preparing to build on breakout season with Twins

Second baseman hopes individual success translates to team

Dozier preparing to build on breakout season with Twins

MANKATO , Minn. -- After a busy offseason that included a mission trip to Nicaragua in early January, Brian Dozier is gearing up for his third season as the Twins' everyday second baseman in 2015 and wants to build on his breakout season from last year.

Dozier was one of the club's best players last season, batting .242/.345/.416 while hitting 23 homers and stealing 21 bases. He became the first Twins player to post a 20/20 season since Torii Hunter in 2004.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Meyer No. 10 on MLB Pipeline's Top 10 RHP Prospects list

Nats' Giolito leads list, followed by Mets' Syndergaard, Pirates' Glasnow

Meyer No. 10 on MLB Pipeline's Top 10 RHP Prospects list

MLBPipeline.com's 2015 Top 100 Prospects list will be unveiled on Friday, Jan. 30, on MLB.com, with the Top 50 revealed during a one-hour show on MLB Network at 9 p.m. ET. Leading up to that, MLBPipeline.com takes a look at baseball's Top 10 prospects at each position.

There are always a ton of right-handed pitchers on our Top 100 list. The 2015 version is no different. All 10 on the list below are in the Top 100, and then some.

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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.

Duensing hopeful to get deal done with Twins

Duensing hopeful to get deal done with Twins

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- While some teams have adopted a file-and-trial policy regarding their arbitration-eligible players, the Twins remain open to coming to agreements with both left-hander Brian Duensing and outfielder Jordan Schafer before arbitration hearings in February.

The Twins signed Trevor Plouffe, Tommy Milone, Casey Fien and Eduardo Nunez to one-year deals before Friday's deadline, but failed to come to agreements with Duensing and Schafer. Duensing filed for $3.1 million in arbitration and the Twins countered with $2.4 million, while Schafer filed for $1.7 million and the Twins offered $1.2 million.

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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.

Twins' Caravan continues, leading up to Diamond Awards

Twins' Caravan continues, leading up to Diamond Awards

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- The second week of the Twins' 55th annual Winter Caravan began Monday with two different routes starting a four-day journey throughout the Upper Midwest.

The 2015 Winter Caravan, presented by AmericInn Hotels and Suites, kicked off last week with two legs heading in different directions, and continues this week leading up to the Diamond Awards on Thursday night and TwinsFest from Friday to Sunday at 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.

Twins sign four of six arbitration-eligibles

Club exchanges figures with Duensing, Schafer

Twins sign four of six arbitration-eligibles

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins avoided arbitration with four of their six eligible players on Friday, as they signed Trevor Plouffe, Tommy Milone, Casey Fien and Eduardo Nunez to one-year deals. Minnesota was unable to reach agreements with Brian Duensing and Jordan Schafer and exchanged arbitration figures with both players.

Plouffe signed a one-year deal worth $4.8 million, while Milone signed for $2.775 million, Fien signed for $1.375 million and Nunez signed for $1.025 million, the club announced. The Twins can still sign Duensing or Schafer before their scheduled hearings in February. The club's last hearing came in 2006 with Kyle Lohse.

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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.

Inbox: More moves on horizon for Twins?

Beat reporter Rhett Bollinger answers questions from fans

Inbox: More moves on horizon for Twins?

MINNEAPOLIS -- With the annual Twins Winter Caravan already underway and TwinsFest set for next weekend at Target Field, the end of the offseason is nearing and the start of Spring Training is right around the corner.

Twins pitchers and catchers are set to report to the club's renovated Spring Training complex in Fort Myers, Fla., on Feb. 22, with the first workouts scheduled for Feb. 24.

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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.

Pleskoff: Twins prospects on the cusp

Buxton, Sano among top prospects who could impact big league club in 2015

Pleskoff: Twins prospects on the cusp

In this series, Bernie Pleskoff takes a team-by-team look at which top prospects are poised to make a contribution at the big league level in 2015.

It would appear the Twins future might rest squarely on the shoulders of some very highly-regarded prospects. We may see the emergence of some of these top young players this coming season.

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Bernie Pleskoff has served as a professional scout for the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners. Follow @BerniePleskoff on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Twins Winter Caravan hits the road

Twins Winter Caravan hits the road

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins kicked off their 55th annual Winter Caravan on Monday with two different routes heading out of the Twin Cities.

The 2015 Winter Caravan, presented by AmericInn Hotels and Suites, features stops in more than 40 communities in four states over the next two weeks. It includes four different routes with visits to schools, hospitals, local businesses and more, while also featuring a nightly Hot Stove program where fans can interact and ask questions.

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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.

Twins' center-field job up for grabs in Spring Training

Hicks, Schafer to compete for starting role; Buxton's debut likely in late '15 or '16

Twins' center-field job up for grabs in Spring Training

MINNEAPOLIS -- With new manager Paul Molitor announcing he plans to move Danny Santana back to his natural shortstop position in 2015, the Twins are expected to head to Spring Training with an open competition in center field.

Santana was one of the club's better players as a rookie, hitting .319/.353/.472 in 101 games, but played most of the season out of position. The 24-year-old made 62 starts in center, while making just 31 at shortstop. It came out of necessity despite the fact Santana had played just 25 games in center in the Minors, compared to 420 games at shortstop.

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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.

Twins sign righty Boyer to Minor League deal

Twins sign righty Boyer to Minor League deal

The Minnesota Twins on Wednesday signed right-handed pitcher Blaine Boyer to a Minor League contract and invited him to Spring Training.

Boyer, 33, has appeared in 265 games over eight seasons pitching for the Braves, D-backs, Padres, Mets and Cardinals, with all 265 games coming in relief. He has a career 4.63 ERA but is coming off of a 2014 season with the Padres during which he posted a 3.57 ERA over 32 games and allowed just 34 hits and eight walks over 40 1/3 innings.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Spring workout dates announced for all clubs

Spring workout dates announced for all clubs

Spring is officially on the horizon.

Major League Baseball announced the first Spring Training workout dates for all 30 of its clubs on Thursday. Pitchers and catchers for the reigning World Series champion Giants -- along with the Phillies, Pirates and Reds -- will be the first to work out, with a Feb. 19 start date. Thirteen other clubs will work out pitchers and catchers for the first time the following day.

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AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.