BLAINE, Minn. -- The Twins have only two arbitration cases remaining for 2011: Francisco Liriano and Delmon Young. With both Liriano and Young coming off strong seasons in 2010, there have been questions as to whether the team might be considering long-term deals for the two players. Twins general manager Bill Smith doesn't like to comment on contract negotiations, but he indicated that for now, it doesn't appear to be the case. "Right now, we're focused on trying to get them signed for 2011, and we'll go from there," Smith said.
The Twins exchanged salary figures with Young and Liriano on Jan. 18. The Twins offered Young $4.65 million, while he has asked for $6.25 million. Liriano is seeking $5 million, while the club countered with $3.6 million. Both players are in their second year of arbitration-eligibility. If the Twins cannot settle on a contract amount with either player, then they'll be headed for a pair of arbitration hearings -- where a panel of arbitrators will decide between the two figures. Arbitration hearings begin Tuesday and run through Feb. 18. "It's never about whether you like the player or don't like the player -- it's just about establishing what his salary will be," Smith said. "We'll continue to work on these two guys, and if we can reach agreement, we will. If not, then there's an arbitration panel that will do it."