Crain may not get an offer from Twins

Crain may not get an offer from Twins

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins have until 10:59 p.m. CT on Saturday to tender contracts to their arbitration-eligible players, and at least one of those players is considered a possible non-tender candidate.

The Twins have seven arbitration-eligible players: left fielder Delmon Young, infielders Brendan Harris and J.J. Hardy, left-hander Francisco Liriano and right-handers Jesse Crain, Matt Guerrier and Pat Neshek.

Of the six, Crain appears to have the greatest chance to be non-tendered. Crain was sent down to the Minor Leagues for a stint this past season due to his struggles. He posted a 4.70 ERA in 56 relief appearances for Minnesota in 2009, when he made $1.7 million. He could see his salary rise to up around $3 million if he goes through arbitration.

The bullpen is already considered to be an area of strength for the Twins, with Guerrier, Jon Rauch and Jose Mijares returning as options for the setup role and closer Joe Nathan anchoring the group. A healthy Pat Neshek could give the Twins enough options to make Crain expendable.

Boof Bonser had also been considered to be a potential non-tender candidate for the Twins, but the right-hander was traded to the Red Sox on Thursday for a player to be named later. Earlier in the week, Bonser had been designated for assignment to clear room on the 40-man roster for Carl Pavano, who accepted the Twins' arbitration offer.

Kelly Thesier is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.