SAN DIEGO -- A few players from Japan and South Korea have been posted for major league teams to pursue this offseason, players such as first baseman Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, righthander Shun Yamaguchi, lefthander Kwang-Hyun Kim and outfielder Jae-Hwan Kim.
Tsutsugo, for instance, has been linked to the Twins. He's primarily a corner outfielder but can play some first base, and the Twins have an opening there after non-tendering C.J. Cron last week. The Twins have done due diligence on all of the players who have been posted, but are not expected to actively pursue any of them.
The Japanese press will be disappointed. They enjoyed living in Minnesota when Tsuyoshi Nishioka was with the Twins.
Good morning from baseball's annual Winter Meetings.
As for Cron, the Twins have not ruled out a reunion. It appears that bringing back Cron is one of their contingency plans, based on how other pursuits wind up.
"We've expressed to the player and the agent that the door is open," General Manager Thad Levine said.
Cron, who batted .253 with 25 homers and 78 RBI in 125 games last season, was affected during the second half of the season by a painful thumb injury that required offseason surgery. The Twins expect Cron to be ready for spring training.
One reason they non-tendered him is because he was set to make more than $7 million in arbitration. They could bring him back next season for less than that -- provided that he's still on the market if their other options don't come to fruition.
One late development here last night was the Yankees trying to trade lefthander J. A, Happ. This isn't about the Twins interest, it about the Yankees -- THE YANKEES -- trying to cut a little payroll in the event they sign free agent ace Gerrit Cole.