Twins keeping ears open at Winter Meetings

Club keeps evaluating roster, expects to speak with the other 29 teams

Twins keeping ears open at Winter Meetings

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Given their backgrounds as assistant general managers, the Winter Meetings are nothing new for Twins chief baseball officer Derek Falvey and GM Thad Levine. But it'll be a different experience this time around, as they're now tasked with leading the turnaround of a franchise that has lost at least 90 games in five of the last six seasons.

The Winter Meetings officially begin on Monday and run through Thursday's Rule 5 Draft with the Twins holding the No. 1 overall pick. With all 30 clubs and countless agents in attendance, Falvey and Levine will have the chance to further evaluate their own roster and lay groundwork for future moves. Falvey said he doesn't expect to make a major splash at the Meetings, but he's willing to listen to offers on just about anyone, including second baseman Brian Dozier.
 

Falvey on Twins, Dozier

"We'll have a lot of meetings with teams," Falvey said. "Based on my experience the last nine years, you basically meet with everybody. You have a chance to interact with other teams and get a deeper sense for where their direction is headed this offseason. And it's also a big opportunity to meet with agents, not only about their players, but your own players, too."

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MLB.com and MLB Network will have wall-to-wall coverage of the 2016 Winter Meetings from the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center outside Washington, D.C. Fans can watch live streaming of all news conferences and manager availability on MLB.com, including the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday at 8 a.m. CT.

The Twins have been active this offseason, signing catcher Jason Castro to a three-year deal worth $24.5 million. They've also outrighted veterans such as third baseman Trevor Plouffe and left-hander Tommy Milone off the roster.

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But now the club will turn its attention to improving a rotation that finished with the worst ERA in the Majors last season. The Winter Meetings should help the front office get a better feel for what it'll take to acquire quality starting pitching via free agency or trade, especially given this year's weak free-agent class.

Improving the pitching staff will be one of the main themes for the Twins at the Winter Meetings, as well as whether the new front office ultimately decides to trade Dozier, who is coming off a 42-homer season. Manager Paul Molitor is set to meet with the media on Wednesday at 9 a.m. CT, while Falvey and Levine will have daily meetings with reporters to recap the action.

That coverage will appear on Twinsbaseball.com and on Twitter (@RhettBollinger) throughout this week. Be sure to use the comment section at the end of each story to sound off with your own opinions on Dozier or anything else.

So while Falvey has said he doesn't expect it to be a busy Winter Meetings for the Twins, anything can happen, especially with so many baseball executives and agents in one place.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.