The Twins were one of seven teams that had already expressed interest in Blake, who batted .274 with 21 homers and 81 RBIs for the Indians and Dodgers last season. But according to McDowell, the number of interested teams is now up to eight.Blake made $6.1 million last year, and other reports have indicated he could be seeking a three-year deal. McDowell did not discuss details of what the Twins submitted to him on Friday, but the expectation is that it's a starting off point for the two sides. "Right now, we have an idea of what they are thinking and where they would like to go with it," McDowell said. "We'll get back to them with our thoughts as well. If that is the situation that makes the most sense, then we'll get something done." Blake, 35, is already familiar with the Twins after spending parts of three seasons with the club from 2000-02. He was released by the team twice -- once in 2001 and again in 2002 -- before establishing himself as a big league player. But Blake's agent said the Iowa native definitely has interest in returning to Minnesota. "Casey likes that organization and knows a lot of the people involved," McDowell said. "He has a pretty good feeling toward the Twins. There is no reason that he would not sign with them."
In addition to pursuing Blake, the Twins have also been exploring the trade market for third basemen. Among the club's targets at third base are Garrett Atkins of the Rockies and Adrian Beltre of the Mariners. The Twins have also been exploring potential upgrades for shortstop on the trade market, but it appears that their first choice would be to find a power bat for third base.
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.