Minnesota Twins general manager Terry Ryan has been on the hunt for rotation upgrades this offseason. One of his options to bolster his staff came off the market yesterday, as starting pitcher Chris Capuano signed a two-year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. A finalist in the Capuano sweepstakes, the Twins will now have to look elsewhere for starting pitching. Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports reports that, along with Capuano, the Twins have shown interest in starting pitchers Jeff Francis and Edwin Jackson this offseason.
A source tells Morosi that the Twins have held preliminary talks with Francis’s representation. These discussions figure to resume next week when the Hot Stove hits Dallas for the 2011 Winter Meetings.
Francis spent last season in Kansas City after the Royals signed the left-hander to a one-year, $2 million deal last January. Francis was able to reward the Royals by making more than 30 games for the first time since 2007. Over his 183 innings pitched, Francis maintained an ERA of 4.82 and 1.437 WHIP.
The other free agent starter the Twins have been tied to is Edwin Jackson. Younger and with better stuff, Jackson will cost the Twins a significantly larger investment than Francis.
The 28-year-old Jackson is coming off one of his better seasons. The right-hander made 31 starts for the White Sox and Cardinals in 2011, holding an ERA of 3.79 over his 199 2/3 innings.
Morosi says that the Twins are wary of Jackson’s price tag. The starter is represented by super-agent Scott Boras and figures to cost a pretty penny this winter.
Whoever they end up bringing in, Morosi thinks the Twins need to upgrade their rotation if they want to contend in 2012. At this point, Minnesota has a tentative staff that includes Carl Pavano, Scott Baker, Francisco Liriano, Brian Duensing and Nick Blackburn.
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You can check out all of the available free agents by position below.