Just a couple thoughts on some off-season observations...
*Apparently Terry Ryan was in talks with the Baltimore Orioles at the winter meetings regarding Kyle Lohse. I wonder who the Twins would seek in such a trade. To me, the obvious candidate is third baseman Melvin Mora. Mora would be a solid acquisition for the Twins, as he hit .283/.348/.474 last year at a salary of only $3.8 million. He is not great defensively, but would be no worse than Michael Cuddyer was and would certainly provide more offense. Furthermore, the Orioles have a top minor league prospect at third base in Tripper Johnson.
*According to Peter Gammons, the Rangers and Dodgers are close to a deal that would send Alfonso Soriano to the LA in return for minor league pitcher Jonathan Broxton. As far as I can tell, Broxton is not exactly an amazing prospect; he posted a 3.12 ERA in Double-A last year and a 5.93 in 14 appearances at the Major League level. Why is this guy better than a package of Kyle Lohse and JC Romero?
*In an in the Pioneer Press, Twins beat-writer Jason Williams contemplates the notion that the Twins use Cuddyer as their DH next season. For a team with a lack of power and bad discipline problems, this seems like an absolutely awful idea. I am not at all convinced that the Twins are serious about signing Frank Thomas or Mike Piazza, but I do hope that they can find a veteran hitter somewhere with some pop who could fill in this role.
*According to LaVelle E. Neal, the Twins probably will not sign Bill Mueller, as the interest he has gained from the Dodgers, Giants, and Pirates will likely put him out of the Twins' price range. As Mueller was really the only free agent third baseman who would've provided a significant improvement, the impetus is now on Terry Ryan to work out a trade for a guy who can come in and fill this gaping hole for the team. Hank Blalock would be splendid, but Toronto's Shea Hillenbrand is also a viable option.