I was mistaken in yesterday's post when I posited that the deadline to offer arbitration to free agent eligible players fell on Monday night; it actually fell last night. As expected, the Twins did indeed offer arbitration to Type B free agent Carl Pavano, so now Pavano will have the opportunity to either except and return to the Twins on a one-year deal (likely worth around $7 million) or hit the open market. Should he decline arbitration and sign elsewhere, Pavano would net the Twins a supplemental pick in next June's draft. Either outcome is a fairly beneficial one for the Twins, and as such Bill Smith's move to acquire Pavano in August is looking like a savvy one.
Perhaps the more interesting development from yesterday's deadline, though, is that neither Placido Polanco nor Orlando Hudson were offered arbitration by their respective clubs. Both Polanco and Hudson qualified as Type A free agents, but with the Tigers and Dodgers electing not to offer arbitration, signing them will not cost a draft pick. These are both players that the Twins should be extremely interested in; they're veteran second basemen whose offensive skills make them well suited to bat second and who are very competent in the field. My offseason blueprint suggested that the Twins tab Polanco, but I'd have absolutely no problem with Hudson, who I pushed hard for last offseason.
The Twins have been awfully quiet since they traded for J.J. Hardy just after the conclusion of the World Series, but with the Winter Meetings fast approaching the time has come for Bill Smith and Co. to once again ratchet up their offseason dealings. Honing in on Polanco and Hudson should be among their very highest priorities.