FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Twins prefer to avoid repeating some of the events from last season, when they signed free agents Lance Lynn and Logan Morrison after the start of spring training and watched them flounder.
But they could change their minds if they can land veteran Marwin Gonzalez, who remains a free agent.
The Twins, according to sources, are interested in Gonzalez, 29, who is baseball’s speedwrench — a fit at nearly every position on the field while providing decent offense. He batted .247 last season with 16 home runs and 68 RBI last season for Houston while playing every position except catcher and pitcher. His best offensive season was in 2017, when he hit .303 with 23 homers and 90 RBI.
With the free agent market moving at a snail’s pace for the second consecutive offseason, Gonzalez finds himself still on the market without a club. Gonzalez would likely play several times a week while floating around different spots on the field. And there’s a possibility that the Twins could trade someone during the season to free up an everyday spot for Gonzalez.
A switch hitter, he could balance out a potentially righthanded leaning lineup. He could help Miguel Sano get a break from playing third base every day.
But several teams are believed to be interested in Gonzalez, who made $5.125 million last season. And Houston owner Jim Crane on Wednesday indicated that the club could bring back Gonzalez or sign lefthander Dallas Keuchel, who also remains on the market.
• Miguel Sano has been cleared for light activity as he recovers from a laceration on the back of his right foot. He’s scheduled to wear a protective boot for the next week, but could be cleared for light cardio activity before that time frame ends.
• Twins manager Rocco Baldelli plans to attend both split-squad games on Saturday — the 12:05 p.m. game in Sarasota against the Orioles then the 5:05 p.m. game at home against the Rays. He plans to duck out the game against Baltimore early, leaving Tommy Watkins to manage the final innings.
• Righthander Kyle Gibson, who is emerging from a battle with E. coli last month, will not pitch in a game for another week or so as he gains his strength back. “I would say we’re definitely putting him on his own schedule right now,” Baldelli said. “Again, he is feeling good. This definitely is a situation where he’s certainly improving.”
2018 stats: Batted .254 with 22 home runs and 79 RBI at Class AA Chattanooga.
Acquired: Selected with the 35th overall pick in the 2017 draft.
Role: Likely to start at Class AA Pensacola with a chance to move to Class AAA Rochester with a hot start.
Did you know? Rooker was just the second player in SEC history to hit for triple crown, which he did his redshirt junior season at Mississippi State in 2017. Will strike out a lot, but also walked 56 times at Chattanooga last season, so he could be the modern three outcome player: Walk, strikeout or hit a home run.