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News and Notes: Twins, Nathan Close To Deal

The Twins and Joe Nathan are closing in on a four year deal worth 11-12 million dollars annually, according to Buster Olney. Nathan went 4-2 with a 1.88 ERA and 37 saves last season, bringing his career ERA down to three. This is a big investment for the Twins, but it is worth it. They do not have much of anything right now, and signing him shows their commitment for the future. Yes, they have Pat Neshek who could have taken over at the role, but Nathan is an All-Star closer who could definitely lure a big name player to the Twins. They are in the final stages of the deal and it's expected a deal will be done before Opening Day. On paper, this team could surprise people. There offense is pretty good and if their pitching does not collapse, I bet they are fighting for third place.

Cubs after Lopez?: The Cubs are reportedly scouting Felipe Lopez of the Nationals. This doesn't make sense to me. Why would they need a middle infielder? Are they planning on DeRosa in center with Pie? I think Lou Piniella is a good manager, but I think he picks favorites too soon, and will not be putting the best team on the field.

Dodgers are still looking at Loretta:
It seems everyday someone else will say the Dodgers are looking at Mark Loretta. It is true, but nothing has changed on that front. However, there is word that they are talking to the Phillies about Wes Helms.

Edinson Volquez turning heads: This kid is looking like the ace of the future for the Reds. He has unbelievable stuff, and scouts are saying he has one of the best changeups in he league.

Reyes on the block?: Cardinals pitcher Anthony Reyes has lost his spot in the rotation to Brad Thompson and is reportedly being shopped. The Marlins were reportedly scouting him early on, but nothing was made of it.

Next Dice-K?: Young pitcher Yu Darvish is considered to be the next Matsuzaka. Reporters from Japan that I have talked to say he is exciting to watch, and is only in his early twenties. The Ham Fighters might post him in hopes of landing the record breaking 51 million that was posted for Matsuzaka, but it might be closer to 20-30 because he is not as experienced. However, there is already word that the Red Sox would make a move if he is posted.