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Twins making progress on deal with A.J. Pierzynski

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After signing Phil Hughes and Ricky Nolasco, the Twins are shifting their focus to the catcher position.

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Even after signing both Phil Hughes and Ricky Nolasco to multi-year contracts to bolster their rotation, the Minnesota Twins are not finished with their offseason work. According to La Velle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune, the team is making progress in its attempt to sign catcher A.J. Pierzynski, and could sign him in the near future. They have been highly interested in Pierzynski all offseason and met with him at the GM Meetings in Orlando, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com.

The Twins are looking for a catcher to replace Joe Mauer, who is moving to first base. They remain interested in Jarrod Saltalamacchia and have been linked to Dioner Navarro, but instead seem to have shifted their focus to Pierzynski, who spent his first six major league seasons in Minnesota.

Pierzynski has also drawn interest from the Rangers, Blue Jays and Red Sox this winter, but has expressed a willingness to sign with Minnesota to potentially finish his career where he started it. In six seasons from 1998 to 2003, the soon-to-be 37-year old .301 with 26 HR and 193 RBI, serving as the team's primary catcher for the last three years of his stint before being traded to the Giants before the 2004 season.

After signing a one-year, $7.5 million deal with the Rangers last offseason, Pierzynski hit .272 with 17 HR and 70 RBI in 134 games in 2013.