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Report: Twins to meet with Yu Darvish

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The Twins are “hoping to get a meeting” with free agent right-hander Yu Darvish in the near future, Darren Wolfson of KSTP reported Friday. Darvish is one of the biggest free agents still on the market this winter, and the Twins have made no attempts to conceal their interest in him, though Wolfson says there’s no reason to believe the club has presented a formal offer just yet.

Darvish, 31, split from the Rangers last July in a deadline trade to the Dodgers. His second-half resurgence in Los Angeles lifted him to a combined 10-12 record in 31 starts for the two teams, augmented by his fourth career All-Star nomination and a 3.86 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 10.1 SO/9 in 186 2/3 innings. Despite his brief and disappointing performance in the 2017 World Series, he still fits the bill as a front-end starter and is expected to command a long-term deal in excess of $100 million.

Competition for the righty is fierce, but Darvish doesn’t appear to have entered serious negotiations with any of the suitors named so far. He met with the Cubs and Astros early in the week and took a meeting with the Rangers as well, though Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports the latter was an informal meeting between friends and not anything resembling contract discussions. Not only are the Twins positioned to contend again in 2018, but they have the financial flexibility to make a lucrative offer (not to mention plenty of space for an ace in their rotation) and may very well end up being a frontrunner for Darvish’s services.

The Red Sox seem content to let Craig Kimbrel sign elsewhere

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LAS VEGAS — Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski strongly signaled that the team was unlikely to re-sign Craig Kimbrel, telling the assembled Boston media contingent that, “we’re not looking to make a per se big expenditure in that area.” Referring to the bullpen.

Kimbrel, who saved 42 games for the World Series champs, was recently reported to be seeking a six-year contract. I doubt he gets that, but he’ll get a pretty big deal nonetheless, and the Sox obviously feel like they can manage with a cheaper option in the back of the bullpen.