Twins search for pitching points to Garza, Tanaka, Pelfrey, Arroyo

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Ricky Nolasco's claim to owning the richest free-agent contract in Twins history could be short-lived.

Reports from the MLB Winter Meetings in Florida continue to suggest the Twins are showing interest in bringing back ex-Twin right-hander Matt Garza.

Garza himself told La Velle Neal III of the Star Tribune that the Twins are in on him.

"I'm open to anything that makes me feel comfortable,'' he said. "If (Minnesota) is where that's at, I will have no problem going there.''

However, Neal writes that the chances of Garza signing with the Twins are slim.

Garza is expected to get paid a healthy amount more than Nolasco, who received a four-year, $49 million deal. The problem is that big money teams like the Yankees and Angels could offer a lot more for Garza.

The other name in the rumor mill is Japanese star Mashira Tanaka. The Twins would have to bid as much as $20 million just to negotiate with Tanaka. It's a the fee that goes along with trying to bring players from Japan to the United States. Nothing can happen unless Tanaka's team in Japan allows him to negotiate with MLB teams. Neal says the Twins could jump in and offer a maximum bid of $20 million to begin negotiating with Tanaka if his Japanese club allows him to leave.

Tanaka went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA last season. That's incredible.

Other names to keep an eye include shortstop Stephen Drew and starting pitchers Mike Pelfrey, Bronson Arroyo and Bartolo Colon. Pelfrey's agent, Scott Boras, told the media Wednesday that there has been dialogue between him and the Twins. 

Boras joked with the Pioneer Press that Twins general manager Terry Ryan "gets mad at me" when he talks about any offers that have been made.

We'll provide updates when they come in.

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