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Updated: July 1st, 2013 10:21pm
Notebook: Twins expected to be active in international free agency

Notebook: Twins expected to be active in international free agency

by Brandon Warne
1500ESPN.com
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The international free agency period opens Tuesday morning, and it's fair to say the Minnesota Twins will be active.

That was the general sentiment expressed Monday by general manager Terry Ryan, whose club has a pool of $3.9 million -- fourth-largest in baseball -- at its disposal to use on players born outside of the United States (and its territories), Canada and Puerto Rico.

That amount was dictated by the signing of the latest collective bargaining agreement after the 2011 season, with 2013-14 being the first period in which the pool money allotted is based on inverted team records. In essence, the worst team is permitted to spend $5 million and the best only $1.8 million.

The money also can be traded, though Ryan downplayed that notion, and pointed to the pool money needing to last a full year. In other words, it's not bad to have some money to fall back on.

Mike Radcliff, the Twins' vice president of player personnel, told 1500 ESPN that he expects the Twins to sign eight to 10 players, with most, if not all of them being of Dominican, Venezuelan, or Italian descent.

Of the prospects listed in Baseball America's top-30 players available, the strongest indication is the Twins will pursue outfielder/first baseman Lewin Diaz of the Dominican Republic.

Diaz won't turn 17 until mid-September, but he's already listed at 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds.

Mauer held out

Joe Mauer was out of the lineup Monday night for the first time since June 9 at Washington, as manager Ron Gardenhire said his catcher was among a handful of Twins who showed up at the ballpark not feeling well.

Mauer has played in 74 of the club's 78 games entering Monday. That figure placed Mauer fifth among all catchers in games played, and he has the most plate appearances by a catcher by a margin of nearly 30 over San Francisco's Buster Posey.

Mauer went 0-for-15 in the Twins' weekend series against the Royals, and in the process ended an eight-game hitting streak.

Pelfrey update

Mike Pelfrey's rehab start with Class A Cedar Rapids was a good one, as he was the winning pitcher in a 6-3 victory over the Peoria Chiefs.

Pelfrey went six innings -- throwing 70 pitches -- with six strikeouts, no walks, and two earned runs allowed. He has been on the disabled list because of a back strain.

Pelfrey came out of the start feeling well, and looks to be on track to start July 6 at Toronto.

Hot and not

Here's a look at the Twins who were hot and cold during the month of June.

Who's Hot:

2B Brian Dozier - .257/.389/.514 (.392 wOBA) in 91 PA
OF Oswaldo Arcia - .328/.394/.500 (.390 wOBA) in 71 PA
3B Trevor Plouffe - .321/.351/.528 (.376 wOBA) in 57 PA
C Joe Mauer - .297/.393/.455 (.371 wOBA) in 117 PA
RPs Glen Perkins/Caleb Thielbar/Casey Fien - 1 ER combined in 30.2 IP (0.29 ERA)
SP Samuel Deduno - 3-1, 2.60 ERA (31 IP)

Who's Not:

SS Pedro Florimon - .173/.220/.240 (.200 wOBA) in 83 PA
IF Jamey Carroll - .167/.250/.194 (.211 wOBA) in 41 PA
IF Eduardo Escobar - .205/.279/.333 (.273 wOBA) in 44 PA
RP Jared Burton - 7.45 ERA, 5.6 BB/9 (9.2 IP)
SP P.J. Walters - 0-4, 6.85 ERA, 4.8 K/9, 5.2 BB/9 (22.1 IP)
RP Ryan Pressly - 5.91 ERA (10.2 IP)

Etc.

* The Twins announced Monday that Target Field will host TwinsFest 2014, which will run from Jan. 24-26. According to the club's Twitter account, TwinsFest will feature some all new fan experiences as it transitions from the Metrodome. Though no final decision has been made, the time of year in conjunction with the limited space at Target Field likely means there will be some constraints on how many tickets will be made available.

* Possibly worth monitoring: Jared Burton's velocity on his fastball is down 1.3 mph from last year (92.9 --> 91.6). Burton gave up three runs and three hits in one-third of an inning on Monday.

* With Monday's loss, Gardenhire's career record against the Yankees fell to 21-56 (.272) in regular-season games and 23-68 (.253) overall.

Brandon Warne covers the Minnesota Twins for 1500ESPN.com. He has also contributed as a baseball analyst for Fangraphs.com and BaseballProspectus.com
Email Brandon | @Brandon_Warne
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