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2016 MLB roster outlook: Minnesota Twins

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2016 MLB roster outlook: Minnesota Twins

2015 record: 83-79, 2nd place in NL Central

Manager: Paul Molitor, 2nd season

Estimated 2016 payroll: $109 million

Key additions: 1B Byung-ho Park, C John Ryan Murphy, RP Fernando Abad

Key losses: OF Torii Hunter, OF Aaron Hicks, SP Mike Pelfrey

Projected lineup

2B Brian Dozier
1B Joe Mauer
RF Miguel Sano
3B Trevor Plouffe
LF Eddie Rosario
DH Byung-ho Park
SS Eduardo Escobar
C Kurt Suzuki
CF Byron Buxton

Projected rotation

RHP Ervin Santana
RHP Phil Hughes
RHP Kyle Gibson
RHP Ricky Nolasco
RHP Tyler Duffey

Top relievers

CL Glen Perkins
RHP Kevin Jepsen
RHP Trevor May

Biggest questions entering 2016

1. Can they make another double-digit win improvement? The Twins were one of the biggest surprises of the 2015 season, as they improved their record to 83-79 after winning only 70 games the year before. In order to make the playoffs this season, they will likely have to pull off another double-digit improvement, especially if they want to compete in a tough AL Central division. The talent is certainly there, but they will need huge contributions from some of baseball's youngest players - Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton - who are both just 22 years old.

2. What to expect from Sano and Buxton? Speaking of Sano and Buxton, who are two of baseball's top prospects, what can be expected of them this season? Both are only 22, but each has All-Star potential. Sano played 80 games last season and proved he can hit for power with 18 homers and 52 RBI. He also got on base at an impressive .385 clip. Consistency will be key, but if he can hold a .916 OPS for a full season - like he did in half of one last year - the Twins will be in business. Buxton played only 27 games last year and hit just .209/.250/.326. Those numbers are likely to go way up, as he is expected by many to compete for MVP awards some day.

3. Do they have enough pitching? The Twins did little to improve their roster this winter, instead banking on their young players improving. Pitching, though, remains a moderate concern. The Twins were 16th in starting pitching ERA last season and could use an improvement in that category. Perhaps 25-year-old Tyler Duffey - who posted a nice 3.10 ERA in his first 10 career starts last season - can change their outlook.

[Roster info via RosterResource.com]

[RELATED: Get to know Bronson Arroyo, whose career came 'full circle' to Nats]

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With Ross placed on 60-day DL, Nationals agree to 1-year deal with veteran reliever

With Ross placed on 60-day DL, Nationals agree to 1-year deal with veteran reliever

WASHINGTON  -- The Washington Nationals say they have agreed to a one-year deal with 40-year-old reliever Joaquin Benoit.

The team announced the move Wednesday, along with placing pitcher Joe Ross on the 60-day disabled list as he recovers from Tommy John surgery in July.

The Nationals didn't release terms of the agreement, though a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press on Monday that it was for $1 million.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the deal wasn't official at the time.

MORE NATIONALS: FULL 2018 SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE

Benoit is a right-hander who first reached the big leagues in 2001. 

He has played for eight teams, finishing last year with Pittsburgh.

He has 764 career appearances, going 58-49 with a 3.83 ERA and 53 saves.

RELATED: 2018 MLB BETTING ODDS

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It's Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

It's Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

So if you have not heard, Bryce Harper is going to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2018 season.

All off-season talking heads, baseball aficionados, radio hosts, etc. were speculating on where the outfielder’s destination will be next year.

And we are still a year away from it actually happening.

RELATED: VEGAS SETS OVER/UNDERS FOR 2018 MLB SEASON

Reporting to spring training on Monday, Harper did not waste any time telling the media how his press conferences were going to play out this season.

“If guys do [ask], or talk anything about that, I will be walking right out the door.”

Entering his seventh season with the Washington Nationals, the 25-year-old is coming off the second-best season, statistically, of his career. The 2015 NL MVP has hit .285 in his career, with 150 home runs and 421 RBIs. Unquestionably he is the face of the Nationals’ organization, if not, the best player in the team’s history.

If he does end the season without a contract extension, he will join Rafael Palmeiro, Alex Rodriguez, Randy Johnson, and Barry Bonds as the top sought out free agents in MLB history.

One thing is for certain in terms of Harper’s free agency; Harper has given no inclination on where his landing spot will be.  The top three cities are of course his favorite childhood team, the New York Yankees; joining with one of his closest friends with the Chicago Cubs; or just staying with Washington.

Wherever he does land, it does appear that it will be the largest contract given to a free agent ever.

As for now we just wait and direct any of your calls to his agent Scott Boras.

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