LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- With their recent run of success with players acquired from independent league baseball, the Twins signed first baseman C.J. Ziegler to a Minor League contract.
Ziegler, 28, hit .318/.408/.645 with 30 homers and 99 RBIs in 100 games with the Wichita Wingnuts of the American Association in 2013. The first baseman, who set the league record for homers, was named Baseball America's Independent League Player of the Year for 2013.
It's the same award that Twins first baseman Chris Colabello won in 2011 before signing with the Twins. Colabello was the International League MVP last year with Triple-A Rochester but hit just .194 with seven homers and 17 RBIs in 55 games with the Twins.
Left-handers Andrew Albers, who posted a 4.05 ERA in 10 starts with the Twins, and Caleb Thielbar, who had a 1.76 ERA in 49 relief outings, were also plucked from independent league baseball.
The Twins are hoping for similar success from Ziegler, who was originally drafted by the Giants in the 16th round of the First-Year Player Draft in 2008 before being released in 2009. He bounced around with several independent league teams before landing with Wichita in 2012. In his two seasons there, he hit .319 with 48 homers and 47 doubles in 158 games.
Twins have been talking to Boras about Pelfrey
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Agent Scott Boras confirmed the Twins are still interested in free-agent right-hander Mike Pelfrey, and that he's met with general manager Terry Ryan at the Winter Meetings.
Boras, speaking to a throng of more than 100 reporters at Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort on Wednesday, said he's continuing to make progress with the Twins regarding Pelfrey, who posted a 5.19 ERA in 29 starts with the Twins last season. The soon-to-be 30-year-old, who was coming off Tommy John surgery, struck out 101, walked 53 and gave up 13 homers in 152 2/3 innings.
"We have been with the Twins,'' Boras said. "Terry and I have met a couple times, so the dialogue continues.''
It comes after Twins manager Ron Gardenhire confirmed Tuesday the Twins have already offered Pelfrey a contract. The deal is reportedly a two-year contract worth $10 million. But Boras wouldn't say how close Pelfrey is to signing, and remained vague about Pelfrey's current market.
"We've had a number of meetings with Mike," Boras said. "As the starter process begins to wind down, I think we'll get some definition. It's going well for him."
Boras also commended Ryan for being a tough negotiator, and even joked that he couldn't confirm if an offer had been made because he didn't want to upset Ryan.
"I'll let Terry tell you that," Boras said. "He gets mad at me if I talk about that."
But Ryan did say he has met with Boras this week -- but not on Wednesday -- and said he has a lot of respect for the long-time agent.
"It's mutual respect," Ryan said. "He has a job to do and we have a job to do. He's been around a long time and has made an impact on the game. We know that. We have had players through the years he's represented, and some have been pretty darn good. So we know each other quite well and get along quite well, but it's business."
Twins welcome back two scouts to pro staff
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Twins officially brought back Larry Corrigan and Bill Mele as professional scouts, the club announced Wednesday.
Corrigan spent the last two seasons as a Major League special-assignment scout with the Angels, but he is returning to the Twins, for whom he worked in various scouting roles from 1987-2007. He also served as a special assistant to the general manager with the Pirates from 2008-11.
Corrigan mostly will scout professional players, but Twins general manager Terry Ryan said he also could help out by looking at amateur players as well.
"Don't pigeonhole him," Ryan said. "We wouldn't hesitate to ask any of these guys to look at an amateur player. But right now, we have Larry scouting the professional realm. He'll be scouting Minor Leaguers for much of the spring and summer, and then he graduates up to the Majors."
Mele rejoins the Twins after most recently serving as a scout with the Yankees. He's signed players such as Ian Kennedy, Trevor Plouffe and Jason Kubel in the amateur realm, but will be a professional scout with the Twins.