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Paul Molitor says Twins have ‘tremendous interest’ in Yu Darvish

Minnesota Twins manager Paul Molitor on Wednesday indicated the team has “tremendous interest” in free agent pitcher Yu Darvish.

“Let’s make sure that the player and his team understand that we want to be part of discussions and we have targeted him as somebody we have tremendous interest in,” Molitor said, via the Star Tribune. “Where that’s going to go, where the market’s going to go, what we’re able to do, how far other teams are willing to go, you know, there’s things you can’t control.”

Molitor’s comments on Darvish came on the same day the Twins announced the signing of Michael Pineda to a two-year, $10 million deal. Pineda is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery in July and is expected to miss most, if not all, of the 2018 MLB season.

The Twins have long been considered the standard-bearers of small-market baseball. The organization rarely has made serious efforts to sign the biggest free agent on the market, nor has Minnesota historically been viewed as an attractive free agent destination.

That said, with the team under new management — headed by general manager Thad Levine and president of baseball operations Derek Falvey — leading the way, the Twins organization is undergoing a radical transformation.

And with the Twins’ remarkable return to relevancy last season, the case can be made the the team not only will be major players in the Darvish sweepstakes, they might even have a good chance of signing him.