FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Twins are set to announce five-year extensions for both Jorge Polanco and Max Kepler on Friday morning, and right-hander Kyle Gibson is among several other players on the roster that could also be interested in extension talks of their own.Gibson said that he had not
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Twins are set to announce five-year extensions for both Jorge Polanco and Max Kepler on Friday morning, and right-hander Kyle Gibson is among several other players on the roster that could also be interested in extension talks of their own.
Gibson said that he had not been engaged in significant extension talks this offseason, as he instead focused on his arbitration negotiations and recovering from the bout of E. coli that ailed him through January. But as he enters his final year of team control, he openly expressed his desire to remain in Minnesota if it made sense for the team.
"I don't look at it necessarily as a walk year," Gibson said. "I'd like to stick around if they want me to stick around.
:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::
"I've enjoyed my time, and we have a great group of guys that has a chance to be pretty good," he added. "A player can want to do it, and I assume the front office does too, but it has to make sense."
Gibson is considered a lock for the Opening Day rotation after lowering his ERA to a career-best 3.62 last season, when he struck out a career-high 179 batters in 196 2/3 innings. He is set to earn $8.125 million this year in his final season of arbitration eligibility.
The 31-year-old Gibson, along with José Berríos, Eddie Rosario and Taylor Rogers, are among candidates that could make sense for additional extension talks. Byron Buxton and Miguel Sanó could also enter that picture if they show signs of more sustained success at the Major League level.
Even considering the lukewarm free-agent markets of the recent past, Gibson isn't afraid of testing free agency, and he isn't so worried about future financial security. Instead, his desire for an extension stems primarily from his desire to remain with the Twins' organization.
"I've been lucky to play five years before talking about a contract extension," he said. "So I'm not looking at it security-wise. My security is in other things much greater than the money that I make. So that's not exactly why I would want to do it. It's more about the place you want to be and the guys you want to be around."
Baldelli opens first Spring Training
Spring Training officially kicked off for the pitchers and catchers on Thursday at the CenturyLink Sports Complex in Fort Myers, and as promised, it was short, sweet and focused -- and actually finished ahead of schedule.
"We have a schedule that Derek Shelton, our bench coach, put together and did a fantastic job on it and stayed on point," manager Rocco Baldelli said. "Got all the things accomplished that we wanted to get accomplished."
• Twins focus Spring Training on individual needs
Starting after Baldelli addressed the team at 9:15 a.m. ET, pitchers broke into groups as small as four, with rotations on the field including bullpen sessions, pickoff-throw drills and fielding drills. Catchers took batting practice and caught bullpen sessions. The on-field action was largely over by noon.
"I think the best way to describe it is to get the most out of our guys in a good, concise, short period of time," Baldelli said. "I think we were able to accomplish that. We wanted to get our guys on the field, do good work, get them off the field and try to treat them good. It broke down real well and worked pretty cleanly."
New pitching coach Wes Johnson monitored the bullpen sessions alongside two newly installed high-speed Edgertronic video cameras, which were used at Twins Spring Training for the first time. Much of the data collection throughout camp will be used to establish baselines for the pitchers to track their current mechanics and results that Johnson, assistant pitching coach Jeremy Hefner and others will analyze.
• Willians Astudillo, whose arrival is delayed due to visa issues, is scheduled to travel to Fort Myers on Friday and begin baseball activity on Saturday at Twins camp.
• Though the first full-squad workout is scheduled for Monday, early arrivals among position players include Nick Gordon, Luis Arraez, Zack Granite, Polanco, Ehire Adrianza, Ronald Torreyes, C.J. Cron, Kepler, Lucas Duda, Luke Raley, Jake Cave, LaMonte Wade and Alex Kirilloff.
Do-Hyoung Park covers the Twins for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @dohyoungpark and on Instagram at dohyoung.park.