8/30 Harden rumors
Both Minnesota Twins officials and Cubs officials will not confirm or deny that the Twins are the team that placed a claim on pitcher Rich Harden, as has been reported.
According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, two people close to Harden say they doubt Harden will join the Twins. To their knowledge, the Cubs had yet to open a window for the Twins to negotiate a long-term deal with Harden, who is a pending free agent.
It’s possible the Twins would trade for Harden without a long-term extension. He will be a Type A free agent, which would assure them two compensation picks in the 2010 draft if he signed elsewhere.
Harden and Twins first baseman Justin Morneau were teammates on a British Columbia select team during their youth. Harden was a center fielder then and once opened Morneau’s lip with a long throw that bounced into his face. Harden’s father, Russ, who coached the team, brought Morneau to the hospital.
– Carrie Muskat