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Friday news and links, featuring AL Central hot stove happenings

Minnesota seems to see itself as a contender...

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Ricky Nolasco (#7 on my list of this offseason's best free-agent starting pitchers) has agreed to a 4 year, $49 million deal with the Minnesota Twins. The contract will pay Nolasco $12 million each season from 2014 to 2017, and also includes a $13 million team option for 2018, with a $1 buyout. That's the kind of deal I expected him to get, but I also didn't want the Indians to be the team that signed him to it. I also view the Twins as a team still at least two years away from contention, so I'm surprised to see them making this kind of splurge right now.

It seems Minnesota may not be done though, as they are reportedly still in discussions with starting pitchers Phil Hughes (link here) and Bronson Arroyo (link here). The idea is that they'd still sign one of those two, not both, but that would still be two sizable pitching contracts handed out, almost certainly for at least $10 million a year each.

Okay, moving on to some non-Twins news...

Time Warner spent a fortune to secure Dodgers television rights ($8 billion over 25 years), and is looking to charge other cable providers record prices in order to carry the new Dodgers network they're creating. Other cable providers are balking about the proposed cost (which would start at $5 a month per subscriber and eventually climb to $8 a month).

Steve Eby at Did the Tribe Win Last Night? recently caught up with former Indian Brook Jacoby, who is now the Reds hitting coach.

Lou Brissie, who pitched for the Indians from 1951-53, passed away this week at the age of 89. The New York Times has a great look at his life, well worth reading. Brissie suffered brutal injuries as an infantryman in World War II but overcame them to become an All-Star pitcher, becoming an inspiration to people disabilities, especially other wounded veterans.

Indians legend Jim Thome, a man loved by teammates and fans at every stop of his career is at it again: Jim and his wife Andrea have donated $100,000 to aid relief efforts in Central Illinois, an area ravaged by violent tornados Sunday. I know first-hand that the Thomes are also actively involved in charitable work around the Chicago area, where they now live. Jim is as warm and kind as his reputation would have you believe.