Quite a few semi-major to major free agent signings in the past couple days that I want to go over, including one involving the Twins.

First off, the Twins have agreed (pending a physical) to a contract with 3B/1B/emergency 2B Jeff Cirillo, formerly of the Mariners and Brewers. The deal is a 1-year deal worth $1.5 million, and there are some bonuses for different plate-appearance plateaus. He’s 37, had a pretty decent year last year in Milwaukee, but isn’t an every day player. It’s a typical low-risk/probably low-reward but possibility for high-reward deal that the Twins make (a la the Dennys Reyes move before the 2006 season).

Any hopes for the Twins to acquire pitcher Jason Jennings have been squandered, as he’s been traded to the Houston Astros. The Astros had to work to get him, though. They sent runner-up to ROY in 2005 pitcher Willy Taveras, along with ML-ready pitching prospects Jason Hirsh and Taylor Bucholz.

Arguably the best closer in 2002-2004, Eric Gagne has signed with the Texas Rangers in a 1-year deal worth $6 million. He won the Cy Young Award in 2003, the first relief pitcher in 11 years to do so. Also, he’s the only Cy Young Award winner ever to have a losing record (2-3). He also holds the record for consecutive saves, with 84, from August 26, 2002-July 5, 2004. An almost more impressive number is that he’s had 167 chances to save a game in his career, and he’s converted on 161 of those, for a rate of 96% (in comparison, Mariano Rivera‘s conversion rate is 88%).

Speedy CF Kenny Lofton has reached an agreement with the Texas Rangers, too. His deal is also a 1-year, $6 million dollar contract. Lofton is 39 but hit .301 last season and also stole 32 bases.

In non-baseball news, I came across a humorous article about some charges that were brought against a teenage boy:

A judge dismissed charges on Monday against a 14-year-old boy accused of meowing whenever he saw his 78-year-old neighbor.
Police had charged Michael Loughner with misdemeanor harassment this summer.
The boy’s family got rid of its cat after Alexandria Carasia complained it was using her flower garden as a litter box.
Carasia claimed the boy would make meowing sounds every time he saw her.
The boy says he only meowed at her twice.

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