KC@MIN: Suzuki discusses his hot-hitting first half

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he believes catcher Kurt Suzuki, second baseman Brian Dozier, right-hander Phil Hughes and closer Glen Perkins are all worthy of consideration to represent the American League in the All-Star Game at Target Field on July 15.

The Twins are not expected to have a starting position player in the Midsummer Classic, as Suzuki ranked fourth among AL catchers in the latest ballot update released on Monday, while Dozier ranked fifth among AL second basemen.

But Gardenhire said he thinks Suzuki and Dozier are both deserving to be added to the roster if they're not elected to start the game, despite stiff competition at both positions.

"I'm sure [Suzuki's] name is going to be mentioned," Gardenhire said. "It just comes down to needs and how many catchers they want to carry. Dozier has had a great first half, but second base is tough."

Perkins was an All-Star in 2013 and his 20 saves this season rank as the third-highest total in the AL. He also has a 3.41 ERA to go along with 46 strikeouts and seven walks in 34 1/3 innings, entering Thursday.

"I think Perkins has had a heck of a first half," Gardenhire said. "But there are some big number pitchers and bullpen guys."

Hughes also has tough competition among AL starting pitchers and is also slated to start the Sunday before the All-Star Game, which oftentimes comes into play when the pitchers are selected. But Gardenhire said he's fine if Hughes wants to still pitch in the Midsummer Classic if he's selected.

"I think Hughesy starts that Sunday, which doesn't always help," Gardenhire said. "But it's all up to the individual. You never want to stop a guy from pitching in the All-Star Game if he wants to pitch. I would never do that. I'd be very happy for him."

Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until tonight at 10:59 p.m. CT. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15 on FOX.

Twins add two more international prospects

Top International Prospects: Huascar Ynoa, RHP

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins have been active early in the international signing period that began on Wednesday, including agreeing to sign 16-year-old highly-regarded pitching prospect Huascar Ynoa for $800,000, according to an industry source.

The Twins have also agreed to sign outfielder Jean Carlos Arias for $450,000 and catcher Dalin Cuesto for $250,000, according to the Dominican Prospect League. Like Ynoa, both prospects are from the Dominican Republic.

The Twins, however, have not confirmed the signings, as they're not official.

"It's a process," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said. "We're pursuing, but we don't have anything finalized. It's a year-long process. Not everybody signs the first week. We could sign guys into next June."

Ynoa is the most highly regarded of the three, and possesses a fastball that has touched 94 mph to go along with a cutter that sits in the low-90s. He also has a splitter, curveball and changeup. Ynoa, the younger brother of A's prospect Michael Ynoa, has to work to overcome inconsistency issues on the mound. Ynoa is trained by Edgar Mercedes.

Arias, 16, is a left-handed hitter who has shown good speed and is expected to remain in center field. The 5-foot-10, 150-pounder trained with Fausto Mejia. Cuesto, 16, is a 5-foot-11, 165-pound catcher, who trained with Victor Baez.

In accordance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each team is allotted a $700,000 base and a bonus pool based on the team's record in 2013 for the international signing period. Minnesota's bonus pool total for this year's signing period is $3,686,600.