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Watkins meets with Pohlad for two hours in Minneapolis
by Patrick Reusse and Jim Souhan

Alabama businessman Donald Watkins for the first time met with Twins owner Carl Pohlad on Wednesday as Watkins continued to pursue ownership of the franchise.

The meeting, held at Pohlad's Minneapolis office, lasted more than two hours but was considered more informational in nature than decisive.

The people who attended the meeting -- Pohlad, Watkins, Jim Pohlad, Twins President Jerry Bell, Pohlad attorney Jay Kim and Watkins attorney Kenneth Thomas -- signed confidentiality agreements keeping them from revealing details of the negotiations.

Jim Pohlad, Carl's son, would say only that "everyone got along fine. It was a good meeting." Watkins did not return messages.

The likely next step in the process would be Watkins examining the Twins' financial statements to determine what his offer will be.

Forbes magazine has estimated the worth of the Twins franchise at $99 million, but Pohlad would receive a check of up to $160 million if the Twins are eliminated under baseball's contraction plan.

Bell said earlier this week that he and the Pohlads probably won't know much about Watkins' wealth unless he makes an offer. One report has cited Watkins' net worth as $1.4 billion, but Watkins has refused to provide specific details of his wealth.

"Any detail [of his financial wherewithal] would be subsequent to the meeting and his application to buy the team," Bell said Tuesday. "Baseball doesn't investigate a person until the owner of the team and a potential buyer have reached an agreement and sent the application to baseball for approval."