Boof Bonser credits a healthier diet for helping him shed 20 pounds during the offseason.

"I'm just eating a lot better," the Twins pitcher told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "I work out harder than I used to, and I eat right. It's amazing; it's really easy to lose weight if you eat the right things."

In September, manager Ron Gardenhire, general manager Bill Smith and other Twins officials met with Bonser about his offseason conditioning plans.

"They had all the bosses in there. It was serious. I took it as like, 'Hey, open your eyes, let's go,'" said Bonser. "They told me to lose around 10 pounds, but I kind of took it as my job was on the line. So I lost 20."

Now Bonser is anxious to see results on the field.

"I really can't wait to see what happens now," he said. "The weight's gone, so we'll see how it affects my game."

Granderson makes a mark with youngsters: Count former NFL star Desmond Howard among Curtis Granderson's growing list of admirers.

Howard was one of many stars to attend the inaugural Grand Kids Foundation Celebrity Basketball Game, which took place at Auburn Hills Avondale High.

"The way he handled this event, I think, is reflective of him and the type of person he is," Howard told the Detroit Free Press. "It makes people like myself want to leave sunny Miami to come up to cold, freezing Detroit to participate."

Granderson coached Howard's team in the basketball game and was playfully ejected during the fourth quarter by pitcher-turned-referee Dontrelle Willis.

Konerko not counting days to protection status: Paul Konerko faces the uncertainty that comes with the territory when an accomplished player nears the point where he has spent 10 years in the big leagues and the last five with one team.

Konerko will reach that point if he's still with the White Sox on April 30 and will then have the right to veto potential trades. He's not sweating the possibility that the club might choose to trade him before that right accrues to him.

"I knew that always was going to come, especially this offseason after the way last season went," Konerko told the Chicago Tribune on Friday at SoxFest. "But I was traded twice when I was younger so that sort of set the tone with me that it rolls off your back.

"Half the time you hear your name in trade rumors, that's when it doesn't happen. And you just know you can't control it, especially in the offseason.

"You know what you did during the regular season, whether it was good or bad. You let the chips fall. You have no control over it, none. And so it looks like now, I guess I'm here. I don't know. I guess something could happen before the start of the season."

Cano, Yankees reportedly nearing four-year deal: According to Newsday, Robinson Cano and the Yankees have reached a preliminary agreement on a four-year deal with two club option years still being hashed out.

Joe Girardi, the Yankees' new manager, has become a fan of the hard-hitting young second baseman.

"He's a great player," Girardi told Newsday.

Girardi recalled meeting Cano at a minicamp in the fall of 2003. Then one of the top prospects, Cano received a little advice from Girardi, who was a broadcaster at the time.

"I talked to him about being a leader down there," Girardi said, "because even if he wasn't the oldest player, he was the highest level of player. And I told him, players are going to watch what you do."

Since then, Cano has become one of the game's top second baseman.

Liriano expects to be ready for Spring Training: A little more than a year after Tommy John surgery, Francisco Liriano is telling Twins fans what they hoped to hear.

"Everything feels good -- no pain, no soreness," Liriano told MLB.com. "Now I'm just waiting to get started."

Liraiano completed his rehab program in November and has been throwing ever since.

"I've been throwing bullpens, live batting practice and long-toss," he said. "I threw fastballs, changeups and some sliders. And when I throw, I don't feel anything in my elbow."

Before suffering elbow problems in 2006, Liriano was 12-3 with a 2.16 ERA for the Twins. Now, as his wife, Johanna, and he are expectant parents, Liriano is ready to get back on the field.

"I can't wait to get back into games," said Liriano. "I'm a little nervous to get back on the mound and face some hitters. But I feel better than ever now."

-- Red Line Editorial