Twins don't find fit in potential trades
Club content to keep pieces rather than give up young arms
MINNEAPOLIS -- Sitting just 1 1/2 games out of first place in the American League Central, the Twins tried to find ways to improve their ballclub just before Thursday's 3 p.m. CT Trade Deadline.
But in the end, the club did not find any trade that they felt was a "good deal." Minnesota's roster remained intact as the Deadline passed on Thursday -- although it wasn't due to a lack of effort.
"We talked to a lot of clubs," general manager Bill Smith said. "We offered a lot of things up, we had teams come back to us with things, but we just could never get anything that was a good baseball trade for the Minnesota Twins. We didn't get anything that could make us better."Over the course of the last few weeks, talks involving the Twins were fairly quiet. Minnesota was publicly linked to having interest in Mariners' third baseman Adrian Beltre, but the price tag to acquire the infielder was too high. The club also shopped right-hander Boof Bonser to other clubs to try and add another right-handed bat to the lineup. While there was some interest in the 26-year-old, who had been demoted from the Twins rotation earlier this season, the attempts to move him were also unsuccessful. In recent days, the Twins explored ways to add an infielder following Alexi Casilla's recent thumb injury, but no fit was found. Smith also talked to various clubs about potential relief options yet nothing was ever very close to taking place. "We are disappointed that we couldn't make the club better," Smith said. "Our guys are very resilient, we have a lot of confidence in this group of players, but you are always looking to make the club better and we couldn't do that today. ... But we would rather make no trade than make a bad trade." While the Twins stood pat, other teams in their division made moves. The division-leading White Sox made a trade with the Reds to acquire future Hall of Fame outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. The Tigers, who sit 4 1/2 games behind Minnesota, also made a move on Wednesday. Detroit added relief help in the form of right-handed flame thrower Kyle Farnsworth by trading catcher Ivan Rodriguez to the Yankees. Smith expressed his disappointment publicly that the club didn't make a move, but said that the majority of clubs had the same problem -- whether they were buyers or sellers. "There were probably 22 or 23 teams that are in the same boat as we are -- they just couldn't get things done," Smith said. There were also indications that the club didn't feel as strongly as in past years that a trade necessarily needed to be made. Sitting so close to Chicago with 55 games left in the season, the Twins have been fairly content with the pieces currently on their roster. And in the end, the Twins felt a strong desire to keep their quartet of young starters -- Scott Baker, Nick Blackburn, Glen Perkins, and Kevin Slowey. And that unwillingness to part with one of their starting pitchers meant a deal was not really an option with many other clubs. "We really like this group of young pitchers," Smith said. "We still like this group of players. For this year, we made the right decisions, and certainly for next year too." And unlike last season, the Twins players didn't seem upset by the fact that nothing took place. "We didn't really expect to make a move," first baseman Justin Morneau said. "You can't give up any of the pitchers that we have. They are the reason that we are here. They have been throwing well and giving us a chance to win." The Twins may not have been able to add a piece before the non-waiver Trade Deadline on Thursday, but they could get a boost to their roster soon. That's in the form of left-hander Francisco Liriano, who has been sitting ready at Triple-A Rochester. Indications from people with knowledge of the situation are that a callup could be coming within days for the talented 24-year-old. Minnesota is also in line to add another right-handed bat back when Michael Cuddyer (strained tendon in left index finger) comes off the disabled list. There still is no timetable for Cuddyer's return but he's nearing closer to going on a rehab assignment, possibly as soon as next week. In addition to those options, the Twins have other avenues to still explore now that the non-waiver deadline has passed. Players who successfully pass through waivers in August can be traded or players put through waivers can be claimed. Smith certainly didn't rule out any of those possibilities. "Maybe the fact that there were very few clubs that were able to get things done today means over the next few weeks there will be some interesting moves," Smith said. "We will certainly be watching the waiver wire everyday and looking to improve the club."
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.