By Joe Christensen
A few Twins tidbits for your off-day reading pleasure:
(*) I spoke to several baseball officials today but continue to pick up very little trade buzz around the Twins. One week to the non-waiver trade deadline, and if I had to guess now, I’d say they won’t make a deal.
A late-inning relief specialist seems like the most pressing need, especially after the dismal showing in New York, but the Twins are more likely to address their pitching concerns from within.
With Francisco Liriano knocking on the door at Class AAA, they have an obvious move pending, though I’m told it won’t happen by Friday’s series opener in Cleveland.
In coming days, I’d look for the Twins to add Liriano to their major league squad, with Nick Blackburn, Glen Perkins or Liriano going to the bullpen.
Twins GM Bill Smith was non-committal today when I asked him if the New York series prompted the team to re-open discussions of moving Liriano to the big league bullpen.
“Whether it’s a possibility or not, we believe his long-term future is as a starter,” Smith said.
(*) The Twins would love to add a righthanded hitter who can play third base, but they haven’t found one available for the right price.
Adrian Beltre? Garrett Atkins? Casey Blake? Bill Hall? They’ve checked, and it’s their feeling teams are either asking too much (two or three prospects in some cases) or aren’t making those players available.
(*) Adam Everett went 1-for-3 with the go-ahead single for Class AAA Rochester today in a rain-shortened 6-1 victory over Toledo. Everett will play five games with Rochester — batting second and playing shortstop.
Everett’s 20-game rehab window expires Monday, so the Twins must either move him to the big league roster, trade him, designate him for assignment or keep him on the disabled list (with Everett’s permission).
“We’ll evaluate it after Monday,” Smith said. “He’s making good progress. I’m pleased. The trainers’ reports have been positive. So we’ll see where he’s at after Monday.”
Note: I’m heading to Cleveland, so check back here Friday afternoon for lineups and other updates.