By Joe Christensen
If the Twins trade for a second baseman to replace the injured Alexi Casilla, it won’t be Baltimore’s Brian Roberts, according to a person familiar with the situation.
The Twins talked to the Orioles about Roberts last winter, but this month, the O’s have told teams he’s not available.
As for the Kansas City’s Mark Grudzielanek, I’m not sure if the Twins will make a run at him or not.
For bullpen help, LaTroy Hawkins remains a distinct possibility. To make room for him, or any reliever, Twins might have to part with Boof Bonser or Brian Bass, who are out of options.
Two National League scouts have told me there is no doubt that Bonser would get claimed if the Twins tried to pass him through waivers. Teams with pitching issues (Rangers, Pirates, Royals, etc.) would take a chance on him turning it around at age 26. And Twins remain generally pleased with Bass, who has had ups and downs as a rookie.
Twins may or may not make a move, but I do know GM Bill Smith, assistant GM Rob Antony, senior adviser Terry Ryan and pro scouting coordinator Vern Followell have been huddled at the Metrodome all week. I’m sure there are countless scenarios we’re not hearing about, but we’ll continue to keep you posted.
Note: The non-waiver trade deadline is Thursday at 3 p.m. The madness won’t end there, however. Not even close. Teams will get many players through waivers in August, and the rumor mill will start churning again.
Update (12:20 p.m.): Great note passed along by Bob Dutton, of the Kansas City Star: The Twins are the only team with which the Royals have never completed a trade.