By Joe Christensen
Seattle outfielder Raul Ibanez has reportedly been claimed on waivers and could be traded today, but the team that won the claim is not the Twins, a person familiar with the situation told the Star Tribune.
ESPN’s Buster Olney noted today that the Twins might be interested in Ibanez. This makes sense because of Michael Cuddyer’s foot injury, but Denard Span has been more than adequate as a replacement in right field.
The Mariners have a few more hours to work a deal with whatever team did win the claim, so we should know soon. The Rays are definitely interested, but the Red Sox might have put in a claim to block that move.
Note: I’ve changed the wording, as it’s possible the Twins did put in a claim on Ibanez but were beat to it by another team ahead of them on the claiming list. I do know the Twins like Ibanez, but I’ve been told that they are not the team in negotiations with the M’s. … Our blogs are changing servers at 11 a.m., so there will be a temporary window when you won’t be able to post comments below.
Update (2:30 p.m.): ESPN.com’s Rumor Central raises the prospect that the Twins placed a claim on Seattle’s Jarrod Washburn to block him from going to the White Sox. Either way, it doesn’t sound like either Mariner is coming to Minnesota. … Thank you for your patience through the server switch. I believe it’s all-systems-normal now, or normal as can be with some of the cranky commenters below.
Update (4:20 p.m.): The White Sox just finished off the Royals 9-2, so the Twins now trail by one game in the AL Central. … It sounds like the Twins did indeed put in a claim on Ibanez, but a team earlier in the pecking order did, too. No word on whether they had a claim in on Washburn (waivers are a sensitive topic), but all day, there have been reminders that teams often make claims to block other teams. … Anyway, Ibanez and Washburn will be at the Metrodome tomorrow, just not in Twins uniforms.
Update (5:10 p.m.): SI’s Jon Heyman is reporting that the Twins won the claim on Washburn but no deal was struck. Again, looks like Washburn will be in a Mariners uniform tomorrow at the Metrodome. We haven’t confirmed that the Twins put in a claim. If they did, that means they were willing to pay Washburn $13 million through the end of 2009, in which case I would be (to quote Jim Leyland) flabbergasted.
Update (6 p.m.): We now have strong indications from people with knowledge of the situation that the Twins did indeed have claims in on both Ibanez and Washburn. Ibanez made sense to me. Washburn was a surprise.
In Washburn’s case, it sounds like the Twins did indeed win the claim and had extensive talks with the Mariners. The Twins were willing to take on Washburn’s contract, and Seattle could have dumped it on them. But the Mariners also wanted the Twins to throw in one of their current starters. Again, it’s all moot because the claiming window has expired on both players, but it tells you some moves the Twins were willing to do, behind the scenes.