For the Twins, the Washburn ship has sailed

Posted on February 3rd, 2009 – 6:52 PM
By Joe Christensen

OK everyone, time for a deep breath.

I did some checking today, and the Twins have lost their appetite for a Jarrod Washburn trade. Also, the glitch that makes you scroll through multiple pages to see the bottom of our blog comments is only temporary.

I’m still not sure to what extent the Twins and Mariners have talked recently, but it’s very possible the M’s wanted the Twins to revisit the Washburn idea to free up some payroll.

As baffling as it still sounds, the Twins did agree to take on Washburn’s contract in August (including all $10.35 million for 2009) before M’s president Chuck Armstrong nixed the deal.

“I did not want to move him just to save money,” Armstrong later told the Seattle Times.

As one Twins source put it today, “They missed their chance.”

I pursued the story because I thought we might be getting the tip of the iceberg. I figured it was possible the Twins could take on Washburn’s salary and part with Delmon Young to get a big return from Seattle.

How about RHP Brandon Morrow? No, I was told. The Mariners view him as an untouchable.

What about C Jeff Clement? As we thought, he’s not a good fit for the Twins, who have Joe Mauer entrenched at catcher. Even if you got creative with Clement and made him a first baseman, there’s Justin Morneau, and the Twins have Jason Kubel at DH.

Since we’re talking Twins and Mariners, what about Adrian Beltre? He’d be a great fit, but he has a no-trade clause and the Twins would expect to have to compensate him — in addition to the Mariners – if they wanted him.

Many expect the Mariners to go into the season with Beltre and then look to trade him at the July 31 deadline.

Around the horn

(*) The Twins have made multi-year offers to Matt Guerrier but have made little progress in their negotiations and appear determined to take this all the way to an arbitration hearing.

Guerrier is one of the biggest pros in the clubhouse. He wore down under an enormous work load last season after Pat Neshek got hurt. The gap is big (Guerrier asked for $1.75 million, while the Twins offered $1.2 million), but the Twins would be wise to find some middle ground here.

(*) The Twins continue to shy away from reliever Juan Cruz because he is a Type A free agent and would cost them a first-round draft pick.

(*) A Joe Crede signing remains a real possibility for the Twins. There are some in the organization who really want to take the chance, and others who think it’s too big of a risk.

A key point to consider: What chance does a player coming off a back injury have of staying healthy while playing on FieldTurf?

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