By La Velle
The Twins and Tampa Bay Rays are close to finalizing a multi-player deal, according to several sources with knowledge of the discussions. The deal could be announced as soon as today.
The main pieces changning teams would be outfielder Delmon Young, the first overall pick in 2003, and righthander Matt Garza. But indications were strong on Wednesday that as many as six players could be involved.
In addition to Garza, the Twins would send Tampa Bay shortstop Jason Bartlett and reliever Juan Rincon for Young, shortstop Brendan Harris and outfielder Jason Pridie. Pridie was with the Twins during spring training of 2006 as a Rule 5 pick.
Twins players for several weeks had expected the club to deal for either Young or B.J. Upton.
Young, 22, hit .288 last season with 13 homers and 93 RBI and is considered one of the better young hitters in the game. Harris, 27, hit .286 with 12 homers and 59 RBI.
[UPDATE]: This would be the first big move by Twins General Manager Bill Smith since taking over for Terry Ryan in September. And it’s not expected to be his last.
The Twins are talking to teams about staff ace Johan Santana and could deal closer Joe Nathan as well.
The Twins would be expected to land at least one starting pitcher if Santana and/or Nathan is dealt. That would make up for the loss of Garza, a top pitching prospect. The Twins also need a center fielder and third baseman.
It was learned on Wednesday that the Twins have shown some interest in free agent center fielder Aaron Rowand, but it’s unclear if they’ve made a contract offer.
The addition of Young could lead to the Twins non-tendering outfielder Craig Monroe, who was dealt to the Twins from the Cubs a few weeks ago.
Check back here for more details – or when the deal is officially announced.