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The Twins are theoretically still within shouting distance of Cleveland (8.5 games back entering Wednesday), but with the Wild Card not really in play this season and the chances of catching the Indians remote, the most likely outcome as the nonwaiver trade deadline approaches at the end of this month is that the Twins will aggressively deal away veterans on the verge of free agency.

Several players fit that description, but the one with the most proven track record would seem to be second baseman Brian Dozier. And right on cue, reports of possible suitors for Dozier are picking up momentum.

ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick has an item today about how Dozier could be a suitable — and less costly in terms of prospects — option for teams that miss out on the Manny Machado sweepstakes but still want to upgrade in the middle of the infield. He notes that Dozier has had hot second halves of seasons in recent years and could pick things up after a disappointing and slightly unlucky first half.

Writes Crasnick: So which teams could be in the mix on Dozier? Sources said the Dodgers, Diamondbacks and Brewers, three teams in the heart of the Machado pursuit, are all potential landing spots. The Dodgers, who rank 25th in the majors in second base OPS and have expressed interest in Dozier in the past, might be the best fit.

MLB Network’s Jon Morosi added to the trade fuel with a tweet Wednesday indicating the Brewers are looking at both Dozier and Eduardo Escobar as possible upgrades during trade talks with the Twins.

It’s all chatter at this point, and I suppose a couple hot weeks could change things (thought not if Lance Lynn keeps going like he has to start Wednesday’s game). If I had to bet on just one Twins player being traded, I’d say Dozier is the most likely to go.