The July 31 trade deadline is approaching, and the Twins continue to monitor the market for pitching help.
They are looking for relievers but also could add a starter if the right deal comes along. They have three starters — Kyle Gibson, Jake Odorizzi and Michael Pineda — who will become free agents following the season. Ideally, they would like to add a starter who is under team control beyond this season.
They have been in touch with Toronto about righthander Marcus Stroman and closer Ken Giles. Reports have the Blue Jays asking for top prospects as part of any package deal. The Twins also have checked with San Francisco about lefthander Madison Bumgarner and closer Will Smith, but the Giants have crept into the NL wild-card race and might hold off on selling.
The Twins also have shown interest in San Diego closer Kirby Yates in recent weeks. It’s safe to assume that the Twins have called about any quality arm that could be available before the deadline. That includes relievers within the division such as Kansas City’s Jake Diekman and Chicago’s Alex Colome.
The Twins have some flexibility with their top reliever, lefthander Taylor Rogers. They could add a quality setup man and continue to use Rogers in the ninth inning, or add a more experienced closer and have Rogers go back to being a setup man.
Or they could add a reliever who can do both. The Twins have spent the season using different relievers in different roles. That could continue, even if reinforcements are added before the deadline.
“Any time we’re dealing with a new person, we end up having to have discussions with them,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “You want to get to know them and know how they think and what their experiences are. The more we learn about those things, and the more discussions that we have about those things, the easier it is to work through these types of situations.”
Magill to Mariners
Righthander Matt Magill, designated for assignment Thursday, was traded to Seattle on Sunday for cash considerations.
Keep in mind that there’s not a lot of money being exchanged in transactions of these types. The cost of claiming a player off waivers is $50,000, so in most cases, a club will offer a little over that to make a trade happen.
Magill went 2-0 with a 4.45 ERA in 28 games this season. He was 5-3 with a 4.02 ERA in 68 career games with the Twins.
Buxton on field
Byron Buxton, Eddie Rosario and Max Kepler have not been in the outfield together since June 14, but that could change soon.
Buxton, on the seven-day concussion injured list, took batting practice, ran the bases and completed outfield drills Sunday. The workout went well, and he will be re-evaluated Monday, but there’s a good chance that Buxton will be activated before the Twins play the Yankees.
In addition to Buxton suffering injuries — he sprained his wrist before suffering the concussion — Rosario landed on the injured list with a sprained left ankle and Kepler has had occasional knee soreness stemming from when he ran into the wall in Anaheim in May.