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ANAHEIM, CALIF. – When the Twins snatched up closer Jorge Lopez from Baltimore at the Aug. 2 trade deadline, Carlos Correa joked with Jorge Polanco, currently one of four players on the Twins' active roster from the Dominican Republic, about a potential Caribbean rivalry.

"'Puerto Ricans are taking over now in this clubhouse,' " Correa said, referencing himself, Lopez, Jose Miranda and Jovani Moran. "… We have talent in Puerto Rico. And just being in the same room with them, I get to pick their brain and also help them with whatever they need in the baseball aspect of it and away from the field as well. It's obviously great."

Moran has since returned to Class AAA, but the trio of Puerto Ricans has been a point of pride for all, especially given only about 2% of MLB players are from the U.S. territory. Miranda at first base and Correa at shortstop were both in the lineup for Saturday's game at the Angels, while Lopez pitched the ninth inning in Friday's 4-0 victory.

Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said he and his staff have noted the bond among the Puerto Ricans, especially between Correa and Miranda, who are both infielders and have spent basically the entire season as teammates. Correa, as a 27-year-old veteran who already won a World Series with the Astros, has taken to mentoring Miranda, a 24-year-old in his rookie season.

Correa even went as far as to speak with Baldelli ahead of the trade deadline to inform the manager Miranda should be "untouchable" on the trade market. Miranda crushed in the minor leagues last season but struggled when he first came up to the MLB level, hitting .176 in May, his first month. But by the next month, he'd improved to .306. Then .353 in July. And he's .316 so far in August. Just since July, he's collected 27 RBI with six homers and four doubles.

Miranda said he and Correa "pretty much talk every day." So he knew Correa was planning to speak up about ahead of the trade deadline and what weight that would carry as one of the leaders on the team. But he didn't realize just how compelling Correa would be.

"It meant a lot," Miranda said. "He cares about me, and he's thinking I'm going to be part of this team for a long time. It's pretty cool, coming from him.

"… He was like, 'Hey man, I said some things. I really mean this. I think you're going to be here for a long time. I think you're going to have a long career.'"

Miranda grew up knowing Correa was a star. He was a young teen when Correa was the No. 1 pick in 2012 out of Ponce. He also played on a team with Correa's younger brother in Puerto Rico and remembered the elder Correa coming to a couple of games. But that was really the extent of knowing him back then.

Lopez and Correa have known each other since Correa was 15. They're closer in age, as Lopez — who's from Cayey — is 29. And they grew up playing against each other, with Correa facing the pitcher numerous times. Miranda is tight with Moran. They didn't know each other when they lived on different sides of the island — Miranda is from Manati and Moran from Mayaguez — but they played together for several years in the Twins system.

Miranda also didn't want to leave out Emilio Pagan. The reliever was born in South Carolina, but he played for Puerto Rico in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

It's not quite the 2007 Mets, who had nine Puerto Rican players — the most of any MLB team, per the league website — but the Puerto Rican camaraderie is still thriving on the Twins.

"It's a real honor," Lopez said. "I mean, you don't get the chance a lot to get that. That's something we always say once, too, [when] I used to play with Carlitos when I was before being pro.

"… It's always good to have Latin players around you and give a union about it."