Twins quiet as Trade Deadline passes
After Liriano deal, GM Ryan decides to stick with young core
MINNEAPOLIS -- Baseball's non-waiver Trade Deadline passed on Tuesday with the Twins opting not to make another trade after dealing left-hander Francisco Liriano to the White Sox for infielder Eduardo Escobar and left-hander Pedro Hernandez late Saturday night.
Clubs had interest in first baseman Justin Morneau, outfielders Denard Span and Josh Willingham and relievers Glen Perkins and Jared Burton, but general manager Terry Ryan never received a good enough offer to pull the trigger.
Ryan, though, said he was fine not dealing any of those players. They're all under contract through at least next year, including Burton, who is eligible for salary arbitration after the season.
"I'd be more disappointed if we made a bad trade," Ryan said. "I wouldn't want to do that, either, just to make a trade, I don't think that's right. I think any organization could make a trade today, but if you don't feel good about it, I think you better not do that. Because you have ample opportunity to do so in the future, if you so desire, if you just want to make a trade. But I didn't feel comfortable about doing anything."
It doesn't mean there weren't rumors surrounding the Twins on Deadline day, as several reports indicated the Reds were talking to the Twins about Span.
One report even said that Span rejected a trade to Cincinnati, which was false, as Span confirmed he doesn't even have a no-trade clause in his contract that runs through 2014 with an option for '15.
"I don't have a no-trade clause," Span said. "It was just crazy, man. This is the second year in a row I've had to sweat this thing out to the last minute with something bogus happening. Last year, when going to Washington was a done deal, and now me rejecting a trade. It's definitely been entertaining and an interesting two years for me at this Deadline."
Ryan added that he was never close to dealing Span, and strongly hinted that other players drew even more interest than the speedy center fielder.
"I don't know about that, the subject of [Span] being the most-talked about," Ryan said. "I don't really think that was accurate. For some reason his name was out there out front in this organization, but I can tell you that there were other people that probably were more so than that."
Morneau, who is due $14 million next season in the last year of a six-year, $80 million deal, drew interest from several clubs, but the Twins didn't want to part with one of the faces of the franchise.
And Willingham, who signed a three-year, $21 million deal before the season, also drew interest, but the Twins wanted a big return considering his affordable contract and his production this season.
Clubs also made late pushes for Perkins and Burton, according to reports, but Perkins just signed a three-year deal before the season and Burton still has another year of club control.
Ryan wouldn't say how close he got to dealing any of those players but did confirm that he was looking for starting pitching in any deal.
"I would say that's a desirable piece to this organization," Ryan said. "It's difficult to come out with starting pitching, especially the younger controllable-type guys that organizations covet, where they have control. That's exactly the types of people we were looking to bring back in any sort of deal, and we just couldn't get what we were looking for today."
The Twins, though, might not be done dealing, as they could make moves in August.
Now that the non-waiver Trade Deadline has passed, deals involving players on the 40-man roster cannot be made unless the players already have cleared waivers. In other words, the player must be offered to the other teams in reverse order of the standings, and if he is claimed by one of the teams, he cannot be traded. The club that placed the player on waivers can either withdraw the request and keep the player, or let the player go to the claiming team, which would then have the rights to the player.
Two players who could draw interest if they return to form and prove to be healthy are closer Matt Capps and right-hander Carl Pavano. Both veterans are currently on the disabled list and are eligible for free agency after the season.