The Twins have two wishes as the Trade Deadline approaches later this week — to add a middle infielder that can fill the No. 2 spot in the lineup and to add a solid late-inning option to the bullpen.
Joe Crede’s recent shoulder injury has only seemed to increase the Twins desire to add another infielder — one with offensive potential — and perhaps that’s why the club’s pursuit of A’s shortstop Orlando Cabrera has started making headlines in recent days.
The club has been talking with the A’s since earlier this week about Cabrera and both sides have expressed real interest in completing a deal. Manager Ron Gardenhire said publicly on Saturday that he likes Cabrera and that he’s asked some of his players about the shortstop — including Crede who was a teammate of Cabrera’s in Chicago last year.
The A’s have been eager to deal Cabrera, but one reason a deal has not yet been done is that the Twins also have been trying to add reliever Michael Wuertz into the package. Wuertz has reportedly been coveted by many teams — including the Angels — but the A’s haven’t necessarily been willing to move him. However if they can get a better package back for the two players, perhaps Oakland might be willing to move the reliever as well. Clearly it would be a great move for the Twins since it would address both of their needs.
Cabrera isn’t a prototypical No. 2 hitter in that his on-base percentage isn’t quite as high as the Twins would like. But the feeling of the club is that he would provide an upgrade from the options the club has now for the spot.
The Twins inquired earlier this month about the Pirates’ Freddy Sanchez but Pittsburgh’s asking price appeared to be a little higher than the Twins were willing to pay. That hasn’t discouraged the Twins have checking in on Sanchez again, as he would be the ideal offensive fit and he plays second base. Still, right now it seems the Twins chances of making a deal are better with a club like Oakland.
There have also been reports that the Twins have inquired about Toronto’s Marco Scutaro. But of course that option will hinge largely on whether the Blue Jays are able to move Roy Halladay. Since that might not be known until closer to the deadline, it’s no surprise that the Twins appear to be focusing their efforts elsewhere at the moment.
— Kelly Thesier