Oakland’s big fish is gone, Matt Holliday having been traded to the Cardinals last week. But a recent rumor suggested that the A’s and Cards are talking again, this time about 40-year-old righty reliever Russ Springer, who enjoyed the best two years of his career working for St. Louis manager Tony LaRussa and pitching coach Dave Duncan in 2007-2008.
One of Springer’s best friends on the A’s, fellow righty Michael Wuertz, has seen his name bandied about in a number of ways over the past few weeks, but given the constitution of Oakland’s bullpen, it’ll take a solid return package to prompt A’s GM Billy Beane to surrender his most reliable reliever.
Shortstop Orlando Cabrera is will being mentioned in trade rumors, too, most notable with the Twins, but Cabrera isn’t in any hurry to leave. He’s on a one-year deal with the A’s and seems to be very happy living in the East Bay, and with no clear heir at the position, Oakland might decide to keep and re-sign him as one of the few veterans to anchor what will almost certainly be an extremely young team next season.
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