I was talking with (sic) the other day and we were in agreement that this year's MLB trade season has been rather tame so far. You've had the one big deal involving Cliff Lee, but aside from a couple of other very minor deals, there's been nothing but speculation. That speculation, however, has been wide-ranging and nearly constant, with this team and that team and this player and that player being talked about. In that vein, I thought I would make an attempt at rounding up that news for you Twins fans out there who don't want to scour the internet to find out what people think the Twins might be doing.
The latest and greatest news for Twins fans is that they appear to have officially joined the Roy Oswalt bidding circus. Both The Houston Chronicle and MLB Trade Rumors are reporting it. I have to think the Cardinals have a clear advantage in all of this mostly because Roy Oswalt is going to want to pitch in the National League. He's been a NL pitcher for his entire career and there are too many examples (Peavy most recently) that suggest that the AL is much more difficult. With it being the last year of his non-option contract, I'm guessing he will want to be in a situation where he can pitch as well as possible in preparation for the next contract. The one advantage the Twins have is the particular trade piece they have in Wilson Ramos. The two catchers who are currently on the roster for Houston are Humberto Quintero and Jason Castro...not exactly the cream of the crop. If the Twins offered up Ramos and say, a minor league pitcher for Oswalt, that might tip the scale in their favor as the Cardinals have reportedly offered two major-league players.
The Twins will not be pursuing Dan Haren, mostly because The Minnesota Twins are on his 'no-trade' list. Well good, we didn't want him anyway. Go give up homeruns somewhere else, like Detroit. I had my doubts about the Twins ability to get a deal done with the Diamondbacks anyway, particularly because they have a decent young catcher in Miguel Montero that renders the Twins best trading piece (Ramos) useless.
News on the Twins and Ted Lilly has been virtually non-existent for the past week or so. There are random bits and pieces out there stating there there is interest in Lilly from several teams, but nothing solid. Lilly, in my opinion, would be a great pickup for the Twins because of his mid-range salary and consistency. He is a fly-ball pitcher, yes, but Target Field has shown that it can hold mere fly-balls.
There has been some scattered talk about the Twins pursuing Ben Sheets, but it doesn't look like the A's are being too cooperative. There has also been very general talk about Fausto Carmona or Jake Westbrook, but Cleveland doesn't seem to be too active either.
The trade deadline is July 31st, a mere 8 days away. With the way Carl Pavano is pitching, the Twins could really solidify their rotation with the addition of a consistent 3rd starter, but with what teams are asking for, it's really hard to say whether the Twins will jump for someone Oswalt or even Lilly. I hope they do, I think it would be awesome to have an Oswalt, Lilly or Carmona on the team.