Maybe Terry Ryan already got it out of his system with the Drew Butera blockbuster, but August trades have been the norm for the Twins in the past several seasons. Whether it was Bill Smith or Terry Ryan in the GM chair, the Twins have always been at least moderately active on the waiver trade market. Take a look:
- Aug. 5, 2012 -- Twins trade Danny Valencia to the Red Sox for Jeremias Pineda
- Aug. 25, 2011 -- Twins trade Jim Thome to the Indians for a player to be named later or cash considerations
- Aug. 15, 2011 -- Twins trade Delmon Young to the Tigers for Lester Oliveros and Cole Nelson
- Aug. 27, 2010 -- Twins acquire Brian Fuentes from the Angels for a player to be named later (Loek Van Mil)
- Aug. 28, 2009 -- Twins acquire Ron Mahay from the Royals for cash considerations
- Aug. 28, 2009 -- Twins acquire Jon Rauch from the Diamondbacks for Kevin Mulvey
- Aug. 7, 2009 -- Twins acquire Carl Pavano from the Indians for a player to be named later (Yohan Pino)
- Aug. 25, 2008 -- Twins acquire Eddie Guardado from the Rangers for Mark Hamburger
- Aug. 15, 2007 -- Twins trade Ramon Ortiz to the Rockies for Matt Macri
- Aug. 31, 2006 -- Twins acquire Phil Nevin and cash from the Cubs for a player to be named later (Adam Harben)
It's been quiet to this point for the Twins (technically, Miguel Sulburan was acquired in August as the player to be named later in the July 31 Butera trade), but a few days remain, and they've swung quite a few deals late in the month, historically speaking. Justin Morneau has already cleared waivers and can be dealt to any team. Josh Willingham is reportedly on waivers as we speak.
Obviously, the majority of the trades we've seen the Twins make over the last several Augusts have been pretty minor. Their acquisitions of Pavano and Rauch had long-term impact on the franchise, but none of the pieces they acquired in selling off veterans have really had any staying power. I'd expect more of the same if they do make a deal, but it seems unlikely. It's hard to believe they'd sell this low on Willingham after staunchly refusing to trade him when his value was at his peak either mid-2012 or in the 2012-13 offseason. And with Morneau, Rhett Bollinger is still reporting that the money owed to him is a deterrent for teams who have interest.
Maybe a guy like Mike Pelfrey, who has a 3.72 ERA over his past 55.2 innings of work, will draw interest from a team in need of a fifth starter, but a big deal doesn't seem likely, and based on the returns they've gotten in the past and the returns we've seen in this August's waiver deals, they don't seem to be missing out on a huge opportunity.
Steve Adams also writes for MLBTradeRumors.com and MLB.com. You can follow him on Twitter: @Adams_Steve