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Twins trade rumors: Clippard, Benoit could move soon

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Two of the better right-handed bullpen targets for the Twins could be shipped off as soon as today.

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These nine games since the All-Star break haven't exactly been encouraging of the Twins' chances at post-season play, but in spite of dashing out of the gate with a 3-6 record Minnesota still finds themselves leading the Blue Jays by three games for the second Wild Card spot. I know it's Monday, but let's not give up on the team quite yet.

Tyler Clippard

Per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, Clippard could be the next Oakland trade chip to fly the nest.

There were strong indications after the A’s 4-3 loss at AT&T Park on Sunday that Clippard could be heading elsewhere, perhaps as soon as Monday.

While the Twins haven't been considered a "front runner" for Clippard's services, they are a perfect match. Clippard's impending free agent status means that Minnesota wouldn't need to let go of a great deal in order to bring him in, and Clippard's history as a closer and set-up man means he's experienced and proven effective in high-leverage situations.

Slusser mentions the Mets, Yankees, and Nationals as the leaders in the sweepstakes for Oakland's closer. But it wouldn't surprise me if the Twins swooped in on this one.

Joaquin Benoit

If the Padres are being pressured to shed salary and to move their trade chips, then Clippard isn't the only veteran right-hander who could be on the move today. As Heyman notes in the link, Benoit might not be the first player on San Diego's mind to trade, but he'll undoubtedly be one of the most desired pieces.

In Brief

  • Mike Berardino made a few notes about another Padres reliever on Twitter yesterday, Shawn Kelley. It's worth reading up on those since Kelley looks like a good dark horse target for the Twins.
  • We mentioned over the weekend that the Twins have noted interest in relievers with funky deliveries in Steve Cishek and Brad Ziegler. Could they also be looking at Baltimore's Darren O'Day? Carter Capps seems like too much of a stretch at this point.
  • According to the Mets, who look like the leaders for Troy Tulowitzki's services, Tulo isn't available.
  • Chris Cotillo noted yesterday that the Reds are now officially in fire sale mode. The market for catchers hasn't developed a great deal, but Brayan Pena continues to be a player of interest.