Just a few hours from the trade deadline, there might be stirrings that reveal what the Twins have been doing - in silent - for weeks. A couple of recent notes have recently surfaced on Twitter, confirming a lot of what we've been speculating on for days.
Twins rooting around on relievers as deadline approaches...— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) July 31, 2015
Multiple sources over last 24 hours saying Padres likely talking to Twins. One rumor has SD taking on Nolasco's contract as part of deal.— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) July 31, 2015
Only names I've heard them interested in recently are Joaquin Benoit and maybe Jake McGee. And not sure of interest at this moment— LaVelle E. Neal III (@LaVelleNeal) July 31, 2015
twins are good at closer with glen perkins, so looking at setup only. benoit, the rays guys, others,— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) July 31, 2015
The obvious targets for the Padres include Joaquin Benoit and, if San Diego does indeed take Nolasco's salary, the assumption is that the deal would then include James Shields. Both catchers, Derek Norris and Austin Hedges, have had their names bandied about - although with less certainty than even Shields. Other Padres relievers of note include Shawn Kelley and perhaps Brandon Maurer or Dale Thayer. Craig Kimbrel is not likely to be a target, although I'm sure we'd all be happy if I was wrong.
Shields, 33, is in the midst of a very good season and is under contract 2016 - 2018 for $21 million each year. There is a $16 million option in 2019, which would be Shields' age-39 season, with a $2 million buyout. That would help balance Nolasco's deal, which sees him under contract for $12 million in both 2016 and 2017, with a $13 million option in 2018. As we've mentioned elsewhere, Benoit has an $8 million option for 2016 with a $1.5 million buyout.
For the Rays, LEN III throws out the name of Jake McGee, a name we listed as being tied to the Twins earlier in the week. He's been a part-time closer for the Rays, but would give the Twins a shutdown left-handed set-up option in front of Glen Perkins.
We'll be back with more if things begin to develop with the Padres.