Results tagged ‘ Justin Morneau ’

Thoughts on WBC plus lineups for Twins/Orioles

FORT MYERS, Fla. — With the Twins having a rare off-day on Tuesday, I decided to head over to Marlins Ballpark in Miami to catch the USA-Puerto Rico game.

I wanted to check out the new stadium and the atmosphere, as I went to the semifinals and finals of the World Baseball Classic in both 2006 and ’09 and had a great time.

The decision to drive two hours across the state didn’t disappoint, as I found myself liking the ballpark much more than I thought I would and the atmosphere was incredible. It definitely didn’t feel like a Spring Training game, as it was incredibly loud with noisemakers going off all over the stadium and lots of passionate Puerto Rico fans.

It was also fun to watch a few of the Twins’ prospects, as both Eddie Rosario and Jose Berrios played for Puerto Rico. I was impressed by Rosario’s double on an 0-2 pitch from David Hernandez and Berrios was throwing 95 mph and wasn’t afraid out there despite the fact he’s only 18.

So when we talked to Justin Morneau today about his time in the World Baseball Classic, it was no surprise that he loved the intense environment the games bring in mid-March.

Morneau was impressive in the Classic, hitting .636 (7-for-11) with three doubles, three RBIs and a walk. But Canada was eliminated with a 9-4 loss to Team USA on Sunday at Chase Field in Phoenix, which caused Morneau to head back to Fort Myers earlier than he had hoped.

“The intensity was good and the adrenaline level was high but there’s still a long time until the regular season starts,” Morneau said. “But it was still a good foundation to build off of to have a few good days of the success at the plate and know my swing is pretty close to where I want it to be. So it’s a good confidence builder and hopefully I can continue it.”

Morneau is back in the lineup batting cleanup and at first base for the Twins tonight against the Orioles. Here are the rest of the lineups with plenty of familiar faces playing for Baltimore:

Orioles (10-4)
1. Alexi Casilla, 2B
2. Ryan Flaherty, SS
3. Manny Machado, 3B
4. Jason Pridie, LF
5. Taylor Teagarden, C
6. Travis Ishikawa, 1B
7. Danny Valencia, DH
8. Chris Dickerson, RF
9. Trayvon Robinson, CF

LHP Brian Matusz

Twins (10-7)
1. Aaron Hicks, CF
2. Brian Dozier, 2B
3. Josh Willingham, LF
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Ryan Doumit, C
6. Chris Parmelee, RF
7. Oswaldo Arcia, DH
8. Eduardo Escobar, 3B
9. Pedro Florimon SS

RHP Kevin Correia

Game 8: Morneau homers in loss to Red Sox

FORT MYERS, Fla. — First baseman Justin Morneau homered but Minnesota’s offense mostly struggled in a 2-1 loss to the Red Sox on Saturday at Hammond Stadium.

The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for the Twins, who fell to 5-3 in Grapefruit League play.

What went right: Morneau looks absolutely locked in at the plate so far this spring, and hit his first homer in Grapefruit League play off Red Sox reliever Alfredo Aceves.

Morneau leaves camp with a .471 batting average with a team-high eight RBIs in six games. He also played in six of the club’s first eight games, including five in a row, to get ready for his time with Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic. There’s definitely reason for optimism, as Morneau is finally healthy after dealing with various injuries the last few years.

Catcher Joe Mauer went 1-for-3 with a single and is hitting .364 (4-for-11) with a .563 on-base percentage in five games. He’s flying out to Arizona on Sunday to join Team USA.

Closer Glen Perkins, who is also leaving camp to join Team USA in the Classic, threw a 1-2-3 fourth inning and struck out two.

Left-hander Brian Duensing threw 1 1/3 perfect innings with a strikeout. Fellow lefty Caleb Thielbar also threw 1 1/3 perfect innings for the Twins. Deolis Guerra and Andrew Albers both tossed a scoreless inning in relief.

What went wrong: The offense didn’t do much, as evidenced by the fact that Morneau’s homer was the only run the Twins scored in the loss.

Right-hander Kyle Gibson, making his first Grapefruit League start after throwing two scoreless innings in relief on Sunday, had trouble with his command in the second inning. Gibson, who had Tommy John surgery in September of 2011, gave up one run on three hits over 1 2/3 innings and needed 48 pitches record five outs.

Right-hander Esmerling Vasquez went 1 2/3 innings but gave up the go-ahead RBI single to Ryan Sweeney in the fifth inning.

What they said: “Hopefully it means we’re ready to go. It’s a good way to head in there. That’s for sure.” — Morneau said about homering in his last at-bat before the World Baseball Classic.

What’s next: Right-hander Mike Pelfrey is set to make his second Grapefruit League start on Sunday against the Rays in a 1:05 p.m. ET start at Charlotte Sports Park. Pelfrey, who had Tommy John surgery on May 1, gave up three runs in 1 2/3 innings in his first start against the Blue Jays on Tuesday. Left-hander David Price is slated to start for the Rays.

Injury update: Outfielder Darin Mastroianni (sore left hamstring) is expected to return to action by middle or late this week. His injury is not considered serious. … Left-hander Scott Diamond (elbow) threw his first full bullpen session on Thursday without any issues and is scheduled to throw another on Sunday. … Right-hander Anthony Swarzak (ribs) played catch for the first time this spring on Thursday, and again on Friday, and said everything is progressing on schedule. … Left-hander Rafael Perez (shoulder) played catch from 90 feet on Friday and will progress from there. … Outfielder Oswaldo Arcia (strained intercostal muscle) is feeling much better but the Twins are taking it easy with him. He should return to action by next week.

Lineups for Twins and Red Sox at Hammond Stadium

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Today marks the first game between the Twins and Red Sox in their annual battle for the Mayor’s Cup.

Well, actually there’s been some debate whether the Mayor’s Cup exists now that the Red Sox moved into JetBlue Park last year, as both teams are actually located in unincorporated Lee County and not in the city of Fort Myers. Either way, it’s the first of eight meetings between the two clubs in Grapefruit League play this year.

Josh Willingham returns to the lineup for the Twins after sitting out yesterday’s game in Jupiter with back stiffness. He leads all hitters in Spring Training with a .727 batting average. It also will be the last game for Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer and Glen Perkins before they depart for Arizona for the World Baseball Classic.

Right-hander Kyle Gibson also gets his first Grapefruit League start today. He’s been the most impressive pitcher I’ve seen in camp so far — his fastball was hitting 96 mph in his last outing — and has a legitimate chance to make the rotation.

I also talked to Scott Diamond (elbow) and Anthony Swarzak (ribs) this morning and they’re both encouraged by their recent progress. Diamond threw a full bullpen session and is scheduled to throw another one tomorrow with the hope of getting into his first game in mid-March. Swarzak played catch on Thursday and Friday but still doesn’t know when his first bullpen will be.

Red Sox (4-4)
1. Shane Victorino, RF
2. Ryan Sweeney, LF
3. Will Middlebrooks, 3B
4. Lyle Overbay, 1B
5. Juan Carlos Linares, DH
6. Mitch Maier, CF
7. Daniel Butler, C
8. Jose Iglesias, SS
9. Jonathan Diaz, 2B

RHP Clay Buchholz (Alfredo Aceves, Clayton Mortensen, Allen Webster, Jose De La Torre)

Twins (5-2)
1. Joe Benson, CF
2. Jamey Carroll, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Josh Willingham, LF
5. Justin Morneau, 1B
6. Ryan Doumit, DH
7. Chris Parmelee, RF
8. Eduardo Escobar, 3B
9. Pedro Florimon, SS

RHP Kyle Gibson (Glen Perkins, Brian Duensing, P.J. Walters, Esmerling Vasquez, Andrew Albers, Deolis Guerra, Anthony Slama, Caleb Thielbar)

Lineups for the Twins and Phillies at Hammond

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Twins will get a chance to see Ben Revere in a Phillies uniform, as he’s making the trip to Hammond Stadium and leading off and starting in center field for Philadelphia.

The Twins, though, are countering with prospect Aaron Hicks getting the start in center field and leading off after he had a nice game in Dunedin yesterday with two hits, including a double off the wall.

Justin Morneau is also playing in his fourth straight game but is starting at designated hitter after three games at first base. But he’s showing he’s very serious about playing in the World Baseball Classic by playing in so many games in a row this spring.

Chris Colabello is starting at first base with Morneau serving as DH. Look for a feature today on Colabello, who might be the happiest guy to be in big league camp after spending seven years in an independent league before playing with Double-A New Britain last season.

Right-hander Kevin Correia is also making the start for the Twins today but is scheduled to fly back home to San Diego after the game to attend the birth of his third child. He’ll be back on Sunday and will throw a bullpen before rejoining the rotation.

With Correia in San Diego, prospect Kyle Gibson is set to make his first Grapefruit League start on Saturday against the Red Sox. Gibson was impressive on Sunday against the Rays, throwing two scoreless innings with his fastball hitting 96 mph according to the scoreboard at Hammond Stadium.

Phillies (1-2)
1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Freddy Galvis, SS
3. Domonic Brown, LF
4. Ryan Howard, 1B
5. Carlos Ruiz, C
6. John Mayberry, RF
7. Kevin Frandsen, 3B
8. Yuniesky Betancourt, 2B
9. Pete Orr, DH

LHP John Lannan (Adam Morgan, Antonio Bastardo, B.J. Rosenberg, Justin De Fratus)

Twins (2-2)
1. Aaron Hicks, CF
2. Jamey Carroll, 2B
3. Josh Willingham, LF
4. Justin Morneau, DH
5. Ryan Doumit, C
6. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
7. Chris Parmelee, RF
8. Chris Colabello, 1B
9. Pedro Florimon

RHP Kevin Correia (Jared Burton, Glen Perkins, Brian Duensing, P.J. Walters, Caleb Thielbar, Anthony Slama)

Game 4: Center field candidates lead Twins to win

FORT MYERS, Fla. — All three Twins players competing for the center field spot this spring started against the Blue Jays and made an impact in the Twins’ 8-4 win on Tuesday at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.

Darin Mastroianni, Aaron Hicks and Joe Benson started in left, center and right field, respectively, and combined to go 4-for-12 with four RBIs, three runs and a walk.

What went right: Mastroianni, Hicks and Benson all looked good at the plate and displayed plenty of speed in the outfield tracking down fly balls.

Benson absolutely crushed a two-run homer in the second inning off Blue Jays left-hander Ricky Romero. Hicks also picked up two hits and just narrowly missed a homer, as he doubled off the right-field wall in the fourth and came around to score on a single from Mastroianni. Hicks later added an RBI single to center in the fourth.

Prospect Eddie Rosario also smashed a two-run blast in the seventh inning off Dave Bush. It was the first career Grapefruit League homer for Rosario, who is only in camp because he’s going to play for Team Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic.

Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau both fared well offensively, as Morneau went 2-for-4 with an RBI double while Mauer went 1-for-2 with two walks. Trevor Plouffe added an RBI single and a walk in his debut after missing the first three games with a sore right calf.

Relievers Ryan Pressly, Tim Wood, Josh Roenicke, Michael Tonkin and Luis Perdomo combined to throw 6 2/3 scoreless innings. Wood tossed two scoreless while Tonkin was overpowering in the eighth inning.

What went wrong: It’s hard to be too critical about just the first outing for right-hander Mike Pelfrey since he underwent Tommy John surgery on May 1 but he did give up three runs on five hits over 1 2/3 innings.

Pelfrey, whose fastball usually averages about 92 mph, was throwing his fastball at about 88 mph but said he’s not worried about velocity at this point in Spring Training. He said that he was only 82-84 mph in his first spring start last year before getting to 92-94 mph by the time the regular season started.

Mastroianni made a baserunning mistake in the in the fourth inning, when he tried to steal third with two outs and Morneau at-bat. He was caught stealing on the play and ended the inning. He’s an aggressive baserunner but he has to know the risk of getting caught at third with two outs outweighs the benefit of stealing third, especially with Morneau at the plate, as he’d score from second on a single with two outs anyways.

Left-hander Tyler Robertson served up his second homer of the spring on a solo blast to Andy LaRoche in the seventh inning.

I wouldn’t call it something going wrong but something very unusual happened in the first inning, when Romero got Mauer to pop up to catcher Henry Blanco. It’s an extremely rare thing considering Mauer has only popped up once over the last two seasons in 974 plate appearances, according to Fangraphs.com. For perspective, Jimmy Rollins popped out 42 times last year in 699 plate appearances.

What they said: “It was good. The defense played well. Couple balls out of the ballpark. Caught the ball. Only had one play that wasn’t great, Mastroianni trying to steal third there with Mornie up, in front of Canadian fans and everything. He just lost his head. So we straightened that out, and we’re OK.” — Gardenhire said.

What’s next: Right-hander Kevin Correia is set to take the mound for the second time this spring, when he starts against the Phillies in a 1:05 p.m. ET start at Hammond Stadium. Correia, who gave up a run on two hits over two innings in his first start, is scheduled to fly home to San Diego after the game to attend the birth of his third child. Left-hander John Lannan starts for the Phillies.

Injury update: Plouffe said he’s 100 percent and won’t be limited by his sore calf moving forward. But he said he’s hoping to test it out more, as no one hit the ball his way in his four innings at third base.

Lineups for Twins and Blue Jays in Dunedin

DUNEDIN, Fla. — It’s raining here at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium but it looks the Twins and Blue Jays will still get the game.

Justin Morneau also got his wish, as he’s listed at first base just like he requested yesterday when he texted Twins manager Ron Gardenhire after the game that he’d prefer to play first than serve as designated hitter.

Morneau said he wants to get as many reps in before the World Baseball Classic and cited the long bus ride to Dunedin as a reason why he didn’t want to sit around and just DH.

Third baseman Trevor Plouffe is also in the lineup and is slated to make his Grapefruit League debut after being slowed by a sore right calf.

All three players competing for the job in center field are also in the lineup, as Darin Mastroianni is in left field, Aaron Hicks is in center field and Joe Benson is in right field.

Right-hander Mike Pelfrey is also set to make his first start since undergoing Tommy John surgery on May 1. So I’m sure this will be a special outing for him just to be back out in a game.

Twins (1-2)
1. Aaron Hicks, CF
2. Darin Mastroianni, LF
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
6. Chris Colabello, DH
7. Joe Benson, RF
8. Brian Dozier, 2B
9. Pedro Florimon, SS

RHP Mike Pelfrey (Ryan Pressly, Tyler Robertson, Josh Roenicke, Tim Wood, Anthony Slama, Luis Perdomo, Michael Tonkin, Caleb Thielbar)

Blue Jays (2-2)
1. Emilio Bonafacio, SS
2. Maicer Izturis, 2B
3. Rajai Davis, LF
4. Adam Lind, 1B
5. Henry Blanco, C
6. Ryan Langerhans, RF
7. Sean Ochinko, DH
8. Andy LaRoche, 3B
9. Anthony Gose, CF

LHP Ricky Romero (Steve Delabar, Esmil Rogers, David Bush, Ramon Ortiz, Neil Wagner, Rich Thompson)

Game 3: Twins get first Grapefruit League win

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Justin Morneau hit a three-run double and Chris Colabello provided the go-ahead run with an RBI single in the eighth inning to help lead the Twins to their first Grapefruit League victory of the year in a 5-4 win over the Pirates on Monday at Hammond Stadium.

Morneau laced a bases-clearing double to left-center field off of Pirates right-hander Jeanmar Gomez in the fourth inning, after Jamey Carroll singled and both Joe Mauer and Josh Willingham walked with nobody out. Morneau later came around to score on an RBI single from Brian Dozier off of right-hander Brooks Brown.

What went right: Morneau hit two balls hard, as he lined into a double play at first base in his first at-bat before bringing home three runs with a double in the fourth. He’s feeling healthy and is set to play in his third straight game tomorrow against the Blue Jays in Dunedin. He’s currently scheduled to bat fourth and serve as designated hitter but texted Twins manager Ron Gardenhire during his media session that he wants to play first tomorrow. So we’ll see where he plays.

Carroll has looked solid this spring, and went 1-for-3 while sparking Minnesota’s four-run rally in the fourth with a leadoff single. Josh Willingham went 1-for-2 and is batting .500 this spring. And Colabello had the game-winning RBI single in the eighth a day after tying up the game the day before with an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth in Minnesota’s eventual 10-7 loss to the Rays.

Right-hander Vance Worley looked sharp in his debut, throwing two scoreless frames despite not throwing his split-finger or his changeup. He’s going to be a big key to the rotation this season after joining the club via the trade that sent Ben Revere to the Phillies.

Samuel Deduno, Cole De Vries and Pedro Hernandez each threw a scoreless inning in relief. Hernandez tossed a scoreless ninth to pick up the save.

What went wrong: Alex Burnett, Casey Fien, Bryan Augenstein and Esmerling Vasquez each gave up a run in relief. Vasquez gave up the hardest hit ball, as he served up a game-tying homer to Jose Tabata in the seventh inning.

Eduardo Escobar dropped pop-up hit by Lucas may in foul territory in the eighth inning with Cole De Vries on the mound. The play would’ve ended the inning and May ended up capitalizing by doubling on a bloop to left. But De Vries was able to get out of the jam.

What they said: “I liked it. He looks like a gunslinger out there with his windup. He looks like he’s going to draw a pistol. I always like guys like that. And then he delivered, too. He was as advertised.” — Gardenhire said about Worley.

What’s next: Right-hander Mike Pelfrey, who is coming off Tommy John surgery in May, is set to make his Twins debut on Tuesday at 1:05 p.m. ET against the Blue Jays in Dunedin. Mauer and Morneau are also set to play against Toronto, as they’re gearing up for the World Baseball Classic. The Blue Jays are set to start left-hander Ricky Romero.

Injury update: Third baseman Trevor Plouffe (strained right calf) is scheduled to play in his first Grapefruit League game tomorrow against the Blue Jays in Dunedin.

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Morneau arrives at camp, talks about contract

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Justin Morneau arrived at the Lee County Sports Complex today and held court with reporters for more than 10 minutes with one of the biggest topics being his contract status.

Morneau is in the last year of a six-year, $80 million contract signed in 2008 so it very well could be his last year in a Twins uniform. He also could be trade bait before the July 31 Trade Deadline if he proves to be healthy and productive, and the Twins are out of contention.

Here’s what Morneau had to say regarding his contract, as he said his agent and the Twins have not discussed an extension and he’d prefer not to do it during the season:

Are you content to wait until October or November to worry about your contract?
“Yeah, whatever it is it’ll take care of itself. If I get through the year healthy we’ll see what happens then. I’ll let all that stuff play out. I’m hoping we’ll be making additions at the Trade Deadline instead of worrying about who were trading. So until that comes along and it’s proved otherwise, we plan on being a team that’s going to battle and be in it in July and hopefully adding to this team whatever we need.”

Did you explore an extension at all and talk about doing it now?
“I think from their side and my side they want to see where I’m at. The last few years there have been some difficulties with all the injuries and all that stuff. It’s not something I’m really interested in doing during the season because it can become a distraction. But I’ll never say never. It’s something where the future looks good with the prospects list and what we have coming and all that stuff. I want to win obviously and so that’s the important thing. If it looks like there’s a chance we’re going to win, I’d love to stay here. I’ve been here my whole career and this where I hope to be in the future. It’s hard to say otherwise. But sometimes those decisions aren’t yours. So we’ll see. We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.”

Excited to play for a contract and does it motivate you at all?
“Obviously you never know what the future holds if I’m going to be here or not. It’s one of those things where it is what it is. I’ve never been in this situation before. Obviously a young player you make the team and you try to make it to arbitration and get some stability. And for me, I was locked up after my first year of arbitration. So it’s something I haven’t experienced before but it doesn’t change anything. The goal is still to win.”

World Baseball Classic rosters announced

Twins catcher Joe Mauer and reliever Glen Perkins — both native Minnesotans — were named to the provisional roster on Thursday for Team USA for the World Baseball Classic.

Mauer and Perkins will be playing in the World Baseball Classic for the first time. Japan won the previous two Classics in 2006 and ’09.

“Both of them are very well deserving and very good baseball players,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “Joe is an obvious choice and with Perkins, I think it shows how far he’s come from the last few years until now. He’s just taking a run with his career so it’s real special. I’m sure he’s real proud.”

Additionally, Twins first baseman Justin Morneau, a British Columbia native, was named to Team Canada’s roster. Catcher Drew Butera, who is of Italian descent, was also on the provisional roster for Team Italy.

“The popularity of baseball is growing in Canada, and I’m looking forward to playing in the World Baseball Classic again,” Morneau said. “There’s something special about representing everyone back home and proving that Canadian baseball is among the world’s best.”

Mauer is coming off an impressive season in which he led the American League with a .416 on-base percentage. The St. Paul, Minn., native played in a career-high 147 games and hit 10 homers, 31 doubles and drove in 85 runs.

Perkins has emerged as one of the best left-handed relievers in the AL the last two seasons. The Stillwater, Minn., native has a 2.52 ERA with 143 strikeouts in 132 innings over the last two years.

Team USA, managed by Joe Torre, will begin practice at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, Ariz., on March 1 and open its leg of the tournament against Mexico at Chase Field in Phoenix on March 8. Canada and Italy are the other two teams in its bracket. The finals are scheduled to be played at San Francisco’s AT&T Park on March 19.

Morneau, meanwhile, has gone through a normal offseason for the first time in at least three years, as he’s finally healthy. He hit .267 with 19 homers and 77 RBIs in 134 games last season, which was his highest total since playing 135 games in ’09.

“You won’t find a more proud Canadian than Justin Morneau and rightfully so,” Gardenhire said. “He’s loves doing that and being around his Canadian teammates and showing how proud they are and good they are at baseball. It’s a big deal for him.”

Morneau is joined on Canada’s provisional roster by Twins Minor League pitcher Andrew Albers. The left-hander posted a 3.75 ERA in 98 1/3 innings at Double-A New Britain last season.

Other Twins Minor Leaguers on the provisional rosters include infielder James Beresford (Australia), first baseman Chris Colabello (Italy), right-hander Shairon Martis (Netherlands), right-hander Tom Stuifbergen (Netherlands), right-hander Jose Berrios (Puerto Rico) and second baseman Eddie Rosario (Puerto Rico).

Of that group, Berrios and Rosario are considered top prospects for the Twins. Rosario is ranked as the club’s No. 5 prospect while Berrios is ranked as the No. 10 prospect, according to MLB.com.

Click here for more World Baseball Classic coverage and to check out the full provisional rosters for all 16 teams.

Twins don’t make any moves on Trade Deadline day

MINNEAPOLIS — Baseball’s Trade Deadline passed on Tuesday with the Twins opting not to make another trade after dealing left-hander Francisco Liriano to the White Sox for infielder Eduardo Escobar and left-hander Pedro Hernandez late Saturday night.

Clubs had interest in first baseman Justin Morneau, outfielders Denard Span and Josh Willingham and relievers Glen Perkins and Jared Burton but general manager Terry Ryan never received a good enough offer to pull the trigger.

Ryan, though, said he was fine not dealing any of those players before the 3 p.m. CT deadline. They’re all under contract through at least next year, including Burton who is eligible for salary arbitration after the season.

“I’d be more disappointed if we made a bad trade,” Ryan said. “I wouldn’t want to do that, either, just to make a trade, I don’t think that’s right. I think any organization could make a trade today, but if you don’t feel good about it I think you better not do that. Because you have ample opportunity to do so in the future if you so desire if you just want to make a trade. But I didn’t feel comfortable about doing anything.”

It doesn’t mean there weren’t rumors surrounding the Twins on Trade Deadline day, as several reports indicated the Reds were talking to the Twins about Span.

One report even said that Span rejected a trade to Cincinnati, which was false, as Span confirmed he doesn’t even have a no-trade clause in his contract that runs through ’14 with an option for ’15.

“I don’t have a no-trade clause,” Span said. “It was just crazy, man. This is the second year in a row I’ve had to sweat this thing out to the last minute with something bogus happening. Last year, when going to Washington was a done deal, and now me rejecting a trade. It’s definitely been entertaining and an interesting two years for me this deadline.”

Ryan added that he was never close to dealing Span, and strongly hinted that other players drew even more interest than the speedy center fielder.

“I don’t know about that, the subject of him being the most-talked about,” Ryan said. “I don’t really think that was accurate. For some reason his name was out there out front in this organization but I can tell you that there were other people that probably were more so than that.”

Morneau, who is due $14 million next season in the last year of a six-year, $80 million deal, drew interest from several clubs but the Twins didn’t want to part with one of the faces of their franchise.

And Willingham, who signed a three-year, $21 million deal before the season, also drew interest but the Twins wanted a big return considering his affordable contract and his production this season.

Clubs also made late pushes for Perkins and Burton, according to reports, but Perkins just signed a three-year deal before the season and Burton still has another year of club control.

Ryan wouldn’t say how close he got to dealing any of those players but did confirm that he was looking for starting pitching in any deal.

“I would say that’s a desirable piece to this organization,” Ryan said. “It’s difficult to come out with starting pitching, especially the younger controllable-type guys that organizations covet, where they have control. That’s exactly the types of people we were looking to bring back in any sort of deal, and we just couldn’t get what we were looking for today.”

The Twins, though, might not be done dealing, as they could make moves in August.

Now that the non-waiver trade deadline has passed, deals involving players on the 40-man roster cannot be made unless the players already have cleared waivers. In other words, the player must be offered to the other teams in reverse order of the standings, and if he is claimed by one of the teams, he cannot be traded. The club that placed the player on waivers can either withdraw the request and keep the player, or let the player go to the claiming team, which would then have the rights to the player.

Two players who could draw interest if they return to form and prove to be healthy are closer Matt Capps and right-hander Carl Pavano. Both veterans are currently on the disabled list and are eligible for free agency after the season.

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