Minnesota Twins

Twins After Sanchez And Capps

NEW YORK - MAY 09:  Freddy Sanchez #12 of the Pittsburgh Pirates bats against the New York Mets on May 9, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Mets defeated the Pirates 10-1.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Nam HuynhContributor IJuly 3, 2009

Jon Paul Morosi (Fox Sports) is reporting Twins-going-after-Bucs%27-Sanchez,-Capps" target="_blank">the Minnesota Twins are in discussions with the Pittsburgh Pirates about acquiring second baseman Freddy Sanchez and relievers Matt Capps and John Grabow.  The Twins may not be able to land all three players, but would like Sanchez and at least one of the two relievers.

The Twins are having late-inning relief problems and have a hole at second base, so it makes sense they are targeting Sanchez and Capps. Alexi Casilla failed to keep his job at second base this season by playing poorly, and was sent down to AAA Rochester — twice this year.  Nick Punto and Matt Tolbert are currently splitting time at second base, but are both hitting around .200.

Sanchez is batting .316 this year and would be an ideal hitter for the number 2 spot in the Twin’s batting order in front of Denard Span and behind Joe Mauer. Sanchez’s contract includes a $8 million option for next year that vests after 635 plate appearances or 600 plate appearances plus an All-Star appearance. If the club declines its option, he’ll receive a $600,000 buyout.

Capps has an ERA of 4.88, as the closer for the Pirates, but can be a hard throwing late-inning relief pitcher for the Twins. He will provide much needed help for Matt Guerrier and Jose Mijares.

Grabow would be their next target for late-inning relief if they are not able to acquire Capps in some sort of deal. Gabrow is currently the Pirates’ set-up man, with 14 holds and an ERA of 3.75. It is possible that the Twins could acquire both pitchers.

No names have been mentioned from the Twins as trade candidates to acquire such players from the Pirates. The Pirates presumably would like young prospects in return that are either ready or soon-to-be-ready. We would expect that infielders Casilla and Matt Tolleson are being considered.  At least Boston, Seattle, Cincinnati and San Francisco could be looking at acquiring the versatile Sanchez to play third base.

Nam Huynh is a writer for Minnesota Sports Zone (http://www.mn-sz.com)

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