Joe Mauer said something needed to happen. Justin Morneau said something needed to happen. Joe Nathan said something needed to happen.
Bill Smith listened.
The Minnesota Twins always seem to be sellers at the trade deadline, trading players like Luis Castillo, Kyle Lohse and Doug Meintkeiwicz.
The one time in recent memory that the Twins were buyers, they dealt for Shannon Stewart in 2003. The Twins were 8 games back in the AL Central on July 13. They won sole possession of first place on Sept. 15, then went on to win 12 of their last 15 games to win their second straight title. Stewart would hit .322 with 43 runs scored and a .384 OBP in 65 games as a Twin, and would finish fourth in AL MVP voting.
This season, amidst a three way AL Central race with the Detroit Tigers (first place), and the Chicago White Sox (third place, 2.5 GB), the Twins (second place, 2.0 GB) have made a move worth talking about.
The Twins have shown that they are ready to make a run for the postseason by acquiring SS Orlando Cabrera from the Oakland Athletics.
Cabrera, a two-time Gold Glove winner (’01 and ’07), signed a contract with the Oakland Athletics last March, and hit .280 with 116 hits (13th best in AL) in 101 games.
Cabrera went to Boston as well, where he is regarded as a key component to Boston’s 2004 World Championship.
Cabrera signed with the Los Angeles Angels in 2005, where he won his second Gold Glove award, and also finished 15th in AL MVP voting in 2007.
In November of 2007, Cabrera was traded to the Chicago White Sox. Cabrera was a controversial member of the ballclub. He argued with manager Ozzie Guillen, left the clubhouse early to avoid the media, called the press box to have errors overturned, and questioned his teams winning attitude.
Cabrera was granted free agency in November 2008, and signed a one-year contract with the Oakland Athletics at age 34.
This season, Cabrera is batting .280 with 116 hits, four HR, 41 RBI, 11 SB, 41 runs scored, and 39 strikeouts.
The Twins’ Nick Punto, Alexi Casilla, and Brendan Harris are hitting a combined .225 with 152 hits, six home runs, 58 RBIs, 15 SB, and 125 strikeouts.
The A's acquired prospect IF Tyler Ladendorf, a class A prospect. Ladendorf, a 2008 second round pick of the Twins, is hitting .233 after batting .400 last season in rookie ball.