Minnesota Twins Are the AL Central Trade Deadline Winners!

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Minnesota Twins Are the AL Central Trade Deadline Winners!
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The non-waiver trading deadline has passed.

The Texas Rangers made arguably the biggest move in the AL with the acquisition of ace Cliff Lee.

They also added some depth with shortstop Cristian Guzman, infielder Jorge Cantu, and catcher Bengie Molina.

In typical New York fashion, the Yankees have put themselves in a position to repeat as World Series champions with the additions of first baseman Lance Berkman, outfielder Austin Kearns, and pitcher Kerry Wood.

Berkman was rumored to be a target for both the Tigers and White Sox, and some reports are he vetoed a deal that would have sent him to Chicago.

So here's a look at how the three teams contending for the AL Central fared in attempts to make improvements before the trade deadline at 3:00 pm CDT on Saturday.


Chicago White Sox

Key additions: Edwin Jackson—Right-hand pitcher, 6-10, 5.16 ERA.

Key subtractions: Pitcher Jake Peavy—out for the season with right shoulder surgery.

Going 25-5 before the All-Star break, the White Sox went from nine and a half games back and in third place to leading the division by half a game.

With the loss of Jake Peavy for the season, Jackson will help to add some depth to their rotation. With a slightly higher ERA and lower strikeout to walk ratio will have to pitch better in Chicago than he did in Arizona. 

This was the only deal General Manager Ken Williams was able to pull off before the deadline. Will it be enough to keep the Sox out front?

Having gone 9-7 since the All-Star break, their lead remains a half game, but Minnesota has taken over second place from the struggling Tigers. 

The White Sox will still need to add some depth in order to win the division. The task just became a lot more difficult. Any player will have to clear waivers before the deal is completed.


Detroit Tigers

Key Addition: Third baseman Jhonny Peralta—.251 batting average, nine HR, 46 RBI, .315 OBP.

Key Subtractions: Brandon Inge—Out four to six weeks with a broken hand.

The Tigers picked up Peralta from Cleveland for a 19-year-old class-A pitcher Giovanni Soto.

The Tigers were in desperate need of a replacement for Inge and Peralta will fit the bill.

He brings a little more power than what Inge was demonstrating this year, with a slight drop in average and on-base percentage.

The Tigers have been struggling since the break going 4-13, falling to 52-51 and six games behind the White Sox.

Without adding some pitching depth to the lineup is President and General Manager Dave Dombrowski throwing in the towel?


Minnesota Twins

Key Addition: Closer Matt Capps—27 saves, 2.68 ERA

Key Subtractions: Justin Morneau—Currently on the 15-day DL for a concussion.

The Twins needed to add another quality starter to the rotation, and should have been looking for some insurance to back-up Morneau at first.

Michael Cuddyer has been doing a good job filling in, but the addition of either Berkman or Adam Dunn would have gone a long way to plug any potential long-term absence of Morneau.

The only deal GM Bill Smith was able to pull off was the addition of Washington closer Matt Capps. In return, the Twins gave up Double-A left-handed pitcher Joe Testa, and Triple-A catcher Wilson Ramos.

The addition of Capps bolsters the Twins bullpen, allowing interim closer Jon Rauch to move back into the set-up role. This helps fill the gap made with the promotion of Brian Duensing to the starting rotation.

Having gone 12-4 since the All-Star break, the Twins have moved past the Tigers for second place, only a half game behind the White Sox.

Based more on the lack of moves made by the White Sox or Tigers than the move made by the Twins, they can claim victory in deadline deals for the AL Central division. 

At this point the division appears to be the a two-team race between the White Sox and Twins.

The winner will earn the probable right to face either the Rangers or Yankees in the divisional round—and an early exit in the playoffs.     

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