Trade strategy at a pivotal point

If the Twins continue the bad start on their 10-game AL West road trip, they could become sellers before the nonwaiver trade deadline on Sunday, a team official with knowledge of trade talks said.

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Twins outfielder Denard Span

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ARLINGTON, TEXAS - If the Twins continue the bad start on their 10-game AL West road trip, they could become sellers before the nonwaiver trade deadline on Sunday, a team official with knowledge of trade talks said.

The Twins have been considered buyers in recent weeks, as they have looked around for bullpen help, and manager Ron Gardenhire indicated over the weekend that they could use a bat off the bench.

In reality, Monday's 20-6 loss to Texas put the Twins at 15-16 over their past 31 games. They remain seven games behind AL Central-leading Detroit.

The front office is prepared to wait until the last minute before deciding to buy or sell. If the Twins lose four or five games this week and Detroit gets hot, the club could decide to move some of its assets.

Several teams have checked in with the Twins about players -- but no real offers have been made.

The Washington Nationals are looking for a center fielder, and had two scouts looking at the Twins last week. They have inquired about Denard Span but indications are that they have examined the Twins organization for present and future fixes, looking at Ben Revere and prospects Joe Benson and Aaron Hicks.

The Twins are not actively shopping Span, but the Nationals have relievers in Tyler Clippard (1.73 ERA in 45 games) and Drew Storen (2.37 ERA, 25 saves) who could fill holes in their bullpen. Joe Nathan and Matt Capps are free agents after the season, and Storen could move in as closer.

Outfielder Michael Cuddyer would fit a need at San Francisco, Philadelphia and Atlanta -- and all three teams have scouted the Twins in recent weeks. But the Twins, in a Star Tribune report last week, said Cuddyer wouldn't be dealt.

"I treat the trade deadline like reading the National Enquirer," Cuddyer said. "For entertainment purposes only."

The Twins have had discussions with Baltimore about righthander Koji Uehara, who has a 1.80 ERA in 41 games. Teams appear to be waiting for a couple of trades to be made before the bullpen market shakes out.

Regardless if the Twins buy or sell before the deadline, they are expected to look for a good deal for righthander Kevin Slowey, who is at Class AAA Rochester.

Revere doesn't start

Revere was not in the starting lineup for the first time Monday since he returned to the club on June 2 from Rochester. Jason Repko started in center and batted leadoff.

"He's been playing very good out there," Gardenhire said, "but he's also played every game since he's been here, since he took over that role. He started to get beat up, a little worn out."

Revere's struggles at the plate suggested he was worn down. He's batting .202 this month, .065 over his past eight games.

Mauer to sit?

There's a chance catcher Joe Mauer might not start on Tuesday against Rangers lefthander C. J. Wilson. Wilson has been tough on Mauer, holding him to one hit in 19 at-bats.

Etc.

• The Twins game on Monday, Aug. 8, against Boston has been moved to 6:10 p.m. by ESPN. The game will be shown locally on both ESPN and FSN North.

• Game-time temperature on Monday was 102 degrees.

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