Team sees no glaring trade need at present

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 8, 2008 - 7:05 AM

Bill Smith says he doesn't believe the Twins will be very active come deadline time.

BOSTON — With 23 days remaining before baseball's non-waiver trade deadline, the Twins don't expect to be sellers.

But barring an injury, they're not desperate to buy, either.

With second baseman Alexi Casilla and third baseman Brian Buscher filling big voids, the Twins don't have a glaring need.

The starting rotation has been solid. The bullpen has absorbed the loss of setup man Pat Neshek. Manager Ron Gardenhire has a better bench than he did last season.

"You're always looking to make your team better, and we'll continue to do that," Twins General Manager Bill Smith said before Monday's game against the Red Sox. "At the same time, you don't want to tinker too much with something that's not broken.

"There's a fine line there. We have gotten tremendous starting pitching over the last month. We've gotten quality bullpen work. Our offense is clicking, and Gardy's got enough flexibility right now that we're able to match up against good pitchers. And we're on a good run."

Good riddance

The Twins won't miss having the reigning Cy Young Award winner CC Sabathia in the American League Central.

Cleveland shipped Sabathia out of the division and out of the league when they traded him to Milwaukee for four prospects.

"He's as good as they get," Gardenhire said. "The Brewers picked up a great pitcher, I know that. A fierce competitor. He's been tough on us. Leaving our division is just fine for the rest of the summer. I hope that he leaves it for the rest of his career."

No Derby invite ... yet

Justin Morneau has yet to be asked to participate in the All-Star Home Run Derby.

"They're asking the good players first," Morneau said, poking fun at himself.

Five of the eight slots have been filled by Josh Hamilton, Dan Uggla, Chase Utley, Lance Berkman and Grady Sizemore. Defending champion Vladimir Guerrero also said he will participate.

Big Papi sighting

Boston's David Ortiz took batting practice for the first time since going on the disabled list May 31 because of a torn tendon sheath in his left wrist. He launched several balls off the Green Monster in left field and several into the right-field seats.

Ortiz was coy when asked how close he was to returning, saying, "I'm just an employee."

The Twins would be thrilled if Ortiz returns -- right after they leave town.

"You take 40 home runs and 140 RBI out of anybody's lineup, and they become a different team," Gardenhire said. "That's the great thing about this Red Sox team -- they're still a very, very good team [without Ortiz]."

Left, right, left, right

The Twins will face a lefthanded pitcher every other day until the All-Star break. After Daisuke Matsuzaka on Monday, it's lefthander Jon Lester today and Josh Beckett on Wednesday.

Then in Detroit, it will be (lefty) Kenny Rogers, Armando Galarraga, (lefty) Nate Robertson and Justin Verlander.

It's uncertain how that'll affect the Twins lineup. Gardenhire said he's not afraid to keep playing Denard Span against lefties, and he also noted that Mike Lamb could get a start soon.

Lamb is 4-for-5 in his career against Beckett.

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