La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won't miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.

Postgame: Trade rumors and Alexi's leg

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: July 28, 2011 - 12:48 AM

I was told yesterday that the Twins weren't looking to trade Denard Span - but the speculation won't go away.

Ken Rosenthal tweeted earlier today that the Twins and Nationals were discussing a trade involving Span and closer Drew Storen. Former GM Jim Bowden tweeted that ``working hard on multi-player deal involving Storen and Span and others.''

I'll state again that the Twins are not looking to trade Span but the Nationals have identified him as a target. I was told tonight  that the Nationals know it will take a very nice package of players for them to consider trading Span, who is a solid leadoff hitter, a solid citizen and has a very team-friendly contract through 2015.

The Twins think Ben Revere eventually will be a good leadoff hitter. But not this year, as his .294 on base percentage shows. The Twins, as of tonight, still think that can reach contender status in the A..L. Central race, but that would be hard to do without Span topping the lineup.

Don't rule out the Nationals looking at Revere or one of the Twins CF prospects in the minors, like Joe Benson and Aaron Hicks. Washington has had a scout on Class A Fort Myers recently.


Colorado is among teams that have expressed interest in righthander Kevin Slowey. The Twins definitely are looking to move Slowey, who's pitching at Class AAA Rochester.

A couple players the Twins might be interested in are reliever Rafael Betancourt and infielder Ty Wigginton.

Betancourt, 36, has a 4.28 ERA in 45 games Wigginton, 33, is batting .254 with 13 homers and 40 RBI. Wigginton would be a bat off the bench and has appeared at first, third and the corner outfield spots.

Betancourt is making $3.775 million and Wigginton $3.5 million this year. Both are scheduled to make $4 million in 2012. Taking on those salaries could be an issue.

The Rockies have other righthanded relievers who could help upgrade the Twins bullpen, like Matt Belisle (3.52 ERA), Matt Lindstrom (2.97) and Huston Street. They have long admired Street, who has 26 saves.

I have a feeling the next few days are going to be nutty. I was told the Twins are talking to a lot of teams. Joe C. and I will try to figure out what is true and what is b.s. and keep you updated.


Alexi Casilla put his palms together and looked up to the sky.

``I don't want to go on that list,'' he said.

Casilla pulled a muscle while legging out a double in the ninth inning on Wednesday. He said something was wrong as soon as he took off out of the batter's box.

The Twins can't wait a couple days for it to heal, not with 13 pitchers and a three-man bench. Casilla will have an MRI on Thursday, but signs are pointing to an infielder being called up.


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