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The non-waiver trade deadline came and went yesterday without the Twins making a single move. The fan base had been on edge with Denard Span's name being thrown around by a lot of reporters, but when push came to shove nothing materialized between the Twins and Nationals.
It sounds like the main sticking point was Washington's unwillingness to include closer Drew Storen, and I'd guess they were at least a little tentative about Span's health. Either way, the Nats likely did the Twins a favor.
It probably says something about the level of faith people have in Bill Smith that the general reaction to a non-move at the deadline is relief rather than disappointment, but that's certainly where I'm at. The Span-for-Storen rumors reeked of another instance where Smith and the front office were undervaluing their own asset while vastly overvaluing the save statistic. (One report from Scott Miller of CBS Sports suggested that the Nats were pushing to include Tyler Clippard -- a reliever who is at least as good as Storen -- and the Twins balked because he's a "setup man.")
I said last week that I felt the Twins should sit tight at the deadline so I'm not upset by the lack of activity. I was pleasantly surprised to see Kevin Slowey stay put. Smith was undoubtedly dangling the right-hander, but didn't get an adequate offer and didn't cave in. For that, I give him credit.
It's time to set this rift aside and let Slowey help the Twins again. He was stellar in a Triple-A start in Rochester on Saturday night and should be starting in the majors. A spot could be created in the rotation by either shifting Brian Duensing to the bullpen (where I continue to believe he'd be a greater asset) or by bumping the struggling Nick Blackburn.
At the very least, Slowey would hopefully be able to build up some value for an offseason trade.
After dropping two of three in Oakland, the Twins enter August in fourth place and seven games back in a weak division. They still hold a faint chance at resuscitating their postseason hopes, and one could quibble with the lack of a move to add some bullpen help, but those kinds of deals can be pulled off in August -- in fact, that's where Smith has made done some of his best work.
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