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.
CHICAGO -- The Twins passed Joe Nathan through trade waivers, but he won’t be traded before tonight’s deadline for teams to set potential playoff rosters.
The Twins checked with Nathan on Tuesday night to see if he wanted to be traded to a contender, much as they did with Jim Thome last week. Team officials insist they had no specific offers but wanted to know Nathan’s preference, just in case.
Nathan, who notched his 12th save in Wednesday's 7-6 victory over the White Sox, decided to stay with the Twins.
He has 10-and-5 rights (10 years in the majors, five with the same team), so he has veto power over any trade. Players with 10-and-5 rights must sign a consent form at least 24 hours before being traded. On short notice Tuesday night, Nathan declined to sign the consent form, which means he’ll likely be with the Twins through season’s end.
“It seemed the smart decision for us to say we’re not going to waive [the 10-and-5 rights],” Nathan said. “It’s nice to be here and have a chance to possibly be with this club again next year. We’ll see what that brings."
Nathan, who is 9-for-9 in his past nine save chances, cleared waivers at some point in August because, to claim him, a team would have been making a short-term investment of at least $4 million.
Nathan has about $2 million in salary remaining this year and a $12.5 million option for next year with a $2 million buyout. A claiming team would have had to accept the rest of Nathan’s contract, and it's only been recently that he has started to look like his pre-surgery self.
The Twins sent minor-league pitcher Loek Van Mil to the Angels today, completing their trade for reliever Brian Fuentes.
When that trade was made Saturday, the teams agreed that the Twins would send the Angels a player to be named or cash by Oct. 15. We were told the Twins would surrender a mid-level prospect, not a top prospect, and Van Mil fits that description.
Van Mil, 25, had been designated for assignment and dropped from the 40-man roster to make room for Fuentes. A a 7-foot-1 righthander from The Netherlands, Van Mil was 1-2 with a 6.37 ERA in 23 games for Class AA New Britain this year.
Van Mil's stock was on the rise last year, and he was invited to big league camp this spring. When healthy, he has a powerful righthanded arm, but injuries have slowed his development.
With less than two days to Saturday's non-waiver trade deadline, I don't mean to sound like a wet blanket, but it's time to remind you how rare a Twins move is at this time of year.
The Twins have made just 12 July trades since 2000. According to Major League Baseball, the only teams with less July movement in that span are the Tigers (11 trades), Astros (11), Angels (10) and Blue Jays (10).
The busiest July teams have been the Padres (34), Pirates (28), Red Sox (26) and Cubs, Rockies, Dodgers, Yankees (24 apiece).
The Twins have made just four July trades since 2005, and that includes the Brett Boone-for-Box of Balls deal. A complete list, compiled from MLB's release:
July 15, 2000 – Rockies traded 1B Todd Sears and cash to Twins for 2B Todd Walker and OF Butch Huskey.
July 31, 2000 – Twins traded 1B Mario Valdez to Athletics for C Danny Ardoin.
July 3, 2001 – Cardinals traded 1B-OF Larry Sutton to Twins for IF Hanley Frias.
July 28, 2001 – Tigers traded P Todd Jones to Twins for P Mark Redman.
July 30, 2001 – Mets traded P Rick Reed to Twins for OF Matt Lawton. (Note: Omitted this one earlier.)
July 12, 2002 – Twins traded OF Brian Buchanan to Padres for IF Jason Bartlett.
July 16, 2003 – Twins acquired OF Shannon Stewart from the Blue Jays for OF Bobby Kielty and a player to be named.
July 31, 2004 – Cubs acquired SS Nomar Garciaparra, OF Matt Murton and cash considerations from the Boston Red Sox. Acquired 1B Doug Mientkiewicz from the Twins in exchange for minor league LHP Justin Jones. Traded Mientkiewicz, INF Alex Gonzalez, INF Brendan Harris and RHP Francis Beltran to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Garciaparra and Murton.
July 11, 2005 – Twins acquired 2B Bret Boone and cash from the Mariners for a player to be named later. (Note: No player was ever named.)
July 31, 2006 – Reds acquired RHP Kyle Lohse from the Twins in exchange for RHP Zach Ward
July 30, 2008 – Mets acquired INF Luis Castillo from the Twins for C Drew Butera and OF Dustin Martin
July 31, 2009 – Twins acquired SS Orlando Cabrera from the Athletics for INF Tyler Ladendorf and cash considerations.
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