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La Velle E. Neal III and Phil Miller report on the Twins from wherever they make news

Reliever Abad most likely to be dealt before MLB trade deadline [Twins postgame]

Here are three thoughts following the Twins 9-7 loss to the worst team in baseball:

ABAD ON THE BLOCK: With the Twins sending out strong signals that they prefer to keep starter Ervin Santana, the Twin most likely to be dealt could be lefthander Fernando Abad.The Dodgers were among the clubs that had scouts at Wednesday's game as they continue to look for relief help. There appears to be enough demand on the trade market that the Twins could swing a deal for Abad for the right offer, which is expected to be prospects.Abad is 1-3 with a 2.61 ERA in 36 games. He's bounced back after a poor 2015 season with Oakland thanks to better fastball command that has made his other pitches effective. He throws a change up at two speeds, with the slower one feathering in at 67 miles an hour. ``I know how this works,'' Abad said. ``The team is not having a good season and if someone needs someone, somebody is going to be gone. I don't want to leave. But if it happens I have to go.'' I was told there's a pretty good market for teams willing to trade lefty relievers, so I would not be surprised to see Abad dealt.

WHAT ABOUT SUZUKI?: A fan asked if there were teams scouting Kurt Suzuki, and I have not heard of any. But the Twins are in a little bit of a box with Suzuki, who could be a free agent next season. John Ryan Murphy has not been the catcher they thought they had traded for. He's batting .204 at Class AAA Rochester. If the Twins trade Suzuki, they have no one ready to replace him, and the free agent market for catchers will be Matt Wieters, who likely will stay with Baltimore. The Twins might have to keep Suzuki

DUFFEY'S ROUGH DAY: Tyler Duffey was mechanically unsound on Wednesday and dug a hole that he and his teammates could not get out of. He has a 10.15 ERA over his last three starts and it looks like he's on the hot seat. Twins manager Paul Molitor said that Duffey is the scheduled to start on Monday but, ``that's really all I can say about that right now.'' That said a lot. If you use a pen to write Duffey's name down, make sure its erasable ink. Monday should be a very interesting day, with the trade deadline and the Duffey situation.

BONUS: Brandon Kinzler has to be drawing interest from clubs as well, the way he's thrown the ball this year and how he's seamlessly stepped into the closer's role. Kintzler was reccommended to Terry Ryan by special assistant Wayne Krivsky, and he turned out to he a nice pickup.

Rain not expected to delay Twins-Braves game

All indications are that the rain will end in time for tonight's game to start as regularly scheduled. Players are out on the field as I write this (5:15 p.m.) but there is one more blast of rain that's expected to pass through here.

This game must be played, since the Braves don't come back here any more.

Byron Buxton are Max Kepler are getting a break today, so Eddie Rosario is in center and Danny Santana is in right. That's a different alignment we've seen, but it might be because Santana looked shaky in center the last time he played there at Target Field.

The trade deadline is getting closer and closer, and scouts have been following the Twins. Eduardo Nunez, Kurt Suzuki and Fernando Abad all could help a contending team. Of those three, I think the Twins have the best chance of moving Abad. A number of teams need lefthanded relief. The Dodgers, one of those teams, had a scout at last night's game and I would expect him to be back tonight. 

The Twins might be n a mini-quandary with Kurt Suzuki. With no one else ready to step in and take over the position next season, the Twins might have to bring Suzuki back. That means that can't trade him this week. The free agent market for catchers this offseason looks to be thin. Matt Wieters could hit free agency, but Baltimore knows what the market could be like and will likely re-sign him.

Nunez definitely could help a team looking for offense and some speed. His market has been hard to figure out.

Over the next couple of days, Twins front office members will arrive in town to join interim GM Rob Antony for the finals days leading to the trade deadline.

This is game No. 100 on the season for the Twins.

Braves

Jace Peterson, LF
Gordon Beckham, 2B
Freddie Freeman, 1B
Nick Markakis, RF
Adonis Garcia, 3B
Jeff Francoeur, DH
Ender Inciarte, Cf
A. J.. C
Erick Aybar, SS

Mike Foltynewicz, RHP

Twins

Eduardo Nunez, SS
Joe Mauer, C
Miguel Sano, 3B
Brian Dozier, 3B
Kennys Vargas, DH
Eddie Rosario, CF
Robbie Grossman, LF
Kurt Suzuki, C
Danny Santana, RF

Tyler Duffey, RHP