NEW YORK – Terry Ryan has received several calls from teams interested in trading for reliever Glen Perkins, among others, but “some of them would be very difficult to free up,” the Twins general manager said Saturday. “If somebody wants to talk about a guy, I’m all ears. … But we’ve got a lot of interest in Glen Perkins, too.”
Ryan admitted that the Twins’ summer slump, which has dropped them to 38-53 and all but out of the AL Central race, has put him “in trade mode.” But that doesn’t mean he’s looking to give away his best players, particularly his All-Star closer.
“Anybody would like Glen Perkins. There’s a lot of guys on this team that people would like to have, even with as much as we’re struggling,” Ryan said. “Glen Perkins would be very difficult [to trade], because he’s talented, he’s under contract, he’s in the prime of his career. He sets up your bullpen, all that good stuff.”
Still, Ryan said, “if somebody overwhelms you with something, then you’ve got to consider it.”
Arcia’s swing comical
When Oswaldo Arcia goes to the plate these days, Ron Gardenhire pictures Bugs Bunny.
“He’s swinging at cartoon breaking balls — they’re there and then they’re gone — and he’s swinging,” the manager said of his 22-year-old outfielder. “Right now, he’s swinging three times at one pitch.”
It’s understandable, Gardenhire said, “just part of the experience” when you’re a rookie, adding: “Right now, he’s just not seeing it as well, and your confidence wavers a little bit. He’s trying to force it. You can see muscles tighten up. When he grips the bat, [there’s] sawdust coming out of the handle.”
That’s why Arcia was out of the lineup Saturday for only the second time since June 11. He has struck out in his past seven plate appearances, and 11 of his past 13.
“One thing you don’t want to do is let him get too far. You back him off a little bit,” Gardenhire said.
• Ryan and pro scout coordinator Vern Followell will attend the Futures Game across town at Citi Field on Sunday, not so much to watch their own prospects, Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton, but to become more familiar with the other top players in the minor leagues. “These are the top-end guys,” Ryan said. “You don’t see them much in trade talks.”
• Caleb Thielbar returned to the Twins, but since he wasn’t yet on the active roster, he had to watch Saturday’s game from the clubhouse. Afterward, he was activated from the bereavement list, with righthander Michael Tonkin returned to Class AAA Rochester. “I told Mr. Tonkin that he was fun to watch [Thursday], that we wanted to give him a good look here,” Gardenhire said. “He’s still got some things to work on, his breaking ball, but the kid is a big part of our future and it was fun to get a quick look at him.”
• Gardenhire said he had received the same message from Ryan that the GM delivered to reporters Friday: The Twins are not changing managers. “I talked to Terry. He told me, ‘Don’t worry about what people are writing,’ ” Gardenhire said. “Just do the job.”
• A couple of injured pitchers took major steps Saturday: Nick Blackburn, out since wrist surgery in January, was sent to Class AA New Britain, and 2010 first-round pick Alex Wimmers pitched two innings in the Gulf Coast League, his first action since undergoing ligament replacement surgery in his elbow last August.