Don’t rule out the Twins trading for Jaime Garcia just yet.
After nearly consummating a deal on Friday morning — when the Atlanta Braves backed out over reported medical concerns — the teams continue to have conversations about the 31-year-old righthander, according to sources with knowledge of the talks.
If the Twins and Braves agree on a trade, Nick Burdi no longer will be part of the deal.
The hard-throwing righthander was to be sent to Atlanta in exchange for Garcia and a minor leaguer. Fox Sports was first to report Burdi’s inclusion in the deal. Burdi injured his right elbow in May, requiring season-ending Tommy John surgery.
The Braves appeared fine with taking Burdi as is but changed their minds during the final stages of negotiations. The Twins were confident they had a deal wrapped up, only to be tripped up by Atlanta.
There’s still a chance the deal could happen but, of course, the Twins will have to come up with another prospect to send Atlanta. And reports have other teams expressing interest in Garcia as news about his possible move to the Twin Cities was learned.
Garcia, meanwhile, made his scheduled start on Friday against the Dodgers. Atlanta had a replacement starter ready if Garcia had been dealt, but he was not needed.
Burdi, 24, is considered a future closer, someone who has hit 100 miles per hour with his fastball to go with a wipeout slider. He had posted a 0.53 ERA in 14 appearances — with 20 strikeouts in 17 innings — when he experienced elbow soreness following a May 21 appearance.
Coincidentally, Nick’s brother, Zack, a pitcher in the White Sox organization, also is out for the season because of Tommy John surgery.
Shortstop by committee
Jorge Polanco’s struggles since early June have forced manager Paul Molitor to give at-bats to Eduardo Escobar and Ehire Adrianza. Escobar started at shortstop on Saturday against Detroit.
Molitor plans to go with the matchups and whomever has the hot hand. Polanco will get his at-bats — he’s expected to be in the starting lineup on Sunday — but it’s clear he will have to hit and field better if he wants to be a regular again.
“I told him today, it’s not like I’ve lost confidence in what he’s going to do in this game,” Molitor said. “Right now, it’s not happening. And we’re in a position where it is tough to put him out there on a day-to-day basis when we are trying to win.”
Polanco is batting .140 over his past 25 games with one home run and 10 RBI and has committed eight errors in his past 32 games. So Molitor will give other players a chance.
“We’re going to look for more matchups than an everyday guy right now,” Molitor said. “That’s the best way to proceed, at least in the short term.”
Perkins faces hitters
Reliever Glen Perkins had not pitched in a game since April 10, 2016, before Saturday. But he finally got on a mound Saturday for the Twins’ rookie team that plays in the Gulf Coast League. It was the biggest step he’s taken since undergoing surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff on June 23, 2016.
Perkins started the game and threw an eight-pitch inning, striking out two.
“He threw some sliders. He touched 90 [mph],” Molitor said. “All good things. The best part was that he felt good.”
Molitor said Perkins might make one more start before joining Class A Fort Myers for the next stage of his comeback. Perkins is back on track after needing a cortisone shot a month ago because of biceps tendinitis.