ST. LOUIS — As momentous as a trade of their best pitcher of the last decade is, the biggest news for the Twins may be who they didn't deal away at the deadline. Byron Buxton remains a Twin, just as he insisted last week that he wants to be.
The Twins entertained offers for the hugely talented outfielder, but Derek Falvey wouldn't discuss whether any of them came close to meeting his admittedly high price. There's little doubt, though, that his presence makes the Twins' ambitions of reversing the direction of a gruesome 2021 season far more plausible.
"There were a lot of asks and a lot of interest in a number of our players, but ultimately the [trades] we completed were deals we felt we couldn't pass up," Falvey, the Twins president of baseball operations, said after trading away Jose Berrios, J.A. Happ and Hansel Robles. "There was clearly some interest in Byron, but nothing that cleared the bar, based on how we view the player and how we value him."
That value will become a burning topic again this winter, when the Twins must determine whether it's possible to reach an agreement over a long-term contract with the oft-injured 27-year-old outfielder, or whether to revisit trade talks. Finally free of the trade-deadline frenzy, Falvey didn't sound eager to tackle that issue anytime soon.
"Those things take time [and] remain open," Falvey said. "We're just going to focus right now on getting him as healthy as possible, getting him back on the field. We'll take up those conversations again in the offseason."
No Pineda deal
Also still on the Twins: Michael Pineda, who, like Andrelton Simmons and Alexander Colome, will become a free agent in October. The market for the latter two players was nearly nonexistent, according to a major league source, but Falvey said there were inquiries about Pineda, who owns a 3.86 ERA in 14 starts.
"But we felt Mike is going to help us. He's going to help young guys. He's going to help other young pitchers," Falvey said of the decision to turn down those offers. "We were never under any mandate to slash payroll. If we didn't feel like we were getting a [good] return and we felt like there was real value in [keeping him] here, we were able to stay looking ahead."
The team reportedly fielded offers for Josh Donaldson, Taylor Rogers and Kenta Maeda, too, but Falvey did not comment on those discussions.
"It was frenzied," he said of the final hours before the deadline. "There were a lot of calls."
John Gant has been traded by the Mets in 2015, and by the Braves in 2016, but it was never this easy.
It was a cool experience. Usually, a fellow gets traded, he's probably flying someplace or having to uproot [his] whole situation," Gant said. "I just walked down the hall" to the visitors clubhouse at Busch Stadium. "I'm going to have to pack some things up in the apartment, but walking down the hall was pretty convenient."
Gant, who turns 29 next Friday, has a 3.42 ERA in 76⅓ innings this season, and hasn't had one higher than 3.66 in the past four seasons.
He has started 42 games in his six-year career, the past five with St. Louis, and come out of the bullpen 117 times. Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said Gant will be in the bullpen for now, with roles still to be sorted out.
"I'm just happy to be over here," Gant said. "Whatever role they see me fitting in is what I'm going to commit to and try to help the team."
- Rogers' left middle finger is still being evaluated by specialists, Falvey said, and no decision has been made about how to repair the pulley tendon. Surgery, which would likely end the lefthander's season, is an option, Falvey said, but the Twins are examining non-surgical treatments, too.
- Righthander Griffin Jax and lefthander Charlie Barnes were called up from Class AAA St. Paul to fill the vacancies left by Friday's trades. Barnes will work out of the bullpen, Jax out of the rotation, Baldelli said. With two off days in a five-day span, the Twins don't need a fifth starter beyond Kenta Maeda, Bailey Ober, Pineda and Jax for at least another week, and the manager said they will take their time deciding how to fill that spot, with Barnes an obvious candidate.
- The Twins also claimed another pitcher, Cincinnati righthander Edgar Garcia, off waivers Friday, and assigned him to St. Paul. Garcia, 24, has pitched for the Phillies, Rays and Reds and has a 7.14 career ERA in 46 major league games.
- Donaldson took batting practice before the game but felt tightness in his right hamstring afterwards, and was scratched from Friday's lineup.