Jaime Garcia started for the Braves at Dodger Stadium on Friday night, his potential trade to the Twins put on hold, according to reports, when some late bidders emerged for the Atlanta lefthander.
Garcia hit a grand slam Friday against the Dodgers, and he gave up seven hits and three earned runs in seven innings, getting the win in a 12-3 game.
But whether Garcia ever wears a Twins uniform or not, the prospective deal has established an objective that Derek Falvey made explicit Friday.
“We’re definitely looking at opportunities to add [to the roster], no question,” the Twins’ chief baseball officer said. “We’re engaged on a number of players. … We’re engaged on a number of different fronts right now.”
That comes as a relief to manager Paul Molitor, who has been kept abreast of various trade discussions. The Twins have doggedly remained in postseason contention, partly because of the lack of a runaway leader in the AL Central, making it far less likely that Falvey and General Manager Thad Levine would try to sell off veterans such as Ervin Santana, Brandon Kintzler or Brian Dozier.
“It’s delicate,” Molitor said. “There’s a lot of teams that are bunched. With Derek and Thad, they’re going through this the right way. There are a lot of conversations, a lot of teams out there feeling each other out as potential matches. … The longer this goes on, the more confident I am that [any trades] won’t be subtraction.”
They sort of subtracted Garcia, given that multiple sources Thursday said that the trade for the lefthander and the $4.7 million remaining on his contract was all but final. But USA Today and mlb.com reported Friday that other teams had contacted Atlanta after rumors of the trade leaked, and the deal was halted short of completion. A Twins source said there would be no announcement of a trade Friday.
Falvey would not comment on the various rumors, other than to say “we’ll continue to be engaged about opportunities that impact this team. We’ll evaluate each opportunity as it comes.”
The Twins have not executed a major trade since Falvey and Levine took over last winter, and Falvey said that’s an indication of how difficult it is to make a deal.
“Every conversation we have [with other teams] is a chance to explore creative ideas,” he said. ‘For every 1,000 conversations we have, maybe one idea comes out of it.”
Hector Santiago threw 45 pitches in the Twins bullpen on Friday and said he’s far more encouraged this time than during his last recovery from shoulder stiffness earlier this month.
“The command was there. Today was a lot better — fastball, curve, slider, screwball, changeup,” Santiago said. “Last time, I was afraid to let go a little bit. … Today I let it eat.”
Santiago will leave for a rehab stint with Class AAA Rochester on Sunday and will pitch Tuesday and Saturday for the Red Wings, Molitor said.
Buxton to Rochester?
Byron Buxton did a mini-workout in the outfield during batting practice Friday, the prelude, the Twins hope, to his activation Tuesday in Los Angeles once his 10 days on the disabled list with a strained groin muscle expire.
The Twins had considered a rehab stint in Rochester to get him some at-bats, but Molitor said the team decided that flying to Rochester, N.Y., then cross-country to the West Coast, wasn’t worth it for a handful of minor league at-bats.