With Nick Blackburn reeling in the month of June and inconsistent trends from starters Kevin Slowey and Scott Baker, the Twins are in the market for a starting pitcher. The big fish this season is Seattle's Cliff Lee, a familiar face for Twins' fans. In a blog post, Seattle Times writer Geoff Baker indicates that Minnesota is an early frontrunner:
And at 13 games out, the Lee trade talk is not dying down. It's picking up. I said a couple of days ago that the Twins, Rangers and Mets looked like the biggest suitors and you can now cross the boys from Texas off because a bankruptcy ruling on Tuesday makes it next to impossible for the Rangers to add significant payroll.
Better luck next time.
That leaves the Twins and Mets. The Twins have been seen as favorites because they have a blocked top catching prospect in Wilson Ramos that they could make a centerpiece to a deal along with a mid-to-back-end starting pitcher. Seattle has apparently let teams know that acquiring a good catching prospect is high on their priority list.
How quickly the Mariners will look to move Lee is unknown, but the Twins seem to be one of the common frontrunners named by experts. On ESPN's SportsCenter, baseball analyst Buster Olney also named the Twins as the early favorite.