Liriano and Slama options for Twins at closer

March 28, 2010|By Phil Rogers

The Twins continue to explore trade options to replace injured closer Joe Nathan. If the price for available arms such as Heath Bell and Jason Frasor remains too high for their taste, the options include moving Francisco Liriano (above) from the rotation and counting on prospect Anthony Slama, who has been pitching great. Jon Rauch and Matt Guerrier are also candidates.

Pat Neshek is not an option as his velocity hasn't returned. … Tyler Flowers' unimpressive spring showing makes it more likely the White Sox will look to extend catcher A.J. Pierzynski's contract during the season. … The emergence of a much improved Kyle Kendrick gives the Phillies a deeper rotation than they had either of the last two seasons, when they went to the World Series.

The closer situation remains an issue. … Say this for the Red Sox - they're not stubborn. They spend all winter building a powerhouse, then trade for infielder Kevin Frandsen and sign reliever Scott Schoeneweis on March 26. You sort of knew they needed second base help when they played Mike Lowell there in back-to-back games. … First baseman Chris Davis needed a good camp with the Rangers, and he's having one. The team has two impact bats coming behind him in Justin Smoak and Mitch Moreland.

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