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http://www.startribune.com/stories/509/5758905.html

 

Twins: Deal for Marlins' Castillo in the works

The Twins are trying to trade for Luis Castillo and also have an interest in Chicago's Frank Thomas.

La Velle E. Neal III, Star Tribune

Last update: December 1, 2005 at 9:19 PM

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Twins: Deal for Marlins' Castillo in the works

 

Cuddyer will play new position in 2006

The Twins are pursuing a deal for Florida Marlins second baseman Luis Castillo, according to a source familiar with negotiations.

 

Castillo, 30, would upgrade the Twins' offense and defense. He batted .301 last season with four homers and 30 RBI, but his .391 on base percentage would help a lineup that is not strong in that area. Castillo walked 65 times in 439 at-bats last season and struck out only 32 times. He has a career on-base percentage of .370. He stole 193 bases from 1999-2000 but had only 21, 21 and 10 the past three seasons as he's battled leg problems.

 

Castillo also is a two-time Gold Glove winner, which helps a team that saw its defense slip last season.

 

According to the Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Sun Sentinel, the Twins are one of four teams in the hunt for Castillo. The others are believed to be the Cardinals, Mets and Red Sox.

 

Indications are the Marlins want to dump Castillo's $5 million salary for next season and are looking at minor leaguers or inexpensive major leaguers. Pitchers such as Boof Bonser, Travis Bowyer or J.D. Durbin could be part of the deal. The Twins are unwilling to trade top pitching prospects Scott Baker and Francisco Liriano.

 

Castillo enters the final year of a three-year, $16 million deal but a $5.75 million option for 2007 kicks in if he gets 501 plate appearances next season.

 

Twins General Manager Terry Ryan was unavailable for comment on Thursday.

 

The Twins also are seriously considering a push for two-time A.L. MVP Frank Thomas, whose days with the White Sox appear to be over. A Twins official said the club has done a lot of research on Thomas in recent weeks, which comes after the club had no interest in him.

 

Thomas, who is 52 homers shy of 500 for his career, is the most recognizable name and could have the biggest impact in the Twins' lineup.

 

Thomas' career with the White Sox appears all but over after the club re-signed first baseman Paul Konerko and traded for Jim Thome to be the designated hitter. In fact, White Sox General Manager Kenny Williams told Chicago media on Wednesday he wanted to speak directly to Thomas before revealing anything about his future with the club.

 

Thomas, 37, has battled a surgically repaired left ankle over the past couple of years. He batted .219 in 34 games last season, with 12 homers and 26 RBI in 105 at-bats. He played in only 74 games in 2004, batting .271 with 18 homers and 49 RBI. He has 30 homers and 80 walks over his past 345 at-bats.

 

The Twins also have had discussions with Texas about third baseman Hank Blalock, but talks have bogged down because the Rangers are asking for Liriano as part of the package.

 

The Twins remain interested in free agents Mike Piazza as a designated hitter and Nomar Garciaparra as a third baseman.

 

 

I was right all along. The names I mentioned Durbin, Bowyer, and Bonser

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There is absolutely no reason for the FO to move quickly to trade Castillo. There are plenty more teams needing a quality 2nd baseman than what's available on the FA market.

 

Personally, I would like to see us keep him...at least until the trading deadline next year. But if the FO can get real value for him then I will understand. I see no reason at all to give him away.

 

The same argument applies to Pierre and LoDuca.

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There is absolutely no reason for the FO to move quickly to trade Castillo. There are plenty more teams needing a quality 2nd baseman than what's available on the FA market.

 

Personally, I would like to see us keep him...at least until the trading deadline next year. But if the FO can get real value for him then I will understand. I see no reason at all to give him away.

 

The same argument applies to Pierre and LoDuca.

 

 

If the Twins are offering Durbin, Bowyer, and Bonser or 2 of the 3 then we aren't getting ripped off or anything. Now if its Romero or Lohse and a mid level prospect then we are getting screwed.

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