July 31, 2009

Twins, A's inching closer to an Orlando Cabrera trade

According to multiple sources on Thursday night, the Minnesota Twins and Oakland Athletics have made a lot of progress in trade talks that would send 34-year-old Orlando Cabrera to Minnesota in exchange for what is believed to be a prospect.

Earlier this week we learned that the A's had asked for top prospect Danny Valencia in return for Cabrera which the Twins rightfully scoffed at. Valencia, as it turns out, has been a popular name thrown out by other teams this week with the Pittsburgh Pirates also asking for the talented third baseman in a trade for All-Star second baseman Freddy Sanchez. Sanchez is a far better player than Cabrera, so if the Twins refused to include Valencia in a trade for Sanchez, I doubt they'd finally feel compelled to include him in a deal for Cabrera. At least, that's my hope.

The more likely scenario is that the A's have lowered their asking price for Cabrera. On Thursday morning, Daniel Barbarisi of the Providence Journal reported that the Boston Red Sox turned down an offer for Cabrera which would have sent a 27-year-old minor league reliever in Fernando Cabrera and 26-year-old first baseman/outfielder Chris Carter to Oakland in exchange for (Orlando) Cabrera. While both (Fernando) Cabrera and Carter aren't terrible players, they do have less value than Valencia.

As I said earlier this week, if it's the right deal, Cabrera might be a solid pickup. While I do see him as a slight upgrade (again, I want to put emphasis on the word slight), I don't see him playing a huge difference on the overall outcome of the season.

With potential suitors looking unlikely to deal top talent for Cabrera, the A's now sound as though they're at the point that they'll 'take anything they can get' for Cabrera. While that's probably a little misleading, as the Twins will probably still have to surrender a quality prospect to get Cabrera in return, but it certainly sounds as though their 'top prospects' are off-limits, which they should be.

One intersting thing to note is that the Twins have also been linked to Oakland reliever Michael Wuertz and Adam Kennedy. Wuertz is believed to be staying in Oakland while Kennedy is a free agent after the season and has recently been linked to the Twins.

The A's want to keep Kennedy, but I'm sure if the right deal came along, they would trade him too. Unfortunately, the A's ask for top talent in return for their players so my hopes of the Twins nabbing both Kennedy and Cabrera is more or less a pipedream.

I'll try to update anything that happens throughout the day. The deadline for non-waiver trades is 3:00 PM CT this afternoon. Stay tuned.