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Updated: July 31st, 2012 3:38pm
Unable to find desired starting pitching, Twins stand pat at deadline

Unable to find desired starting pitching, Twins stand pat at deadline

by Phil Mackey
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins elected to stand pat as Tuesday's 3 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline passed, a team source confirmed.

For the second straight year, Denard Span's name was circulated heavily in the days leading up to the deadline, but the Twins decided to hang onto the centerfielder and his team-friendly contract.

Multiple teams showed interest in Justin Morneau and Josh Willingham as well, and reports surfaced this week about teams kicking the tires on relievers Jared Burton and Glen Perkins.

When asked if he was close to making a deal on Tuesday, general manager Terry Ryan said, "Not really."

"There were a lot of discussions, exchanges," he added. "Something is close? It's only as close as the other party or us saying yes, and we never got to that point. You have a lot of things and ideas, things that get exchanged, but it takes a little bit to get one of these things done. Unless both parties are satisfied it just doesn't work out."

Minnesota's big move came Saturday night when Francisco Liriano was traded to the Chicago White Sox for shortstop Eduardo Escobar and left-handed starter Pedro Hernandez.

Regarding the Span speculation specifically, Ryan saidthe Twins were "Not very close, frankly" to trading him.

"I don't know about that, the subject of him being the most-talked about. I don't really think that was accurate. For some reason his name was out there out front in this organization but I can tell you that there were other people that probably were moreso than that. ...

"There's a lot of players on this ballclub that people would like to have on their team. I don't think there's any question about that. I don't think there's any shock that people putting up the numbers on this ballclub would be desirable for other organizations. If you're going to do something with that you'd like to think that you're getting equity back. We didn't see it."

The equity Ryan talks about is starting pitching, which is a commodity the Twins lack up and down the organization. The Twins starting staff owns an American League-worst 5.58 ERA heading into Tuesday's games.

"Everything that we do here right now probably includes some sort of pitching," Ryan said. "In particular, starting pitching. I think we've shown some resiliency in that bullpen out there.

"It is difficult to come out with starting pitching, especially the younger controllable-type guys that organizations covet, where they have control. That's exactly the types of people we were looking to bring back in any sort of deal, and we just couldn't get what we were looking for today."

Phil Mackey is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd