Players feel trade could boost playoff hopes

Dozier, Torii waiting to see if Twins make Deadline deal

Players feel trade could boost playoff hopes

MINNEAPOLIS -- With the clock ticking toward Friday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, the Twins have watched the first-place Royals add an ace in Johnny Cueto and a much-needed second baseman/outfielder in Ben Zobrist, but have yet to make a move of their own.

After Tuesday's 8-7 loss to Pittsburgh, Minnesota enters Wednesday eight games back of Kansas City in the American League Central, but with a two-game lead over Baltimore in the AL Wild Card race. The Blue Jays also made a big move, making a surprise trade for Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.

Twins players have taken notice, and feel like a trade could help propel them down the stretch as they try to make the playoffs for the first time since 2010.

"Obviously, we talk about it and we're always wondering what [general manager] Terry [Ryan] and those guys are thinking as far as what would help our ballclub," All-Star second baseman Brian Dozier said. "I feel like we have a good team to begin with, but if we have an opportunity to make our team better, we should take the chance. We're winning and in contention for the first time in years, and right where we need to be, but there's always room for improvement. But I put a lot of trust in Terry."

The Twins are weighing how much sense it makes to sacrifice the future for immediate help, as they weren't expected to compete this year and are much more likely to make it as one of two Wild Cards instead of winning the division. But as Dozier noted, prospects aren't sure things, so he's fine with the Twins making a big splash if that's what Ryan feels will make the club better.

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"My thing on giving away prospects is that you never know how good somebody is until they get to the big leagues," Dozier said. "Sometimes it gets blown out of proportion today, rating guys too high or too low without a day in the big leagues. When you have a chance to win, and we're winning right now, I'm a risk taker, so I say go for it. Whether you have to give up anybody, I think we've put ourselves in a good position, and if Terry thinks there's somebody who can better our ballclub, I say take it."

The Twins, though, seem more likely to add relief help than to make a blockbuster move for a shortstop or catcher. Either way, Twins players have trust in Ryan, but would like to get help down the stretch.

"For us to be in the Wild Card and in second place here in the Central division, hopefully something's going to happen," right fielder Torii Hunter said. "You just don't know. We've been holding it down for these last three months, so if nothing happens, I think we can kind of hold it down from here, but it's always good to get a nice push. But if not, if it's not worth it, don't do it. if it's worth it, do it."

Ryan said he remains hopeful he'll be able to pull off a trade before the Deadline, but added that the moves other clubs have made have no bearing on what the Twins will do.

"All of us are trying to do something to help their ballclub and we're no different, so what other clubs do isn't really going to affect us," Ryan said. "There are teams that do a lot and look like they've done a wonderful job and you certainly notice, but you still have to do what's right for your own club. You're not going to be reactionary."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.