Nathan on Twins latest moves
Closer Joe Nathan was one of the Twins who was outspoken last month, expressing his desire for the club’s front office to make a move prior to the July 31 Trade Deadline.
Nathan and the rest of the team saw that happen when the Twins completed a trade with the A’s for shortstop Orlando Cabrera.
But that wasn’t it for the Twins. Instead there has been a flurry of moves recently by Twins GM Bill Smith, at a time when the team is pushing to get back in the AL Central race.
In addition to acquiring pitcher Carl Pavano earlier this month, the Twins bolstered their bullpen on Friday by adding two veteran relievers — right-hander Jon Rauch and left-hander Ron Mahay.
The club officially announced that it had acquired Rauch from the D-backs in exchange for a player to be named later. A Major League source confirmed that the Twins will announce on Saturday that they had signed Mahay, who was released by the Royals earlier this week.
For Nathan, it’s a sign that the front office is doing the same thing as the players — trying to do all it can to help the Twins’ postseason chances.
“I think the one thing that we always talked about was that we want everybody to fight and be on the same page and want this team to do well like we all do,” Nathan said after the Twins’ 3-2 win over Texas that moved them solely into second place, 4 1/2 games back of Detroit. “We come here every day and battle our butt off and work as hard as we can to get to that postseason. Obviously when you make it there, anything can happen.
“Seeing Bill make these moves and bring in some guys that he thinks can help us out is nice to see. We’ve got a couple guys coming here that have put up some good numbers. Hopefully they’ll come in and become a good fit in our clubhouse…We hope these two guys come here and are excited about the opportunity to play on a team that’s going to be playing for something in September.”
It really does seem as if the prospect of hanging–a full-scale rebellion by the team’s leadership and the possible loss of Mauer–has focused Bill Smith’s attention. On a related note, invariably the season after a very good player has problem we are told he’d had an injury. Clearly, Joe has not pitched up to his elevated standards really for months. What’s cooking?