TORONTO -- After opening the second half by getting swept by the last-place Royals, the Twins are expected to be sellers heading into the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, barring a dramatic turnaround over the next week.Twins manager Paul Molitor said he remains in contact with chief baseball officer Derek
TORONTO -- After opening the second half by getting swept by the last-place Royals, the Twins are expected to be sellers heading into the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, barring a dramatic turnaround over the next week.
Twins manager Paul Molitor said he remains in contact with chief baseball officer Derek Falvey and general manager Thad Levine on a daily basis about potential moves, but he's not currently worried about imminently losing any players via trade. The Twins, though, do have several impending free agents who could get draw interest, such as second baseman James Dozier, infielder Eduardo Escobar, right-hander Lance Lynn, lefty reliever Zach Duke and closer Fernando Rodney.
"I get updates," Molitor said. "We talk every day. It's like Derek said about a week ago, whatever his number was, 80 percent of the deals come down to the last three or four days. So, I'm going to relax for a couple days. But yeah, just watch MLB [Network]. You hear the rumors every day about players from every team. We're no different."
Dozier and Escobar could both be attractive pieces for contenders looking for infield upgrades with power. The Brewers reportedly have interest in both players, while the Dodgers have long been linked to Dozier. The Red Sox and Phillies are also among the teams looking for infield help.
Lynn has a 5.23 ERA and leads the AL with 61 walks, but he has a more respectable 4.21 ERA since May 1 and has a history of success in the National League. Rodney is having a strong year and would make for a solid setup reliever for a contending team, while Duke is a veteran lefty with a 3.75 ERA who has yet to allow a homer this season.
Molitor, though, said he doesn't believe that any of those players' individual performance over the next week will have any bearing on their market value.
"I don't think the next three, four or five days will change wherever they're at with listening to whoever they're listening to about whatever player that might be in that category," Molitor said. "If that makes sense."
• Right-hander Addison Reed (right triceps tightness) will throw a live bullpen session of roughly 20-25 pitches on Tuesday. The Twins are hopeful he'll be activated from the 10-day disabled list on this road trip, which ends Sunday in Boston.
• Right-hander Michael Pineda, who is coming off last July's Tommy John surgery, is scheduled to make his first rehab outing on Aug. 6 with the Gulf Coast League Twins. Pineda, who has been throwing at the club's Spring Training complex in Fort Myers, Fla., is slated to go three innings. He remains on track to be activated from the 60-day DL in September.
"He's doing really well as far as his recovery," Molitor said. "I haven't had a chance to talk to him a ton, but I [got] to watch him pitch at home in a simulated. He's a big man, and the ball comes out of his hand. It looks really good, considering where he's at and what could be down the road. It's been steady progress for him."
Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.