DETROIT -- Since being sellers prior to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, sending closer Brandon Kintzler to the Nationals and lefty Jaime Garcia to the Yankees, the Twins have been playing well enough to find themselves back in postseason contention.Even after their tough 12-11 loss on Saturday, the Twins
DETROIT -- Since being sellers prior to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, sending closer Brandon Kintzler to the Nationals and lefty Jaime Garcia to the Yankees, the Twins have been playing well enough to find themselves back in postseason contention.
Even after their tough 12-11 loss on Saturday, the Twins entered Sunday only a half-game back of the second American League Wild Card, and are 4 1/2 games behind the Indians in the AL Central. As a result, general manager Thad Levine said the club has been active on the waiver wire trying to improve the club. The Twins can trade for players who clear waivers or are claimed by Minnesota. The waiver order goes in reverse order of the standings.
"We've already pivoted once in this process, and I think we demonstrated a willingness to respond to the way the team's performing," Levine said. "The team's obviously performing extremely well right now, and you've got to give [manager] Paul [Molitor] and his staff a ton of credit for motivating his staff the way he has, and then the players to be responding to the challenge of this juncture. It's really great to see."
Levine added that the fact that the Twins haven't made a move yet isn't due to a lack of trying, as the front office has the support of ownership to add help via the waiver wire.
"On a daily basis, we are active on the trade-waiver wire process," Levine said. "We've placed a lot of claims on players we think can help our team now and in the future. Needless to say, we haven't made a trade yet, which is evidence to the fact that we may not be the only team that thinks those players would be attractive, and that some of the teams that are feeling the same way have worse winning percentages and hence higher claiming priority."
Of course, if the Twins are to falter over the next two weeks, they could pivot once again and sell like they did before the Deadline. The Twins would be most likely to trade veterans on expiring deals such as reliever Matt Belisle or even right-hander Bartolo Colon.
Molitor said he's been in contact with the front office about potential waiver trades, and he noted that what they do can depend on how they play leading up to Aug. 31.
"It's going to be a process over the next 18, 19 days," Molitor said. "I'm sure there will be some changing of personnel, so we'll see if we'll be involved one way or the other."
• The Twins will skip rookie lefty Dietrich Enns on Wednesday, as he'll be available in the bullpen and will start Saturday against the D-backs instead. After Monday's off-day, the Twins will turn to Colon against the Indians on Tuesday, Kyle Gibson on Wednesday and Jose Berrios on Thursday.
Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter **@RhettBollinger** and **Facebook**.