The Twins center fielder read Twitter and saw his name mentioned in trade rumors, and received texts from family and friends about it.
But 3 p.m. rolled around Tuesday, and Span wasn’t dealt. He remained a Minnesota Twin. So, too, did the rest of his teammates, as Minnesota stood pat on the final day before baseball’s non-waiver trade deadline.
The Twins dealt left-hander Francisco Liriano to the rival Chicago White Sox on Saturday but did not make any more moves again after that. Span, for one, was happy about that fact.
“Obviously I think if they could have traded me or wanted to trade me I would be gone,” Span said before Tuesday’s game against the White Sox and, ironically enough, Liriano. “I believe the Twins know what I am capable of doing, what type of player I am, what character of person I am. I realize that. I know that they think I’m a valuable piece of this team and if they are going to trade me or let me go it’s not going to be for something small. So yeah, that’s definitely a good feeling. …
“This is where I want to be. This is where I’ve been for 10 years. This is God’s will. This is where I’m supposed to be right now.”
Twins general manager Terry Ryan said before Tuesday’s game that the team was “not very close” to trading Span, and that the Twins never came all that close to dealing any other players, for that matter.
“There were a lot of discussions, exchanges,” Ryan said. “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 is 44-58 entering Tuesday’s game, making the Twins sellers at the trade deadline for the second straight year. But Ryan said the team was not going to make a trade simply for the sake of making a trade, and added that most of the players on Minnesota’s roster are under contract for longer than just this season.
That wasn’t the case with Liriano, though, who will be a free agent after this year. For that reason, it made more sense to try to get something in return for the enigmatic left-hander. Minnesota received infielder Eduardo Escobar and left-hander Pedro Hernandez from the White Sox in exchange for Liriano.
Other than Liriano, though, Ryan said no other offers jumped out. The Twins would have likely needed to receive starting pitching in exchange for any players, as the organization lacks starting pitching.
“I would say that’s a desirable piece to this organization. Everything that we do here right now probably includes some sort of pitching. In particular, starting pitching,” Ryan said. “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.”
Tuesday’s deadline doesn’t mean teams can no longer make trades the rest of the season. Major League Baseball’s waiver trade deadline is Aug. 31, meaning teams can trade players that first pass through waivers. Minnesota has done this in recent years — including acquiring Carl Pavano from Cleveland this way in 2009.
On the day of the non-waiver deadline, however, the Twins remained quiet on the trade front. Span is glad about that, as he was also the topic of trade rumors last season despite being sidelined with a concussion.
As each deadline has come and gone, though, Span has remained a Twin.
“It’s a relief, but … the adrenaline is still going. I’m still on edge now,” Span said. “It’s probably going to take until tomorrow for it to finally wear off. That’s how it was last year, just sitting and waiting and sitting and waiting.”