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Hot Stove or Who Are We Trading Now

The Twins are making push for Luis Castillo.  The Twins are not alone in the hopes of hearing "Louie, Louie" over the loudspeaker  when Castillo comes to the plate.  Four other teams are also interested but the Twins are thought to have the inside track due to their rich farm system.

Indications are the Marlins want to dump Castillo's $5 million salary for next season and are looking at minor leaguers or inexpensive major leaguers. Pitchers such as Boof Bonser, Travis Bowyer or J.D. Durbin could be part of the deal. The Twins are unwilling to trade top pitching prospects Scott Baker and Francisco Liriano.

From John Sickles over at his Minor League Ball site:

J.D. Durbin, RHP
    Went 5-5, 4.33 in 19 starts for Triple-A Rochester, 90/51 K/BB in 104 innings. Had some problems with his control, and was bothered by shoulder soreness. Status has slipped in prospect-rich system.

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Boof Bonser, RHP
      Went 11-9, 3.99 in 28 starts for Rochester, with 168/57 K/BB in 160 innings. Adjusted well to Triple-A. Doesn't throw as hard as he used to, now projecting as more of a number four or five starter, but still has a reasonable chance to have a good career.

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Travis Bowyer, RHP
      Relief sleeper, saved 23 with 2.78 ERA and 96/40 K/BB in 74 innings at Rochester. Very strong K/IP reflects plus stuff. Still needs to refine his control a bit, but another good option as a middle reliever and possible future closer.

If this deal comes to fruition we will have more to say about the youngsters.

As you know, Louie isn't the only one the front office is talking about.

Marlins: MLB.com has learned that veteran middle infielder Damion Easley, a standout reserve for the Marlins the past two seasons, is drawing interest from the Red Sox as a possible starting second baseman. At least six teams have shown interest in Easley, who has yet to hear from the Marlins about returning.

I hope this works out for Easley.  I think he deserves a chance to be an everyday player and there is the added bonus for him - he will already have at least two friends in the clubhouse, Beckett and Lowell.

Still there is more and this one is quite interesting.

The Mariners have inquired about the availability of Marlins outfielder Juan Pierre and left-handed pitcher Ron Villone, a former Mariner. Pierre's arrival would displace Jeremy Reed in center field and create a curious scenario at the top of the order. Pierre is regarded as a true leadoff man, and Ichiro Suzuki has a stated preference to bat first.

The odd part of this is not what would the Mariners do with the top of the lineup, that is no concern of mine.  The odd part is:  Did They Not See Villone Pitch for the Marlins?  I know he was a member of their team earlier last season but he stunk it up coming out the pen for the Fish.  No lead was safe with him on the mound. I can't even begin to count the number of come-from-ahead losses he helped produce.  If the Marlins can get an autographed copy of a 2005 Mariners program by a hot dog vendor in exchange for Villone, I will be happy.