NEW YORK -- Numerous reports have labeled the Twins as the front-runners for perhaps the hottest trade chip on the market this season, left-hander Cliff Lee.
Last August, the Twins acquired Carl Pavano in a waiver trade from the Indians to help bolster their starting staff down the stretch. And with a couple of the Twins' starting pitchers going through a recent rough patch, manager Ron Gardenhire was asked Saturday if he feels his rotation is as strong as it needs to be or if perhaps the club could seek some help on the trade market.
"Everybody wants additions," Gardenhire said. "Everybody wants the best pitchers in baseball. That doesn't change for any team. If there are upgrades that can make your pitching staff better, I think every manager in baseball will tell you, 'Sure.'"
With the July 31 Trade Deadline just a little more than a month away, Gardenhire said that he and general manager Bill Smith have not sat down yet to talk specifically about the team's needs.
"Normally we get [to that] toward the All-Star break," Gardenhire said. "But just like everybody else, we know who is out there. There are people out there and in casual conversations, we talk."
Right-hander Roy Oswalt is considered the other top starter available on the market and the Twins have also reportedly inquired on him. While Lee is set to become a free agent after this season, Oswalt is signed through the 2011 season with an option for '12.
The Twins' move into Target Field this season has helped to increase the club's revenue streams. But when asked if the new park might change the Twins trade philosophy, Gardenhire isn't quite so sure that the organization is going to alter its approach.
"This organization's pretty set in its ways about not ever giving up your system for a rental, as they say," Gardenhire said. "We haven't done that in the past, and I wouldn't think they would be leaning that way now. But things happen, and because of the new ballpark, we're finding a situation where we're selling out every ballgame and there is probably a little more [money] than there has been in the past. But it still goes with the philosophy of the organization, and that's develop and bring these guys to the big leagues -- and that's never going to change here, I don't believe."