The Twins' interest in Seattle third baseman Adrian Beltre has graduated from internal to external, according to La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Neal is not sure how far the two teams got in their trade discussion.
Beltre, 29, is hitting .259/.330/.440 in 388 plate appearances this year. He's earning $12MM this year and the same in '09. His limited no-trade clause allows him to block deals to eight clubs. Complications: he's playing through a painful wrist injury, but also being called out by anonymous team coaches for not taking extra batting practice.
On the Twins' side, free agent signee Mike Lamb has proven to be a bust, but call-up Brian Buscher is hitting a surprising .316/.341/.418 in 85 plate appearances. Baseball Prospectus projected him at .245/.309/.358 coming into the season.
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