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Twins 'might not do much' at the trade deadline, Molitor says

Minnesota Twins manager Paul Molitor. Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

ST. PAUL — Even if the Twins continue their current pace and remain just a few games out of the Central Division lead come the July 31 trade deadline, they "still might not do much," manager Paul Molitor said.

On the eve of the all-star break, Molitor said the Twins are still in the early stages of deciding whether they'll be buyers or sellers come the deadline.

On the one hand, he said, he has a desire to reward the current players who have largely exceeded expectations in amassing a 45-43 record entering the break.

"But I fully see a bigger spectrum too," Molitor said.

Fifteen games remain for the Twins who trail the Cleveland Indians in the division with the Kansas City Royals keeping pace with the Twins behind the division leaders.

This will be the first trade deadline for the Twins' new front office led by Derek Falvey and Thad Levine.

Molitor said those two have kept him in the loop with what they're thinking leading into the deadline.

"I've been kept abreast about some of the things that they are monitoring either in receiving calls about our players, or clubs that are calling to tell us about potential players they'd be willing to move and see if we have any interest," Molitor said. "We're still early. I don't know what we need to do to influence moves we might make in the next two or three weeks. Depends on how fast our division moves along and whether we can maintain pace. Those types of things will all be factors."

Granite's debut

Center fielder Zack Granite's first MLB start was highlighted by a leaping, at-the-wall catch in the fourth inning that robbed Baltimore third baseman Manny Machado of an extra base hit.

Granite, who was called up earlier this week and made his debut Saturday, went 1-for-3 at the plate Sunday with a walk and a run.

"I think he looked really comfortable," Molitor said. "His at-bats were good. He made a really nice play to go back that far and time it and everything else on his first day in center field in our ballpark. It was good to see him get a chance to play."

The 24-year-old was hitting .360 at Triple-A Rochester before his call-up. He had around a dozen friends and family members at Sunday's game.

"That was really cool," he said after his first start.

Sano's derby day

As third baseman Sano prepared to head to Miami for the Monday, July 10, home run derby, Molitor said he hopes Sano enjoys the event without being weighed down by the pressure that it can accompany.

"More than anything I hope he enjoys the experience and somehow some way finds a way not to feel the pressure in it but more the pleasure in it," Molitor said. "It's unpredictable in a given day how your launch mode is going to go. We see some days where I watch him take batting practice and he won't hit any over the fence because he's working on staying inside the ball or just getting himself game ready. But then he'll have days where he's feeling good and he'll fly out nine of 10 swings. ... If he gets hot, who knows how far it'll take him."

Briefly

Catcher Jason Castro was a late scratch from Sunday's game due to neck spasms. ... Veteran reliever Craig Breslow, on the disabled list due to a rib injury, will take the all-star break off, then begin a rehab stint at Triple-A Rochester on Thursday, Molitor said.

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