Joe Nathan shuns trade possibility, opts to stick with Twins

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Joe Nathan, who has full no-trade protection as a 10-year veteran who has spent the last five years with one team, has told the Twins he’d prefer to stay with the team rather than accept a deal to a contender, the Star-Tribune’s Joe Christensen reports.

No trade involving Nathan had been agreed to.  The Twins went and asked their closer whether he’d be interested in a deal and decided not to shop him when he said he wanted to stay.

“It seemed for the smart decision for us to say we’re not going to waive [the 10-and-5 rights],” Nathan said. “It’s nice to be here and have a chance to possibly be with this club again next year. We’ll see what that brings.”

Nathan has a 3.22 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP in 22 1/3 innings since coming off the DL at the end of June, so he could have been attractive to a few contenders as a possible eighth-inning guy down the stretch.  Still, his stuff isn’t what it was and it’s unlikely that he would have fetched a particularly high price in trade.

Plus, Nathan may well be right that his best bet heading into free agency was to stay with the Twins.  Minnesota’s warm, fuzzy feelings for him could well help him out in what’s going to be a market saturated with closers.

Video: Gift Ngoepe singles in his first major league at-bat

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Pirates infielder Gift Ngoepe, just called up from Triple-A Indianapolis, singled in his first major league at-bat on Wednesday evening against Cubs starter Jon Lester. It was a well-struck ground ball up the middle in the bottom of the fourth inning. Unfortunately for him, the Pirates could not bring him around to score.

Ngoepe, who was pinch-hitting, stayed in the game to play second base.

Shelby Miller getting third opinion on elbow from Dr. James Andrews

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Diamondbacks starter Shelby Miller was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Monday due to inflammation in his right elbow. He had a second opinion from Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Tuesday and is currently awaiting a third opinion from Dr. James Andrews, Craig Grialou of Arizona Sports reports. That he’s getting a third opinion seems to imply that Miller’s elbow issue is rather serious.

Miller, 26, hasn’t been able to catch a break since joining the Diamondbacks. Last year’s nightmarish season included a finger injury stemming from mechanical woes and a brief demotion to the minor leagues. In 20 starts in the majors last year, Miller posted an ugly 6.15 ERA. This year, his ERA is a mediocre 4.09 over four starts.

The Diamondbacks called up Zack Godley to take Miller’s spot in the rotation. There was some speculation that it would be Archie Bradley instead, but he’s been working out of the bullpen.