Report: Twins showing strong interest in Bumgarner; closer Smith on radar
Jim McIsaac / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Minnesota Twins own the best record in the American League and sit atop the Central division with an 8 1/2-game lead over the Cleveland Indians. Heading into the trade deadline, they might look to pad that lead with the acquisition of a top-tier pitcher.

Minnesota is showing strong interest in longtime San Francisco Giants ace Madison Bumgarner, according to USA TODAY's Bob Nightengale.

However, the two teams haven't engaged in high-level talks about Bumgarner in recent weeks, a source told ESPN's Jeff Passan, who added that the Twins are also interested in Giants closer Will Smith.

The Twins are not on Bumgarner's no-trade list, which means they can acquire him without his approval, Nightengale noted. The veteran left-hander's no-trade list includes the Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, and St. Louis Cardinals, according to a report from May.

Bumgarner, who's set to become a free agent at season's end, has been one of the most talked-about trade targets with the deadline approaching. He's been linked to the Yankees recently, and was also tied to the Phillies and Brewers last offseason.

Acquiring the 29-year-old Bumgarner would give the Twins an experienced leader with an impressive playoff resume atop their rotation, which has performed well to date.

Twins' rotation - 2019 Stats

Jose Berrios 16 104.2 2.84 1.07 97
Michael Pineda 15 80.2 5.02 1.22 67
Kyle Gibson 14 79.2 4.18 1.26 80
Jake Odorizzi 15 80.1 2.58 1.07 87
Martin Perez 13 82 4.28 1.43 76

Bumgarner owns a 3-7 record with a career-high 4.28 ERA in 96 2/3 innings for the Giants this season.

Meanwhile, Smith could be a good fit for Minnesota's bullpen, which has seen six different pitchers earn a save this season.

The 29-year-old left-hander is a perfect 21-for-21 in save opportunities this year while owning a 1.95 ERA and a 13.64 K/9 rate.

Smith is also set for free agency at the end of 2019.

Report: Twins showing strong interest in Bumgarner; closer Smith on radar
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