First off, Twins' fans drastically overrate Kyle Lohse (from what I've seen as optomism in other Twins forums). His ERA is above league average for his career, and he'll be overpaid next year (although, overpaid and under market value are two different things, thanks primarily to the Blue Jays).
I don't know if the Phillies let it leak that they were going to non-tender Padilla if they couldn't trade him (if they did, shame on them), but Padilla is probably the most comperable player to Lohse that has changed teams this winter either via free agency or via trade, and all the Phillies got back was a PTBNL.
- A deal with Toronto is most likely out. We passed on paying Koskie what the Jays did last season, why would we take him now that he is a year older and missed much of last season with injury (and didn't outproduce Cuddyer at the plate anyways)? If the Jays were willing to eat a significant portion of his contract, perhaps they could send Koskie back. But the Twins could really use a right handed bat, with Mauer, hopefully Morneau, and possibly Kubel being our best hitters next season. Other than that, Hinske and Hillenbrand aren't clearly superior to Cuddyer. A trade for either of those two, where we would have to give up talent we currently have, would be spinning the wheels.
-I hope the Twins don't part with Baker. He is extremely polished for a pitcher his age. Of course, every other GM in baseball knows that too, which is why they all ask for the $400,000 Baker when we try and sell them on the $4,000,000 Lohse. Liriano I don't think we'll move. Baker is already a quality 4th starter on any team, but only projects to be a 3rd starter in his peak (low risk, low reward). Liriano is a lefty that can hit 96 on the gun and just posted a sub-two ERA in Triple-A as a 21 year old, and is probably the best pitching prospect not named Felix Hernandez. Not bad for a throw in to the A.J. for Nathan trade. Sadly, I think if the Twins do want to add offense via a trade, they will have to move Baker and keep Lohse as the 4th starter. As strong as Chicago and Cleveland will be, I honestly don't think quickly rebuilding for 2007 is a horrible idea. I'd rather hold onto Baker, who will be solid and cheap for the next four seasons, than give him up to try and make a run at the post season this year.