The Twins are five games behind the Indians for first place in the AL Central. They could trim that to as few as two games by sweeping Cleveland today through Thursday. But even if they don't sweep, or even if they fall further behind in the division, they're still only a half-game behind the Angels for the second Wild Card.
It's the playoff push that has trade talks between the Twins and Mariners on hold, according to a report from the Seattle Times.
Here's where it gets really interesting. The player the teams were in discussions about, per the Times, was Twins All-Star starting pitcher, Ervin Santana.
"The dream of Ervin Santana, whom the Mariners have tried to acquire multiple times from the Twins, was put on hold with Minnesota making another wild-card push and moving ahead of Seattle in the standings."
As ESPN notes, the Twins can only trade Santana if they placed him on revocable waivers, which is unclear.
Even more interesting is that Seattle is going hard for the playoffs even though their only realistic shot is as a Wild Card team. They're currently two games behind the Twins in the Wild Card standings.