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07/31/08 9:44 PM ET

Twins focused on catching White Sox

Minnesota not letting Chicago's acquisition of Griffey affect it

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins first baseman Justin Morneau heard the news of the White Sox trading for Ken Griffey Jr. early in the day on Thursday. So when Morneau saw White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen later that afternoon, he had a message for the skipper.

"I told Ozzie when he was walking in that they got Griffey, so we signed Barry Bonds," Morneau said with a laugh. "I'm starting a rumor."

Morneau jokingly made an addition to his club in response to the trade. The Twins, however, didn't feel the need to compete with Chicago's headline-making news on Thursday.

While the White Sox added a future Hall of Fame outfielder to their lineup in Griffey, the Twins stood pat when Thursday's non-waiver Trade Deadline passed at 3 p.m. CT.

News of the Griffey trade seemingly came out of the blue. But it didn't surprise the Twins that Chicago, which entered Thursday's series finale 1 1/2 games ahead of Minnesota in the American League Central standings, would make such a move.

"They are aggressive," Twins general manager Bill Smith said of the White Sox. "You tip your cap to them. We'll see what that does to their club. We still have 55 games to go."

Exactly how Griffey would fit into Chicago's lineup was the big question when news of the trade broke on Thursday morning. White Sox general manager Ken Williams said that Griffey would fill the club's hole in center field. It's a position that Griffey, 38, hasn't played since 2006.

But while there might be questions as to what Griffey adds to a team that's stocked with corner outfielders and left-handed bats at designated hitter, the Twins agreed it's a move that immediately made them take notice.

"He's a great player, goodness gracious," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I don't know what they are going to do with him, how he's going to fit, but they have a plan. ... We just need to get them out no matter who is in the lineup."

"It gives them another bat, it adds a big name," Morneau added. "I'm sure it will be a little bit of a boost for them. You can't really worry too much about what the White Sox are doing. We just have to worry about what we're doing to catch them."

Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.