Faced with a plethora of third and first baseman, someone’s got to be traded out of Toronto and the Blue Jays would prefer that player be Corey Koskie. Easier wished than done, writes the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Joe Christensen.

Even though the Toronto Blue Jays have offered Corey Koskie (above) back to the Twins at a discount price, the trade talks Wednesday were officially pronounced dead.

“I don’t see a deal happening with Minnesota,” Blue Jays General Manager J.P. Ricciardi said in a phone interview.

The Blue Jays were willing to pay at least $3 million of the $11.5 million Koskie is owed for the next two seasons, and Toronto wasn’t asking for premium prospects in return.

But the Twins have already reached their projected 2006 budget limit, and they weren’t eager to bring back Koskie if it meant having to trade Kyle Lohse to clear payroll.

Last year, the Twins’ payroll was about $56 million. This year, based on the players who have come and gone, their projected payroll is about $62 million.

Even though the Twins have cleared Joe Mays, Jacque Jones and J.C. Romero from the books, others such as Johan Santana and Torii Hunter have big raises coming. The team has also added Luis Castillo, Tony Batista and Rondell White.

ESPN is reporting the Phillies have signed starter Ryan Franklin to a one year, $2.6 million contract.

The Boston Globe’s Gordon Edes comments on the Red Sox’ continued attempts to trade The Sultan Of Sloth.

The market for David Wells appeared to have shrunk yesterday when the Padres signed lefthander Shawn Estes and the Dodgers traded reliever Duaner Sanchez to the Mets for righthander Jae Seo, but the Sox believe both clubs retain interest in the 15-game winner. The Sox have talked to the Dodgers and A’s about a three-way deal for Wells, one in which the Athletics would get prospects, the Dodgers would get Wells, and the Sox would get a corner outfielder from the Dodgers plus a player from Oakland.