Justin Morneau was once considered one of the best young talents in all of Major League Baseball. He won an MVP in his age 25 season when he hit .321/.375/.559 with 34 home runs, 130 RBI, 37 doubles and 97 runs. However, now, his future is cloudy as he recently reached out to the Minnesota Twins through his agent to discuss a potential contract extension. What he was told is hardly encouraging, being told that the Twins would prefer to see what happens after the trade deadline.
Morneau is an icon in Minnesota. The four-time All-Star has a home in the area and wants to finish his career as a Twin. That might not happen as the Twins could possibly look to shop the 32-year-old first baseman.
From 2006-2009 he averaged 29.5 home runs and 117.5 RBI per year. However, concussions helped derail his once promising career. From 2010-12 Morneau has averaged just 13.6 home runs and just 94.6 games. Last year, he appeared in 134 games and this year he has already appeared in 86 games while hitting seven home runs and hitting .273/.331/.406 and driving in 52 runs.
There is no doubt that the Twins are out of the playoff picture this season. They have gone 3-11 in the month of July and are 39-53 on the season at the All-Star break. Trading Morneau, who is a free agent at the end of the season, would make a big difference. Even if the Twins get back only a small return in terms of prospects it is at least something. There is also the highly likely chance that Morneau could return via free agency this off-season.
Morneau won’t fetch much more than, at most, a B prospect. However, the Twins would be wise to move him. If they want to have him as a part of their future they can simply reach out to his agents at the end of the year and sign him to a contract to allow him to retire a Twin. If the Twins choose to go in another direction then they would at least have gotten a prospect in return.
The New York Yankees are one team that could use Morneau’s bat and might be willing to part with a little more than a B prospect. Morneau’s left-handed swing is tailor-made for Yankees Stadium and he wouldn’t hinder the Yankees’ plans for the future as they try and get under the $189 million luxury tax threshold. Perhaps the Twins could get the Yankees to part with a prospect like Brett Marshall or Dellin Betances for two months of Morneau as the Yankees try to make the playoffs.
The Twins have to decide what to do with Morneau soon. Leaving him hanging isn’t fair to the Twins icon. Trading him might be best for the future of the franchise and if both parties wish to reunite it is as simple as making a phone call in the off-season.