The Minnesota Twins are said to ready to trade first baseman Justin Morneau, and Jim Bowden of ESPN says the New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays and Pittsburgh Pirates are all possible destinations for him.
The Pirates could probably use Morneau at first base, even though they already have a platoon of Gaby Sanchez and Garrett Jones. I don’t know if they would look to trade Jones if they acquire Morneau, but that’s not important for now. I would assume that if they do acquire Morneau, he would take over for Jones in the platoon, meaning he would mainly hit against right-handed pitching.
Morneau has a .283/.348/.429 slash line against righties, compared to Jones’s .265/.314/.442 line. It would obviously be a nice upgrade for the Bucs, but I don’t see it as being enough of an upgrade to be a main focus for Pirates GM Neal Huntington.
If a deal happens to basically fall in his lap, I think he would be foolish to not pull the trigger, but I still think adding more pitching depth and a right fielder should be the main priority for the Pirates at the trade deadline. First base, shortstop and second base should all be close behind in terms of priority.
The Pirates have been terrible with runners in scoring position in 2013, and Morneau would be able to help that. With runners in scoring position, Morneau has a .311/.380/.411 slash line with a .791 OPS. While he only has seven home runs, he has 52 RBIs, so he is obviously taking advantages of his RBI opportunities.