After an active day in which they added outfielder Marlon Byrd and catcher John Buck, the Pittsburgh Pirates have now turned their attention to acquiring Minnesota Twins’ first baseman Justin Morneau according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. While Heyman speculates how willing the Twins are to move Morneau, he stated that the Pirates have been active in trying to acquire Morneau before the September 1st deadline for players to be added to a roster and be eligible for postseason play.
The Pirates were said to have interest in Morneau prior to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, but poor play and a large amount of money remaining on his 14 million dollar contract scared the Pirates away; fast forward to now and you have a completely different scenario. Morneau has been having a tremendous month hitting .270 with seven HR and 19 RBI and is only owed roughly 2.6 million dollars through the rest of the year. Injuries to Starling Marte and Garrett Jones have also escalated the Pirates pursuit of Morneau before the postseason rosters must be set.
Heyman noted that there are indications that the Twins would include some cash in a potential trade with the Pirates with the hopes of improving the type of prospect or player they would receive in return, but it is unclear who the Pirates would be willing to deal to essentially rent Morneau for one month and a hopeful playoff run. To give some perspective, the Pirates did include Dilson Herrera in the trade earlier today and Herrera has been considered the team’s No. 11 prospect by MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo and Mayo also ranked him as the ninth-best second base prospect in all of baseball; so based on that notion, it’d be hard to imagine the Twins acquiring anything better than a number 11 or 12 overall prospect for a one-month rental.
I have remained consistent in my belief that I don’t think the Twins will deal Morneau due to the fact that they do not have any legitimate replacements waiting in the wings at first base; however, if the price is right and the team can add a future piece for a team willing to throw away an intriguing prospect while chasing postseason dreams, I wouldn’t blame, or be surprised, if the Twins pull the trigger on a deal.
Fan’s will have their answer soon enough as Morneau must be traded by Saturday to be included on a postseason roster; but if today was any indication, it is going to be an active and rumor filled next four days.