Minnesota Twins News & Rumors Forum
  • If Twins Will Trade Justin Morneau, There's A Way Toward Contention

    Morneau's departure could mean some big arrivals for the Twins.According to the Washington Post, the only legitimately good first baseman on the free agent market, Adam LaRoche, is in talks to re-sign with the Nationals. In the 2013 Offseason Handbook, I think the next best option we found was Carlos Lee, who slugged just .365 (and is 36 years old.) Whatís more, there arenít a lot of good options on the free agent market to move to first base. For instance, Kevin Youkilis is available at third base, but if he can play third base (and it looks like he can) heíll be signed as a third baseman.

    The last couple of years, the market has not been so thin. Last year, of course, was epically good, with Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder leading the charge. 2010 had Paul Konerko, but also Aubrey Huff, LaRoche, Carlos Pena and Lance Berkman. 2009 was thin, but 2008 had Mark Teixeira leading the class. Itís been years since we had a free agent first baseman sign for less than $6M, but that will almost certainly happen if LaRoche returns to the Nationals.

    This presents a unique opportunity to the Twins, if they choose to embrace it.

    In our 45-minute interview with Terry Ryan for the Offseason Handbook, he stated that 1B/OF Chris Parmelee will get every opportunity to play every day. While manager Ron Gardenhire says heís satisfied with Parmeleeís defense in right field, the rest of the organization has shown no such endorsement. Indeed, in AAA-Rochester this year, he didnít play a single game there.

    Moving incumbent Justin Morneau would not only make space for Parmelee, but free up $14 million to purchase starting pitching in a free agent market thick with it. Even if the Twins received nothing in return, thatís enough money to sign any starter except Zach Greinke. Ask yourself, would you trade Morneau for Jake Peavy, Dan Haren, or Anibal Sanchez? If you would, it makes sense to trade away Morneau for nothing more than a bag of bricks.

    Fortunately, for the Twins, that might not be necessary. There are not shortage of teams that struggled mightily at first base last year. SEVEN teams had an OPS lower less than 700 last year, and even the Rangers first basemen hit just .251/.301/.399. For a team struggling to fill major needs on a lower budget, the thin first base market is a godsend. If the Twins can find the will, there is almost certainly a way to bounce back quickly.
    This article was originally published in blog: If Twins Will Trade Justin Morneau, There's A Way Toward Contention started by John Bonnes
    Comments 53 Comments
    1. Montecore's Avatar
      Montecore -
      Morneau showed a lot the last few weeks and I think he's set for a very good year. Parmalee, on the other hand, has shown nothing, so keep Morneau and trade Parmalee. Against trading Span or Willingham as well. They wont get anything close in return , it would be legitimate foolishness to do so.
    1. ahart10's Avatar
      ahart10 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Physics Guy View Post
      If you want a SS from Texas, better to go after Andrus. They might listen regarding him. I was thinking the Twins should go after him. Then they would have a middle infielder actually capable of batting second (.350 OBP) with speed for the top of the order as Gardy likes it. I'm just not sure what the Twins could offer that would be acceptable to them.
      I agreee. Andrus is already a proven player. He and Span are both plus up the middle defenders and are comparable at the plate. Both teams have new guys coming up, Revere and Profar. We have had a whole at SS FOREVER and their CF is gonna leave through free agency.
    1. Riverbrian's Avatar
      Riverbrian -
      I really think Seattle is about to go into searching for offense mode. If not this year... Next year for sure. King Felix will be joined by that trio of starters Hultzen, Walker and Paxton and if they become what they can become... The Mariners will be a team to fear shortly down the road. It's a question of timing your offensive push to their devolopment.

      However, I seriously doubt that the Mariners will cough up any of those young pitchers or risk chasing it's tail like a dog. It seems it would make more sense for Seattle to wait for 2014 to try and sign Justin as a free agent. I could be wrong... I probably am.
    1. Physics Guy's Avatar
      Physics Guy -
      I agree that they might have interest in Span, but in no way is that enough to seal the deal. Just a guess here, but Span, Arcia and Hermsen might do it, but that probably isn't enough.
    1. Physics Guy's Avatar
      Physics Guy -
      I was also thinking Seattle might be a good trade target. Morneau plus an OF prospect might do it. With Morneau's contract I doubt he is enough. As John said at the beginning, anything we can get plus clearing his salary will help. Seattle definitely needs some offense.
    1. YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
      YourHouseIsMyHouse -
      Contrary to the Washington Post bias, LaRoche is not 'legitimately good'. They are none on the free agent market.
    1. glunn's Avatar
      glunn -
      This is an interesting discussion. I would hate to lose Morneau, but the Twins need pitching.
    1. gilesferrell's Avatar
      gilesferrell -
      Quote Originally Posted by YourHouseIsMyHouse View Post
      Contrary to the Washington Post bias, LaRoche is not 'legitimately good'. They are none on the free agent market.
      Are you kidding?! .271, 33 HR, and 100 RBI does not count as legitimately good?
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by Montecore View Post
      Morneau showed a lot the last few weeks and I think he's set for a very good year. Parmalee, on the other hand, has shown nothing, so keep Morneau and trade Parmalee. Against trading Span or Willingham as well. They wont get anything close in return , it would be legitimate foolishness to do so.
      Indeed
      that guy does not exist.

      And...
      the status quo lost 95+ games the last 2 seasons. Got to change something, don't you think?
    1. one_eyed_jack's Avatar
      one_eyed_jack -
      Here's my problem with the various "let's trade Span/Morneau/Mauer/Willingham pitching" problem: the offense is decent, and potentially good, but it won't be anymore if you trade away the guys at the top of the order.

      Dealing Morneau now is selling low. And selling low as been part of what has gotten the Twins here. They have rarely sold high. They have either sold low (e.g. Delmon and Hardy) or simply let guys walk away (Cuddyer, Kubel, Nathan, Hunter).
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by one_eyed_jack View Post
      Dealing Morneau now is selling low. .
      ok
      just some perspective here.
      in 2012

      Justin Morneau hit:
      .267/.333/.440, 19 HR, 77 RBI
      for the Twins making $14MM

      and Delmon Young hit:

      .267/.296/.411, 18 HR, 74 RBI
      for the Tigers

      not that much different.
      (speaking of selling low...)
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      Selling low on Morneau would have been trading him last year at this point. I tend to think his value will only increase as next season goes on, so generally I say keep him until the deadline. That said, if someone were to offer a higer upside minor league pitcher for him, you do it, especially if that means there's an extra 14M available to go out and get one of the better starters out there.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by thrylos98 View Post
      Justin Morneau hit:
      .267/.333/.440, 19 HR, 77 RBI
      for the Twins making $14MM

      and Delmon Young hit:

      .267/.296/.411, 18 HR, 74 RBI
      for the Tigers

      not that much different.
      (speaking of selling low...)
      Since when is an 89 OPS+ "not that much different" from a 113 OPS+?
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      Quote Originally Posted by thrylos98 View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by one_eyed_jack View Post
      Dealing Morneau now is selling low. .
      ok
      just some perspective here.
      in 2012

      Justin Morneau hit:
      .267/.333/.440, 19 HR, 77 RBI
      for the Twins making $14MM

      and Delmon Young hit:

      .267/.296/.411, 18 HR, 74 RBI
      for the Tigers

      not that much different.
      (speaking of selling low...)
      Only if you're looking in a vacuum. Let's see what happens if we look at ballpark adjustments and WAR. One was 113 OPS+ and .9 WAR and the other was 87 OPS+ and -1.2 WAR. One has a history of being a good player, one doesn't. One seems to be coming back from injury to become a good player again. The other is a bad player.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      John, I agree.
    1. one_eyed_jack's Avatar
      one_eyed_jack -
      Quote Originally Posted by thrylos98 View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by one_eyed_jack View Post
      Dealing Morneau now is selling low. .
      ok
      just some perspective here.
      in 2012

      Justin Morneau hit:
      .267/.333/.440, 19 HR, 77 RBI
      for the Twins making $14MM

      and Delmon Young hit:

      .267/.296/.411, 18 HR, 74 RBI
      for the Tigers

      not that much different.
      (speaking of selling low...)
      ---I don't see how this is even relevant to anything I said, much less adds perspective.
    1. Boys of Summer's Avatar
      Boys of Summer -
      So much pie in the sky thinking here. First, Texas is looking to deal Andrus for DAVID PRICE, not saying it will happen but just giving an idea of how far off some thinking is here. Morneau is overpaid for the production he brings at this stage of his career. Also, no one will trade elite, contollable prospects for him. The Pittsburgh idea has no conception of worth or the mentality of the other team. One of the only ones talking sense here is the original author who says give him up for essentially nothing (except to sign a 2nd sp). A good but non-elite AA is probably the best the Twins can obtain. I think (if) the Twins get a AA prospect and are able to sign a second sp @ $14 million it is a good baseball move to trade Morneau.
    1. kab21's Avatar
      kab21 -
      Quote Originally Posted by John Bonnes View Post

      You're obviously right about the one year thing - but Morneau's salary is gone after this year, too. Plus, there are added TV revenues. The Twins are gaining more flexibility, not less, in the next few seasons. Being able to afford one of those contracts in 2013 is by far the biggest barrier.
      There is zero barrier to signing any of the pitchers in FA. The Twins can spend close to 30M before they hit the 100M with Morneau on the roster. The only real barrier is that you're likely committing big dollars to a declining 30 something starter. I've shown in a recent thread that is not good investment but that doesn't change that the Twins can afford it w/o dumping Morneau.

      Fair enough. Based on your assumption of Morneau's projected 2013 performance, what should the Twins do after the season and Morneau's contract ends? Compete in the open market to retain his services? Make a qualifying offer and hope he declines and signs elsewhere to obtain a supplemental draft choice?--and what if he does accept said qualifying offer? Any team that has Morneau for the entire season can obtain compensation under the above mentioned conditions. A trade after the season starts--and no compensation if he signs elsewhere. In short, I'm asking is a supplemental draft choice and his services for next season worth more than trading him (personnel recieved and personnel that can be added due to his $14M salary)?
      1) The first thing I DON'T do is dump him this offseason. John tried to make it sound like he's a player in demand but that just isn't true. He's an avg hitting first baseman with injury issues making 14M. The only way the Twins get a halfway decent prospect (ranked in the Twins top 10-20) is if they pick up at least half of the contract. I'm sorry but that's just silly. At that point you might as well keep him and keep the fans happy.

      2) To answer all of your other questions. Try to trade him at the deadline if he keeps rebounding. If not then decide if he's worth a qualifying offer or a new (reduced) deal based on his 2013. Maybe you get nothing for him (other than a fan favorite and a solid player for a year) but dumping him AND paying a team to take him would be foolish.
    1. SenatorsGuy's Avatar
      SenatorsGuy -
      Lets trade all of our crappy guys and huge contract guys for all of the the elite, major-league ready prospects in baseball.
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      Quote Originally Posted by SenatorsGuy View Post
      Lets trade all of our crappy guys and huge contract guys for all of the the elite, major-league ready prospects in baseball.
      Hooray offseason analysis! You just saved us saved us several dozen inane threads! Your work will not soon be forgotten, thank you sir.
©2014 TwinsCentric, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Interested in advertising with Twins Daily? Click here.