• Twins Trade Justin Morneau To Pirates

    The Minnesota Twins have announced they have traded Justin Morneau to the Pittsburgh Pirates for outfielder Alex Presley and a player to be named later who was later identified as reliever Duke Welker.

    Morneau, who was drafted by the Twins in 1999, moved into 3rd place on the Twins all-time home run list just last night when he passed Tony Oliva with his 221st career blast. It also provided the deciding run in a 3-2 win over the Texas Rangers. If he does not return to the Twins, he will also rank high on the Twins leaderboard, including slugging percentage (4th - .485), RBI (5th - 860) and extra-base hits (5th - 526). He will almost certainly become a member of the Twins Hall of Fame when he is eligible.

    Morneau had been the subject of trade rumors for months as he was becoming a free agent at the end of the year and had the second highest salary on the non-contending ballclub. The Pirates have agreed as part of the trade to pay the approximate $2.3M he will still make this year.

    The initial player who was announced was Alex Presley, a 27-year-old outfielder who has bounced between AAA and the Pirates for the last four years. During that time, he's hit .261 with a .718 OPS over 699 plate appearances while mostly playing corner outfield spots. He's had considerably more success in AAA, where he posted an 837 OPS while playing mostly in centerfield. As a left-handed hitter, he profiles as a player similar to, albeit a slight upgrade to, Clete Thomas.

    Later, the second player, Duke Welker, was announced. Welker is also 27 years old and serves as the closer for the Pirates AAA affiliate. This year he struck out 64 batters in 61 innings with a 3.25 ERA and a 1.279 WHIP. He profiles as a serviceable right-handed reliever.
    Comments 319 Comments
    1. Halsey Hall's Avatar
      Halsey Hall -
      Horsecrap! I'll bet there's an agreement he signs with us in the off season.
    1. D. Hocking's Avatar
      D. Hocking -
      Hopefully he will get some play-off success out of this. I wonder what he is thinking right now. I wonder what Mauer is thinking right now.
    1. Badsmerf's Avatar
      Badsmerf -
      Good for Morneau! Good for the Twins (I hope)! Glad they finally pulled the trigger. I will be a huge Pirates fan in October!!!!!
    1. rickyriolo's Avatar
      rickyriolo -
      Go Justin...glad you are getting another chance to go to the payoffs. Pure salary dump by the Twins..well, The Pohlads do love their money
    1. CharacterGroove's Avatar
      CharacterGroove -
      This is a great opportunity for Justin. I'm glad something worked out.
    1. cmb0252's Avatar
      cmb0252 -
      Good for Morny. I only wish him the best.

      While it is too early to judge the trade till we know if we are getting a prospect or cash later but right now I'm confused. Not by the fact we didn't get much for Morny but the fact the warm body coming back is an OFer. Our outfield is pretty crowded as is.
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      Good luck to Morneau. Hope he hits a game winning home run in the World Series for them.
    1. CGNikolic's Avatar
      CGNikolic -
      Guys, he was going to be a FA and if the Twins want him back, he will be back here. The fact that we were to trade him for anything makes this a good trade. I wish Morneau (and Liriano!) the very best and hope he finally gets a ring, or at least a playoff series victory.
    1. jorgenswest's Avatar
      jorgenswest -
      Waiting for someone to say the Twins should have thrown in money for a better prospect.

      There was no reason for the Pirates to do that. They were the only one in the market for Morneau. They could set the terms. The money was not going to break them.
    1. Oldgoat_MN's Avatar
      Oldgoat_MN -
      I'm with those that are hoping Justin gets a ring.
      He will be one of the only guys in the Pirates clubhouse with playoff experience.

      Ryan may have done this so Justin gets a shot at the playoffs.

      Also, I think this may release the Twins from some 10 and 5 rules in the event that they resign him in the offseason.

      Go Pirates!
    1. glunn's Avatar
      glunn -
      I wish Justin all the best and hope that the Twins consider re-signing him after the season is over.
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      Well, Pressley's got to be a better LF than Doumit or Herrmann, right?
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      I'm glad he went to Pitt, that's the team I'm already getting behind for the playoffs. Nice to have him on there to cheer for. Also, and I could be wrong, but does moving him give us more options with resigning him next year? I thought there was some rule about resigning a player to a certain percentage of their previous salary. (Maybe that was just with extensions...)

      In any case, not a great return so far but that could change with the PTBNL. Let's hope it isn't cash this time too, it already looks like we dodged paying the rest of this year's bill.
    1. IdahoPilgrim's Avatar
      IdahoPilgrim -
      Quote Originally Posted by Oldgoat_MN View Post
      I'm with those that are hoping Justin gets a ring.
      He will be one of the only guys in the Pirates clubhouse with playoff experience.

      Ryan may have done this so Justin gets a shot at the playoffs.

      Also, I think this may release the Twins from some 10 and 5 rules in the event that they resign him in the offseason.

      Go Pirates!
      Good point - this might have been an important piece
    1. IdahoPilgrim's Avatar
      IdahoPilgrim -
      Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
      I'm glad he went to Pitt, that's the team I'm already getting behind for the playoffs. Nice to have him on there to cheer for. Also, and I could be wrong, but does moving him give us more options with resigning him next year? I thought there was some rule about resigning a player to a certain percentage of their previous salary. (Maybe that was just with extensions...)

      In any case, not a great return so far but that could change with the PTBNL. Let's hope it isn't cash this time too, it already looks like we dodged paying the rest of this year's bill.
      Another good point - like to know that for myself.
    1. howeda7's Avatar
      howeda7 -
      From a purely baseball prospective, trading him for anything was right. But this wasn't Mike Pelfrey or Jamey Carroll. If all you're going to get is garbage and salary relief, it's not worth the bad PR of trading a former-MVP and the second-most popular player on the team. A case where Dave St. Peter should over-rule Terry Ryan, essentially.
    1. Danchat's Avatar
      Danchat -
      I'm happy we got something for Morneau... it ain't much... I guess we have Thomas, Ramirez, Mastroianni, and Presley now as our medicore OFs. Presley has spent most of his career in LF so I wonder if Willingham goes to DH. Of course, Arcia should be in the corner OF too.
    1. Halsey Hall's Avatar
      Halsey Hall -
      Suddenly 100 losses looks much more possible.
    1. Halsey Hall's Avatar
      Halsey Hall -
      Quote Originally Posted by Danchat View Post
      I'm happy we got something for Morneau... it ain't much... I guess we have Thomas, Ramirez, Mastroianni, and Presley now as our medicore OFs. Presley has spent most of his career in LF so I wonder if Willingham goes to DH. Of course, Arcia should be in the corner OF too.

      Perhaps Willingham is gone by tommorrow also.
    1. Bark's Lounge's Avatar
      Bark's Lounge -
      Congratulations Morneau... Give em' Hell in the NL!
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