Minnesota Twins News & Rumors Forum
  • 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. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      It's often easy to say that a team waits too long to trade a player and sell low. But does anyone really think that he has had any more value than he has right now? His price tag is finally down. And, his concussion/wrist issues were too fresh the last two offseasons to have any value (to go along with $15M per year). I just have a hard time getting worked up about this.

      I like the players that the Twins got from the White Sox better because, at the time, Hernandez was 23 and had pitched a game in the big leagues already and Escobar was 23 and spent the entire season with the White Sox to that point. Maybe their roles were future 6th starter/long reliever and utility infielder, but they were young. I'm not a fan of the 28 and 27 year olds acquired for Morneau, but it is what it is.
    1. Dman's Avatar
      Dman -
      Yeah this is not a jump for joy trade but I also don;t think it really hurts us to unload Morneau either. Maybe Ryan can make something better out of this down line maybe not. At least he did something instead of nothing. I would have liked younger prospects with better upside as well but if that wasn't on the table let's see what we've got and go from there.
    1. Sconnie's Avatar
      Sconnie -
      Quote Originally Posted by Halsey Hall View Post
      Perhaps Willingham is gone by tommorrow also.
      The window has closed on the Hammer trade since he was claimed.

      Best of Luck Morneau.
    1. Sconnie's Avatar
      Sconnie -
      Quote Originally Posted by gunnarthor View Post
      Does anyone know how PTBNL works? Can it be stacked based on how Morneau plays? So if he hits like it's 2010 for the next 6 weeks they get a better player and if he hits like it's 2011 (or gets injured) it's cash? Or do both sides already know the player but can't mention him until his tradeable?
      Sounds like the latter. Rumor has it its Duke Welker a career minor league reliever who is currently on their 40 man. It is supposed to go thru after the season.
    1. PseudoSABR's Avatar
      PseudoSABR -
      Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
      You realize the view is the same from my position?
      Look, I actually don't care for the trade; I just don't get the outrage.

      Reason states you get what you pay for. I have reason on my side
      Huh? Again, the Pirates have just as much reason to want to pay Morneau's salary as we do (they want to keep their good prospects too!). Reason is a two way street, and you hardly have a it in exclusivity.

      while you only have faith that Ryan can do no wrong.
      Ryan can and does plenty of wrong. I don't even care for the trade and would have just liked to have seen Morneau finish the season. On the other hand, I need actual evidence before I can begin to speculate that Ryan actual did wrong; you're just speculating. I need facts before I can get worked up about the return from a one month rental of a mediocre first baseman.

      I'm not sure why it's so hard to accept that this is all Morneau was worth, as sad as it is. It's meh, and probably has very little to do with the competence or cheapness of the FO.
    1. howeda7's Avatar
      howeda7 -
      Quote Originally Posted by CharacterGroove View Post
      Well if he's a member of the team with an expired contract (oh, and former MVP), any decision this winter necessarily would involve him. It would hang over everything.

      The circumstances resulting from this trade right now are better for both parties - Morneau and the Twins.
      So the bad PR of trading Morneau is minimal and shouldn't be considered, but having him as a pending free-agent would hang over the entire off-season? Not saying you made the first statement, but the range of thoughts on this is wide.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Quote Originally Posted by PseudoSABR View Post
      Look, I actually don't care for the trade; I just don't get the outrage.

      Huh? Again, the Pirates have just as much reason to want to pay Morneau's salary as we do (they want to keep their good prospects too!). Reason is a two way street, and you hardly have a it in exclusivity.

      Ryan can and does plenty of wrong. I don't even care for the trade and would have just liked to have seen Morneau finish the season. On the other hand, I need actual evidence before I can begin to speculate that Ryan actual did wrong; you're just speculating. I need facts before I can get worked up about the return from a one month rental of a mediocre first baseman.

      I'm not sure why it's so hard to accept that this is all Morneau was worth, as sad as it is. It's meh, and probably has very little to do with the competence or cheapness of the FO.
      If we agree that it would have been preferable to let Morneau finish the season instead of getting these two, why are you disagreeing with me? I've made my main point very clear, I don't want these two 27-year-olds cluttering up the already cluttered 40 man.

      On a different note, Morneau is hot, at this point he doesn't deserve a qualifying offer, but if his September is similar to his August, he just may. This is a deep draft class and it certainly would be nice to have another high pick. If it was a 1 in five chance, even a 1 in 10 chance that the Twins could offer and Morneau refuse a qualifying offer, I'f prefer that gamble over this return.
    1. wabene's Avatar
      wabene -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      Not a fan of older players with low upside being added to the 40 man.....we already saw pinto could not come up until the rosters expanded, right? Whatever, I see another 90 loss season next year, I am losing interest in this team.
      You guys keep talking late bloomer with Welker you might want to consider the wealth of reliever talent on that club. If Welker had been with Twins he'd already be up. 6'7" and throws 98. Anybody notice the FO going for the big arms now? There is an article about 12 Pirate relievers that top 98. Log jam over there.
    1. CharacterGroove's Avatar
      CharacterGroove -
      Quote Originally Posted by howeda7 View Post
      So the bad PR of trading Morneau is minimal and shouldn't be considered, but having him as a pending free-agent would hang over the entire off-season? Not saying you made the first statement, but the range of thoughts on this is wide.
      No. It's a "bad PR move" either way. The point is you don't hold off the inevitable.

      Let's stop pretending there's not a direct correlation in Morneau's trade value this summer and the Twins' strategy to win after 2013. The scouts are in agreement.

      I hope the absolute best for Justin Morneau, and I'm excited to have a team to cheer for this fall. I also hope the scouts are wrong and he has some very strong years left.
    1. howieramone's Avatar
      howieramone -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      Not a fan of older players with low upside being added to the 40 man.....we already saw pinto could not come up until the rosters expanded, right? Whatever, I see another 90 loss season next year, I am losing interest in this team.
      I'm guessing the Pinto delay was a paperwork thing, I know we don't have 40 good players. As I have previously posted, it's very unlikely a team with Buxton and Sano will ever lose 90 games. I'm sorry to hear you are losing interest in our beloved Twins. IIRC you have posted favorably about the Cubs and Marlins. I don't follow either of those teams, but at a quick glance it doesn't appear either of those teams are rebuilding.
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      No one knows what the negotiations were, the ignorance argument is garbage. What we know is Pirates ownership had to approve going over budget. Which very likely meant the bulk of negotiations had the Pirates Gzm working to avoid that. Which likely means had we been willing to help them avoid that dilemma the compensation MAY have been better.

      its the most simple, reasonable conclusion. It would've been nice if we had entertained that notion. As it is I think the Twins organization is pretty principled against doing that (their decision, that's fine) and it may have cost us value. I don't understand the insistence on ignoring the most reasonable solution. Notice - i am not, nor implying they are cheap. I don't know their reasons, but it's clear they don't entertain that option even in prudent situations.
    1. PseudoSABR's Avatar
      PseudoSABR -
      What we know is Pirates ownership had to approve going over budget. Which very likely meant the bulk of negotiations had the Pirates Gzm working to avoid that.
      I draw that exact opposite conclusion. The cost of NOT going over budget (the better prospect) was too much to overcome. Once the increase in budget was granted, the Pirates GM would be foolish to give over a better prospect when his boss said he can spend what he needs to.

      In either case, everyone's making inferences, and it's only a matter of opinion which inferences are more well-reasoned. For my part, the notion that the Twins could have had a worthwhile prospect by eating money is bunk.
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      It's hilarious how people just like to paint TR to be some bumbling idiot. "Well why didnt he ask for a better player?????"

      Yes clearly a guy with the success and background like Ryan would just happen to forget to ask for the best package possible
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by howieramone View Post
      I'm guessing the Pinto delay was a paperwork thing, I know we don't have 40 good players. As I have previously posted, it's very unlikely a team with Buxton and Sano will ever lose 90 games. I'm sorry to hear you are losing interest in our beloved Twins. IIRC you have posted favorably about the Cubs and Marlins. I don't follow either of those teams, but at a quick glance it doesn't appear either of those teams are rebuilding.
      I would agree that you must not be following those teams as they are clearly rebuilding, this year's won-loss records are completely irrelevant in that regard. Both teams have admitted as such, with a plan and time-frame clearly in place. Please check the article that John Bonnes highlighted in his thread regarding "grading the rebuild" which discusses the Cubs rebuild plan for further proof. The Twins would benefit from getting up to speed in that regard themselves, and being more forthcoming to themselves and their fanbase with an honest plan on the steps (in a general, not specific way) they will be taking to get out of this mess.

      And as this is the second time you've mentioned Buxton and Sano and 90 loss season probabilities. Can I politely suggest you set up a thread proposing that the TD community guess on the W-L record in 2014 with Sano and Buxton in the lineup for more than half the season? You might be surprised at the results. Sano and Buxton are two pillars on whom you build around, but there are very few "building materials" on the roster now or in the near-term pipeline to put this team into a position to win more than 71 games next year. 2015 certainly looks to be a little better than 2014 and should give the Twins there first shot at .500. Of course, the other teams in the AL Central division have a big head start and could very well continue the present pattern of ownage of the Twins like KC demonstrated this year. I'm thinking 2 additional years on the rebuild is realistic and likely.
    1. Oxtung's Avatar
      Oxtung -
      Here is what we know from the Twins perspective:

      2 marginal prospects (assuming the Welker reports are true) + ~$2 million (Morneau's remaining salary)> ??? prospect(s)

      The Twins left ~$20 million on the table this off season when FA upgrades were available and needed. This implies that somewhere in the upper management money is a very real factor in the decision making process.

      From the Pirates perspective

      They had to ask the owner to dip into his pocket to pay for Morneau's salary.
      They gave up a better prospect to the Mets in return for cash considerations just this week.

      Money clearly is an issue to both teams. The Pirates used that money to improve their team. The Twins did not. The Pirates have accepted cash back for prospects. None of this is concrete evidence there was a better return waiting for Ryan had he picked up most of Morneau's remaining salary, but it is more than "no evidence" as Seth put it. On the other hand, there has been absolutely no evidence presented that eating Morneau's salary wouldn't have improved the trade. If somebody has some I would love to read it.

      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      Can't we assume that was discussed? Can't we assume the Terry Ryan took the offer that he felt was best for the organization long-term?
      What is best for the organization (ie Ryan and the Pohlad's in this case) is not necessarily what is best for the on the field product. The Twins, first and foremost, are a business and ~$2 million is nothing to sneeze at. So, while I think we can assume he did what he felt was best that doesn't mean he didn't also leave an upgraded prospect on the table in favor of the cash.
    1. PseudoSABR's Avatar
      PseudoSABR -
      Quote Originally Posted by Oxtung View Post
      Here is what we know from the Twins perspective:

      2 marginal prospects (assuming the Welker reports are true) + ~$2 million (Morneau's remaining salary)> ??? prospect(s)
      We actually don't know if there was any other offer. I find it far more prudent for the Neil Huntington to ask the owner for more money than to give away a better prospect. Why the heck would the Pirates include a better prospect when their owner was willing to pay Morneau's contract?

      If the situation were reversed and the Twins were acquiring a veteran talent for the pennant race, would you want them to include a better prospect so they could save a couple of million at most? Of course not.
    1. Oxtung's Avatar
      Oxtung -
      Quote Originally Posted by PseudoSABR View Post
      We actually don't know if there was any other offer.
      That's why I put ???. In which case 2 Marginal prospects + $2 million > 2 Marginal Prospects + $0.

      Quote Originally Posted by PseudoSABR View Post
      I find it far more prudent for the Neil Huntington to ask the owner for more money than to give away a better prospect. Why the heck would the Pirates include a better prospect when their owner was willing to pay Morneau's contract?

      If the situation were reversed and the Twins were acquiring a veteran talent for the pennant race, would you want them to include a better prospect so they could save a couple of million at most? Of course not.
      I don't know why, but I do know they did it just this week in the Mets deal so it certainly isn't out of the question.

      So again, there is a little bit of evidence suggesting there might have been more available if the Twins paid Morneau's salary. Do you have any evidence supporting your suppositions?
    1. Highabove's Avatar
      Highabove -
      As stated earlier, there are plenty of Alex Presley's in the minor league free agent market. The Twins are always an active participant.

      Today, the Twins acquired St. Paul Saints Pitcher Mark Hamburger for a few thousand dollars. Hamburger, may even have more up side then newly acquired Duke Welker.
      Why bother trading for these type of players. They can be picked up for next to nothing.


    1. kab21's Avatar
      kab21 -
      I'm surprised at how many negative posts there are about the Morneau trade (mostly dumping) considering that there were an almost equal number of criticisms of the FO for not doing this exact thing a couple of days ago.

      I would have just kept Morneau but this trade isn't a travesty. This is his trade value. And I think Presley is a better 4th OF'er option than some give him credit for. He's a bit redundant with Mastro around but he has only played 10 games this season. And CF depth killed the MLB Twins this year.
    1. Major Leauge Ready's Avatar
      Major Leauge Ready -
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
      It's hilarious how people just like to paint TR to be some bumbling idiot. "Well why didnt he ask for a better player?????"

      Yes clearly a guy with the success and background like Ryan would just happen to forget to ask for the best package possible
      Part of this is that people tend to draw conclusions with only a portion of the information. For example, why did the Twins hold on to drew Brutera. Remember when we let Joe Benson go and so many people wanted to know why we did not let Butera go? There has likely been interest in Butera from other teams. We don't know these things.

      Part of it is just the nature of being a fan. We all want the best trades, the best draft, and the best free agents. The desires of being a fan and the thought process that goes with it is often very different than the thought process associated with being in charge of the team. There were advocates of getting Hamilton or Grienke last year. Either move would have been considered incredibly stupid for a tean in the Twin's position by every GM in the major leauges but fans love big aquisitions.

      Part of it is that very VERY few people have negotiated multi-million dollar deals or had profit and loss responsibility for organizations that produce 9 digit revenues. It's kind of hard to know what you don't know. It's kind of like me telling my builder with 30 years experience how to build a house.
©2014 TwinsCentric, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Interested in advertising with Twins Daily? Click here.