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Thread: Article: Top 10 Stories For 2013: #2 Whither Justin?

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    Owner All-Star John Bonnes's Avatar
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    Article: Top 10 Stories For 2013: #2 Whither Morneau?


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    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Oldgoat_MN's Avatar
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    It's not all about heart. Morneau at his best is an incredibly difficult player to replace.
    Not just his hitting, but he plays a 1B that might merit Gold Glove consideration if he played in New York.
    I get that if Parmelee rakes then it might be wise to move him to make room for Arcia.
    Still, this is an extraordinary player we are talking about.
    Let's not jump the gun.

  3. #3
    I have fond memories of Morneau, but if he has a good first half he will probably be more valuable to the twins as trade bait than a veteran cornerstone for contention in 2014/2015. Some may argue how much value he has considering his contract but wouldn't it make sense for a contender who needs a bat to give up a Decent B+ prospect if the Twins included some Money? Mauer will be the expensive old man for the next twins contender lets just hope he isnt a light hitting DH by then!

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    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Oldgoat_MN's Avatar
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    Oh, yeah. And thank you John, for another thoughtful topic for us to argue about.

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    I think the thing to keep an eye on, microscopically enough, is how Morneau handles low pitches. I had season tickets in 2010 down the right field line, and what struck me, as Morneau was racking up some serious numbers despite hitting a lot of drives that fell short of the fences in Target Field, was how he could go down and get his bat under low pitches.

    We know how Morneau has a kind of buggy-whip swing, he sees a ball, his eyes get all big and he wants to hit the damn thing, but the key is to flex at the knees, get down low and use that leverage to lift a low pitch and drive it somewhere. You gotta understand: every pitching coach and every catcher is telling every pitcher in the league to keep the ball down against Justin.

    So, to me, the real tell-tale sign is: does he flex at the knees and is he able to drive the low pitch, whether to left or center, and if inside, to drill it to right. If he is, that means he's all the way back. If he hits a lot of ground balls, or flails at low pitches, then it's likely that he's lost something essential. At that point, I say, trade him and take a chance on Parmelee. At least Parmelee seems more than willing to lay off the low pitches and see if he gets called out on them or not.

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    Head Moderator All-Star glunn's Avatar
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    I think that there is a good chance that Morneau will still be a cornerstone type player for at least two or three more years. I would hate to see him traded unless the Twins get a very high ceiling prospect in return.

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    Senior Member Double-A
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    I think if Parmelee hits they should trade Morneau. I just hope they don't give him another big contract if he does have a big year this year seeing it's a contract year.

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    Senior Member All-Star Thrylos's Avatar
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    I don't think that Parmelee would have anything to do on whether they trade Morneau at all. At best he would keep the first bag warm for Vargas or Sano. Now if the Twins were to keep Morneau for a couple more years to bridge the gap to those instead of Parmelee, I would have no issues with it; on the other hand, I can see a Mauer/Parmelee/someone else split at first base working fine as a place holder as well and be about $10-13 mil a season less expensive.
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    Quote Originally Posted by thrylos98 View Post
    I don't think that Parmelee would have anything to do on whether they trade Morneau at all. At best he would keep the first bag warm for Vargas or Sano. Now if the Twins were to keep Morneau for a couple more years to bridge the gap to those instead of Parmelee, I would have no issues with it; on the other hand, I can see a Mauer/Parmelee/someone else split at first base working fine as a place holder as well and be about $10-13 mil a season less expensive.
    I've heard Vargas name mentioned a couple of times on this site. I don't think anyone is keeping anything warm for Vargas. He's a fringe prospect at best. I've never seen him on any top 10 Twins prospects list, and rarely even seen him in a top 20 list. He's more like a 25 to 30 range.
    Not saying those guys will never make it, but its an extreme long shot, and for sure they shouldnt be counted on.

    As for Sano, I'm finding myself moving into the camp that thinks they should just move him to 1B and get it over with.
    I keep hearing that his bat is seriously close to MLB ready, like later this year, or opening day 2014. I say, just make the move and get him up here if his bat really is that close.

  10. #10
    Pixel Monkey MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glunn View Post
    I think that there is a good chance that Morneau will still be a cornerstone type player for at least two or three more years. I would hate to see him traded unless the Twins get a very high ceiling prospect in return.
    Which they won't. Two month rentals of first basemen do not pull down elite prospects. They might be able to get a moderate upside guy who is very raw but they won't get more than that for Justin (unless he's posting a 1.000 OPS or something silly like that).

    Still, it'd be better than nothing, I suppose.

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    Senior Member Triple-A Steve Lein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Brooks View Post
    As for Sano, I'm finding myself moving into the camp that thinks they should just move him to 1B and get it over with.
    I think Sano's going to be fine at 3B while he's young. He looked ten-fold better at 3B this Spring Training than last, and believe it or not, he's abnormally athletic for his size, which helps him in that regard.

    And I think 1B would be a vast waste of what he can do defensively, so I'd keep him there until he's the worst defender at the position in all of baseball (if such a thing might happen), then I'd try him in RF before ever sending him toward 1B.
    Follow me on Twitter: @HangingSL
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    Senior Member All-Star Winston Smith's Avatar
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    John, Carlos goes back a long ways you must be old.



    "The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.”
    Carlos Castaneda

    No the trick as Twins fans is we can make ourselves both miserable and happy at the same time!

    On Morneau does anyone really think Ryan would give him (at 33 yrs old) a multi year 10+m contract if he has a good year?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    Which they won't. Two month rentals of first basemen do not pull down elite prospects. They might be able to get a moderate upside guy who is very raw but they won't get more than that for Justin (unless he's posting a 1.000 OPS or something silly like that).

    Still, it'd be better than nothing, I suppose.
    Brock speaketh the truth. Morneau just won't have much trade value, even if he's ripping the cover off the ball because of his expiring contract and injury history.

    It's a really hard decision on Morneau. I think if he finishes the year healthy and hits he'll rate a multi-year deal from someone, so at a minimum if he's not dealt the Twins should make him a qualifying offer if Parmelee handles RF reasonably well this season. At least get some compensation if they're not going to sign him to a multi-year.

    I think there's still room on the roster for Morneau after this season, especially since everyone seems to think that Willingham will get dealt when the Twins are out of it by the trade deadline. Maybe a 3-year deal? next year's OF rotation becomes Arcia, Hicks, & Parmelee with Benson as the 4th, Parmelee backing up Morneau?

    Keep in mind, right now there's little depth at 1B in the Twins system behind Parmelee. Maybe Sano ends up there, but he still needs to learn the position and we know the Twins are hoping he can stick at 3B.

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    Mauer is First baseman of future

    The first baseman of the future for the Twins is Joe Mauer. The Twins should try to get some value for Morneau near the trade deadline (if the Twins are not contending).

  15. #15
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    There are a few things to think about.

    1) There is no obvious DH for the 2014-2016 team with this next wave of propspects. The MIF situation isn't that nice either (though I could see them rushing Rosario). Depending on how they draft his year, the pitching should be fine. As already said, a healthy Justin still has a few more "cornerstone" years and could fit into this wave quite nicely during that time.

    2) Nothing prevents a trade and then a resign as a free agent next year. I know it's rare, but it can happen. Trading Justin isn't necessarily a guarantee that they lose him. The question will have more to do with what they pay him, and unless he really wants to be back, there will not be a hometown discount. The question at hand has more to do with what Justin wants than anything else. If the Jays offered him a 2 year deal, he'd have to consider taking it for no other reason than that they'd be a contending team during that timeframe. If the Twins got a decent prospect for him (particularly a middle infielder/pitcher that can fit into the 2015 team), I'd say they have no choice but to do it if that offer came.

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    The Twins should be trying to trade Mauer not Morneau.

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    Pixel Monkey MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fairweather View Post
    The Twins should be trying to trade Mauer not Morneau.
    I had to look up your IP address just to make sure you weren't a certain mullet-sporting hockey blogger from St. Cloud. Your irrational Mauer hatred isn't quite as professionally troll-y as his yet but keep at it, tiger. You'll get there someday.

  18. #18
    Super Moderator MVP Riverbrian's Avatar
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    Something tells me that the Twins won't trade Justin if he has a good year. Unless of course... they are blown away with an offer.

    If he has a good year... He will at least be offered the 13 Million qualifier. After that it's up to Justin.

    Yes... we have young talent but it shouldn't be a case of this guy is a starter and this guy is a bench guy. All baseball teams need depth and a creative manager can get players in the lineup and if we have Parmelee and Morneau and Arcia and Willingham and Doumit and Mauer all doing well. Good for us. There will be room for all of them in 2014. It would be a good problem to have. Depth would be awesome.

    If Morneau has another injury riddled or a plain ole so-so year and the Twins are not in contention. Then you may see him dumped in a trade for someone of marginal value or he will simply not be offered 13 Million and he becomes a free agent.

    In my opinion... 3 things have to happen for Justin to be moved.

    1. The Twins are out of contention in July.
    2. Justin is healthy and raking.
    3. A contending club is desperate for a big bat 1B and willing to part with a high level prospect.

    I think #3 will be the biggest hurdle.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Boom Boom's Avatar
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    Why does it seem like the Twins will be more likely to trade Willingham than Morneau? Does the extra contract year increase Willingham's trade value?

    I get that Morneau's been hurt a lot, but Willingham doesn't exactly have a sparkling medical record either. I think the Twins want to keep "their guys" and Morneau is one of us while Willingham isn't.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer
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    I'm hoping for the scenario painted by Riverbrian: that Morneau is healthy and a 800 OPS+ player; and that Toronto or Texas values him more than we do, thereby relinquishing a B+ pitching prospect from A-ball. I'd hope the Twins would throw some money in to upgrade the prospect.

    I also believe that's unlikely, and the next best option would be to make the $13M offer gain something either way from Morneau's decision.

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