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The Blue Jays are “particularly interested” in Justin Morneau

Jun 15, 2012, 1:32 PM EDT

morneau ap AP

Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports that the Blue Jays are “particularly interested” in Justin Morneau.  Worth noting that no one has reported that the Twins are particularly interested in trading him, but I suppose these things gotta start someplace.

As for the Jays or anyone else interested in Morneau: his power is OK as he has ten homers and is slugging .489, but he’s also hitting a mere .241 with a .313 OBP overall, suggesting he’s nailing mistakes but not much else. He’s hammering righties, but lefties are like kryptonite to him: he’s 6 for 62 against them.  And he’s owed $14 million in 2013. Not sure that’s an attractive gamble for anyone.

And while we’re on the subject, here’s a feature about Morneau from Jeff Passan, outlining his struggles and his hope to regain his past form.

  1. diehardtwinsfan - Jun 15, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    Strikes me as selling low, as I cannot imagine there being a huge market for him. Now perhaps he shakes the concussion issues adn really improves over the year, I could see trading him, but right now, I cannot imagine they’d get much for a guy that is incredibly popular in MN…

    BTW, his may stat line: .264 .317 .642 .959
    June’s a bit down, but I think he’s regaing form. Me think the Jays are banking on that too… I just hope the Twins dont’ get cheap and dump him for nothing.

    • kopy - Jun 15, 2012 at 1:58 PM

      I don’t think the Twins will let him go for cheap. It will probably take a pretty solid package to get Morneau. Not necesarily because he’s worth it, but because he’s a fan favorite who has been around a long time.

      I would also like to think the Twins believe in his recovery, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they have their private doubts.

    • byjiminy - Jun 15, 2012 at 2:00 PM

      What do you mean, “get” cheap? They’d be thrilled to dump him for nothing; they would pocket $20 million in salary. If the Jays are sincere, he’s as good as gone.

      • pmcenroe - Jun 15, 2012 at 2:05 PM

        If they wanted to dump him they would just place him on waivers. There is no way the Twins can give him up without a solid return. They would get absolutely killed by the fans/media, just look at the Capps/Ramos trade

      • byjiminy - Jun 15, 2012 at 5:23 PM

        you’re right pcmcenroe that they can’t waive Morneau or they’d get hammered by fans and press. they’d do what they did when they wanted to dump Hardy’s salary: get back a couple of crappy minor leaguers and make it look like a trade.

        The Capps/Ramos trade is not a good comparison. That wasn’t a salary dump. That was just stupid. Ramos was good AND cheap; Capps was mediocre AND expensive. And at the time the majority of fans were supportive. A few screamed in horror, but most said, good for them, they pulled the trigger, they’re going for it this season, just like we always wished they would. The local press didn’t hammer them; still hasn’t. Just the bloggers.

      • pmcenroe - Jun 15, 2012 at 6:54 PM

        I never said the Capps/Ramos trade was a salary dump, Ramos was a rookie(sort of) and Capps was a “proven” closer and people were and still aren’t happy about it. Imgaine the uproar over a former MVP and fan favorite getting dumped for nothing when they are trying to rebuild. Hardy was arbitration eligible and not under contract, they traded his rights AND sign Nishioka, so no I don’t think money had anything to do with that and again Morneau doesn’t equal Hardy.

    • cur68 - Jun 15, 2012 at 2:02 PM

      Methinks, if there’s any truth to this rumour, that you are right: he’s rounding back into form & the Beaver Men Brass think so to. What’s more, whatever they invest in the kid is paid back by increased Canadian interest in having him on the only Canadian team. He’ll put beaver-butts in seats, IOW.

      As for my opinion on his worth, I think that an unnoticed factor in all this is Dwayne Murphy, the Jays hitting coach and the person probably most responsible for turning Bautista and Encarnacion into hitting machines. He’s already getting some production out of Davis (whom the A’s gave up on) & Rasmus (whom the Cards dealt rather than try and work with). I’d sure like to see what Murphy could do with a legit hitter like Morneau. So far he’s turned a bunch of guys who looked like sure-thing journeymen into serious Beaver Power. A big lefty bat like Morneau under his instruction would be very interesting, IMO.

      I hope they get him.

      • proudlycanadian - Jun 15, 2012 at 2:28 PM

        The story probably began because he is a Canadian and the Jays would be interested in Canadians such ad Morneau and Dempster. They would not overpay. Lind is hitting very well (.412/.680/1.159) in Triple A, so any trade would probably include him. I am not certain that any more players should be included. My guess is that if a trade happens, it would be Morneau for Thames and Lind.

      • pmcenroe - Jun 15, 2012 at 2:33 PM

        If it happened it would have to be for prospects. Twins don’t have use for Lind or Thames

      • proudlycanadian - Jun 15, 2012 at 5:32 PM

        He is not in the starting lineup today. So far, only the shadow knows why.

      • proudlycanadian - Jun 15, 2012 at 6:34 PM

        Deep throat says that Morneau is not in the line up today because of a sore arm. I guess that we can tone down the speculation.

      • cur68 - Jun 15, 2012 at 7:47 PM

        Dang. Hope his arm gets better soon, though. Tell deep throat thanks for the info.

  2. ndphog - Jun 15, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    Craig, look a little deeper.

    That 241/313/489 is 279/344/616 on the road, away from that horrible (for him) ball park.

    That’s what the Jays are interested in (although poor career numbers at the Rogers Centre, with sample size warnings).

  3. trevorb06 - Jun 15, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    As a Twin’s fan and a Morneau fan I would hate to see him be traded, but I would understand it if the Twins did trade him. I know his contract isn’t ginormous but if we could unload that we do have a decent replacement in Parmelee. The biggest downside to trading him would probably be Joe Mauer being pretty miffed about it.

    That being said, I don’t see the Twins trading Morneau unless they’re just completely blown away but I don’t see any team doing that for damaged goods.

    • Cris E - Jun 15, 2012 at 6:15 PM

      I think they keep him unless blown away, and that means almost exclusively a pile of young starting pitching. I don’t see that happening for the reasons you list above.

      But I also think Terry Ryan is going to leave the team intact for the most part. In a scenario where he just needs to sort out the rotation and they’ll be back in the mediocre AL Central mix, he can dump the one year contracts in July and focus on the rotation. He can restructure Baker’s deal, finally make a decision on Liriano, and they’ll have Gibson to look at, plus there’s the pile of Blackburn, Diamond and Walters to sift through. Assuming Baker is bad next year, Gibson gets a jump on his return in August 2012 and Liriano is traded that means there are enough arms to fill 3 spots at the back, so they only need two better than average starters. (And maybe a 3b, a RF and possibly a C of the future.) The pitching alone is a lot to find in one offseason.

      But he’s got some chips to deal: Capps, Liriano, Doumit and filler like Casilla and Valencia plus positions of depth like CF (Span or Benson or Revere or Aaron Hicks). Burton is a 2012 alien abduction season that should be cashed in immediately. There’s a lot of money coming of the books so they can afford to take on a real deal or even *gasp* sign a free agent. But he’s got Mauer and Morneau and Willingham and Span and a fair supporting cast of Dozier, Carroll, plus the wildly unlikely Plouffe.

      It could happen, and far faster and easier than a full tear down. Morneau isn’t going anywhere without a boxcar of pitching coming back.

  4. buffalo65 - Jun 15, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    Lind, Snider and and pitcher from the depths of the system for Morneau and Span.

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