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Pirates “have their eyes on” Justin Morneau

Aug 27, 2013, 6:32 PM EDT

justin morneau Getty Images

The Pirates acquired outfielder Marlon Byrd and catcher John Buck from the Mets on Tuesday afternoon. Now they’re chasing a first baseman.

According to Jon Heyman of, the Pittsburgh decision-makers “have their eyes on” the Twins’ Justin Morneau, who cleared waivers earlier this month and is eligible to be traded to any team. Heyman says the Twins are “willing to pay some of the close to $3 million left on Morneau’s $14 million salary, depending on the prospect worth returned.”

Morneau has hit just .263/.321/.424 this season, but the 32-year-old impending free agent does have 15 home runs and 72 RBI and his power potential would likely shine much brighter away from Target Field.

The Pirates open play Tuesday with a half-game deficit behind the Cardinals in the NL Central.

  1. proudlycanadian - Aug 27, 2013 at 6:37 PM

    Morneau would be a very good rental.

    • jefferydfcastro - Aug 28, 2013 at 1:19 AM

      my best friend’s half-sister makes $61/hour on the internet. She has been unemployed for 5 months but last month her payment was $20763 just working on the internet for a few hours. Go to this web site and read more…

      • proudlycanadian - Aug 28, 2013 at 7:38 AM

        Castro eh? When did commies become capitalists?

  2. coloradogolfcoupons - Aug 27, 2013 at 6:39 PM

    I like how the Pirates are going all-in. I can’t speak for their fans, but the excitement level in Pittsburgh must be off the charts. Good on them!

    • ottomanismydog - Aug 28, 2013 at 8:54 AM

      There are some very excited fans, but pessimism and cynicism rain supreme until the division or playoff game(s) are won.

  3. Mark - Aug 27, 2013 at 6:44 PM

    “Morneau has hit just .263/.321/.424 this season, but the 32-year-old impending free agent does have 15 home runs and 72 RBI and his power potential would likely shine much brighter away from Target Field.”

    Considering how hard it is to hit a HR in Pittsburgh I’m not sure he’ll be helped that much. According to ESPN Park Factors Target field is .832 for HR and PNC is .589.

    Morneau’s would be able to put up better #’s if he stayed put.

    • grumpyoleman - Aug 28, 2013 at 10:09 AM

      There is so much more to baseball then those stupid little numbers. He has just as good as chance to do well in that lineup as he does being a flop. You actually have to play the game to tell how it goes.

      • Mark - Aug 31, 2013 at 11:29 AM

        You’re right, there’s a lot more to baseball than little numbers. But it’s commonly known that PNC is a brutal park for hitting HR’s in, and the numbers do a much better job of explaining just how difficult it is.

        I never said Morneau wouldn’t be successful, just that moving from Target Field to PNC wouldn’t necessarily improve his numbers because it’s tougher to hit a HR in PNC than Target Field. The author suggested he would have a better chance of hitting for power in PNC, and that’s not necessarily the case.

    • gunpowderjones - Aug 28, 2013 at 11:39 AM

      PNC is brutal on rightie HRs. Right field, however, has a short porch. I don’t know anything about Morneau’s spray charts but if he’s not hitting at the left center field notch then he should be ok.

      • Mark - Aug 31, 2013 at 11:33 AM

        Ah, wasn’t aware there was such an extreme difference. I don’t have the chance to watch the Pirates so I wasn’t aware that it was such a difference. Thanks for the clarification.

  4. jsally430 - Aug 27, 2013 at 7:01 PM

    It’s harder for righties to hit hrs in pnc and harder for lefties to hit homers in target field

  5. johnnysoda - Aug 27, 2013 at 7:03 PM

    Sounds like Pittsburgh’s going all in for the divisional race. Good for them!

  6. buffalo65 - Aug 27, 2013 at 7:05 PM

    Hope he stays in the AL for my fantasy teams sake. Come on Baltimore/Oakland. This means you.

  7. joewilliesshnoz - Aug 27, 2013 at 7:42 PM

    He ain’t a Bucco yet, but ya gotta like what the Pirates are doin.

  8. steelers88 - Aug 27, 2013 at 7:43 PM

    The excitement level is not off the charts for me. I still think they will end up missing the Playoffs. They have been terrible since the all star break.

    • nderdog - Aug 27, 2013 at 7:57 PM

      I’ll take that kind of terrible all day long. A whole half game out of first (which is still better than the 1 game out that we were at the break) and it’s time to assume collapse? I’m not saying I believe that we definitely will make the playoffs, but you have to be a pretty serious pessimist to assume that they won’t.

    • jerze2387 - Aug 27, 2013 at 8:04 PM

      Anybody else picturing Randy Quaid from major league?

    • johnnysoda - Aug 27, 2013 at 8:31 PM

      They’re 20-17 since the All Star break, which is only a game behind Cincinnati (who has the best record in the NL Central) during that span. Hardly terrible.

    • penzfan329 - Aug 27, 2013 at 9:03 PM

      way to have faith man. you realize how good the d-backs will have to play along with us playing way worse than we are now in order for us to not make the playoffs

    • stlouis1baseball - Aug 28, 2013 at 9:58 AM

      Wait a minute 88!. When the Cardinals were getting their asses handed to them on that road trip a couple of weeks ago you were giving me daily updates on the Division standings.
      Two weeks later you think they will miss the playoffs? You need to know the Cardinals just started a stretch in which they play the Redlegs and Pirates for 13 straight games.
      These next two weeks are going to tell us where everyone is.
      In the meantime…turn that frown upside down@

  9. paperlions - Aug 27, 2013 at 8:49 PM

    Pirate’s 1B this year: .317 wOBA, 102 wRC+

    Twin’s 1B this year (mostly Morneau): .324 wOBA, 103 wRC+

    Only wRC+ adjusts for league and park effects.

    This isn’t really an upgrade…if they do get him, I hope they don’t give up much besides money.

    • grumpyoleman - Aug 28, 2013 at 10:12 AM

      Of course you don’t take into consideration that Justin gets pitched around a lot because of the rest of the lineup around him. Put your calculations away and watch a game once in awhile you might like it.

      • gunpowderjones - Aug 28, 2013 at 11:42 AM

        Then why does he refuse to take walks?

      • paperlions - Aug 28, 2013 at 1:23 PM

        No one pitches around Morneau because he’s not very good. He is one of the very worst offensive 1B in the majors….if teams really pitch around him, then his 7% BB rate and .318 OBP are even worse than they look.

        I watch plenty of baseball, likely far more than you do…just because I understand baseball doesn’t mean I don’t watch it….try learning something once in a while, you might like it.

    • pittdt34 - Aug 28, 2013 at 1:58 PM

      Morneau would replace G Jones as half of the 1B platoon. Gaby Sanchez mashes lefties, regardless of numbers Morneau would give the Buccos more than what Jones is producing right now, and his power numbers could go up with the short porch in right at PNC Park. In any case it would strengthen their bench, which was in desperate need of an upgrade.

    • grumpyoleman - Aug 28, 2013 at 2:35 PM

      Somehow I doubt they pay Morneau to walk.

      • paperlions - Aug 28, 2013 at 2:55 PM

        Uh huh. Then what exactly is the result from him being “pitched around”?

        They pay him to produce on offense, the best way to do that is to get on base, at which he is below average for 1B…the 2nd best way to to hit with power, which he is well below average at doing for a 1B.

        The bar to be an average offensive 1B is high, and he’s well below it.

  10. steelers88 - Aug 27, 2013 at 9:18 PM

    I believe it when I see it. I’m optimistic but cautiously I’m still waiting for something bad to happen remember this is the Pirates.

    • gibbyfan - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:27 PM

      No matter what happens down the strech have to give management a lot of credit putting this group together on a very limited budget…………great job !!…….

    • Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Aug 27, 2013 at 11:07 PM

      Isn’t “waiting for something bad to happen” pretty much the exact opposite of optimism?

    • lordfletcher - Aug 27, 2013 at 11:47 PM

      as a Twins fan, I want it more than you.

      I like Justin and all, but this team needs him gone and all prospects that can follow.

      now only if they would trade Mauer 😀

  11. nightrain42 - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:47 PM

    Wld b a great rental. Hurdle needs to let Locke skip a start or two. He has clearly lost something. Reminding me of McDonald last year.

  12. modellforprez - Aug 28, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    that will be awesome. they can platoon Morneau at first With Gaby sanchez and Jonsey. and then jonsey can platoon right field with Byrd, Felix Pie, Tabata, Alex Presley & have’nt i seen Russell Martin out in right before? anyway thats a great plan for right field 6 different bums that couldnt hit the side of a building standing 2 ft next to it. personal prediction the Scmuccos should win at least 5 to tie and 6 to snap their futility of 20 losing seasons in a row but i believe they will hit better in september but the pitching is gonna come completly unglued. it has already started with grilli and And jeff locke “see above building wise crack same applies” and Burnett is tired and liriano will not make ot to the finish before faltering. prediction buccos finish 88 and 74 no wild card this year but they get experience they need. liriano burnett martin have it alvarez cutch and marte and walker need it

    • stlouis1baseball - Aug 28, 2013 at 12:10 PM

      That’s a heavy dose of optimism right there Art!
      We can always count on you for your good natured, kind hearted, positive outlook on this board. You posts are a pleasure indeed. Keep up the good work!

  13. steelers88 - Aug 28, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    I think the Nationals will be in the one game playoff. I think the Reds will easily overtake the Pirates and I think the Nats
    Will overtake the Dbacks. I think the it will be Nats VS Reds in the one game playoff and the Cardinals as the NL Central winner. The Pirates will finish 92-70. The Nats will finish 95-67. The Nationals have the easiest schedule remaining.

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