Skip to content

Pirates acquire Justin Morneau from the Twins

Aug 31, 2013, 2:46 PM EDT

Justin Morneau AP

The Pirates picked up Marlon Byrd and John Buck in a deal with the Mets earlier this week, but they aren’t done bolstering their offense. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that the Pirates have acquired first baseman Justin Morneau from the Twins for outfielder Alex Presley.

Morneau passed through waivers earlier this month, so he was eligible to be traded to any team. The 32-year-old is batting .259/.315/.426 with 17 home runs and 74 RBI in 127 games this season, though it’s worth noting that nine of those home runs have come this month. The alternatives at first base include Garrett Jones and Gaby Sanchez, so it’s worth a shot to attempt to catch some lightening in a bottle down the stretch. Morneau will be a free agent at season’s end.

The trade marks an unceremonious end to Morneau’s time in Minnesota. A third-round pick of the Twins in 1999, he compiled a .278/.347/.485 batting line over 11 seasons with the club and amassed 1,318 hits and 221 home runs (he moved into fourth place on the team’s all-time list by passing Tony Oliva last night). He won the American League MVP Award in 2006 and also made four All-Star appearances.

Presley, 28, owns a .261/.299/.419 batting line over 204 games in the majors. He’s likely a fourth or fifth outfielder on a good team, so it’s a modest price to pay for Pittsburgh.

UPDATE: CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman adds that the Twins will also receive a player to be named later or cash considerations.

UPDATE II: Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that the Pirates will cover Morneau’s salary for the rest of the season.

  1. Bryz - Aug 31, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    Jon Heyman also reports that the Twins will receive a PTBNL or cash in addition to Presley, so the Twins appear to have done fairly well in this trade.

    • Bryz - Aug 31, 2013 at 3:36 PM

      Heh, I love the thumbs down. The Pirates get a month of Morneau. The Twins get a 4th outfielder and maybe a low minors player. I’m not saying they did a great job here, I’m just saying they did… well, “fairly well.”

      • chew1985 - Aug 31, 2013 at 10:28 PM

        They dumped a salary. That was the only goal. Calvin Griffith would be proud.

  2. larjones64 - Aug 31, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    I hope the Twins sign him back for next year say at $4M per. He looks to be getting his swing and his confidence back in this latest run. Good luck Justin!

    • proudlycanadian - Aug 31, 2013 at 3:29 PM

      He will probably make about double that amount next year.

      • missthemexpos - Aug 31, 2013 at 4:01 PM

        Will be the other bookend for the all Canadian Blue Jay corner infield tandem next season.

  3. prosourcetalk - Aug 31, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    Great pick up for the Pirates!

  4. tomcreanshair - Aug 31, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    And the Twinks not re-signing him this off-season will come back to haunt just as the Liriano chickens have come back to roost.

  5. tommyt39 - Aug 31, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    Good luck Justin! I always liked your game and will miss you on the Twins.

  6. agc99 - Aug 31, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    Hope Justin is half as good as Liriano.

  7. Stiller43 - Aug 31, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    God i hope this works…

    Presley, for some reason (dont ask), was my favorite bucco. Best of luck to him in MN!

  8. dremmel69 - Aug 31, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    Well, I hope we do see Justin in MN again next year. Until then, I will enjoy watching him make a difference in meaningful games during a pennant race.

  9. heyblueyoustink - Aug 31, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    The Pirate’s organization, for the first time in a long time: ” Yar, raise the flag. Load the cannons ” .

    Good for them and their fans.

  10. vstar1us - Aug 31, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    Great deal for the Prates ” rrrrrrr “.

  11. ashtongronholz8 - Aug 31, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    Man that would be awesome of the twins signed him after this year. Basically a free outfielder

  12. sheriffpeyton18 - Aug 31, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    Looks like the Bucs really care about making a run!!! It will be nice to see a new face in oct.

  13. jaysfan64 - Aug 31, 2013 at 4:04 PM

    Good pickup for the Pirates – they’re all-in this year it seems…
    Having said that I won’t be shocked if Morneau signs with the Blue Jays next season…although a successful post season run could change that…

  14. rgledz - Aug 31, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    Awesome move! The Twins get another bench outfielder which we all know they need(sarcasm) and the Pohlad’s pocket some more cash while jettisoning a great major leaguer for players the fans at Target Field will never get to see! Those Pohlad boys are a chip off the old block. Screwing a whole new generation of Twins fans and laughing all the way to the bank. It’s getting old.

  15. redridershoottheireyeout - Aug 31, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    Could be a good pickup, I’ve never been a fan of rental players, but he is only 32 and has a huge upside if he can get some life back in his game. My question is why didn’t they get him when he has on waivers, wouldn’t the compensation have been much less going back to the Twins?

  16. stairwayto7 - Aug 31, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    This pick-up makes the Pirates even better on the way to the WOLRD SERIES !!

  17. idolized1 - Aug 31, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    I don’t know how to feel about this as a Twins fan.

    Since he won the MVP it has been a roller coaster ride for him, but just when you thought he had hit rock bottom or was done, he would come back and start hitting again.

    Maybe a change of scenery will do him well and gain some consistency.

    I have no ill will towards the guy. Part of me misses him more than the part that doesn’t.

    Not thrilled to see him go, but I understand the move.

    Hopefully this works out for both teams, because it would nice to see the Bucs taste success after so long.

    • idolized1 - Aug 31, 2013 at 4:56 PM

      I meany hey, we couldn’t really use Liriano (pitch to contact, anyone) and his time with Pittsburgh has been great.

      Will be cool to watch this one play out.

  18. gibbyfan - Aug 31, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    Card fan here but have to tip my hat to the Bucs…………lousy payroll yet putting it together……if we can’t win it hope you do…… the undedog—-which today sadly is anyone with a payroll less than 150M

  19. migoli - Aug 31, 2013 at 5:02 PM

    I don’t see how people thought th Twins were going I get any thing for morneau!? If you did think they were going to get some amazing haul I don’t think you understand baseball

    • Cris E - Sep 3, 2013 at 4:09 PM


  20. rgledz - Aug 31, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    @migoli…..Judging by your comment I’m not sure that you understand the written English language. Anyway, Twins fans weren’t expecting a stockpile of major league talent, I think what most Twins fans wanted was for the Pohlad family to keep Morneau around and see what he has left. He’s only 32 and a former MVP. The Pohlad’s are making money hand over fist and they do nothing to improve the team other than to hitch their wagon to a handful of “can’t miss” prospects that they’ll someday trade away for nothing rather than pay them. It’s the Twins way and they’ve been getting away with it for too damn long.

    • albertmn - Sep 1, 2013 at 10:36 AM

      I think you are as wrong as migoli. I agree that no one thought they would get a haul for Morneau, and aging, overpaid first baseman prone to slumps (see July 2013). But, I disagree that most fans wanted them to keep Morneau. Again, he is currently overpaid for his production at his position, especially on a rebuilding team. Over the coming years, Mauer is going to need to play even more games away from catcher, which will likely be first base. I wish Morneau the best, but it would have been ridiculous for a rebuilding Twins team to throw another $20-30 million at Morneau this offseason, which is what he would have wanted.

  21. carolinakid - Aug 31, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    As a Braves fan this makes me fear them even more this post season.

    Good for them, bad for us.

  22. ashtongronholz8 - Aug 31, 2013 at 6:37 PM

    Stupid.. We better resign him. Fans expect some effort and money spent after funding such a beautiful new ball park

    • albertmn - Sep 1, 2013 at 10:39 AM

      Why? Do you just want him resigned because you think he is a nice guy? He is a decent player, but not worth his current contract. If the Twins resign him for anything close to the money he is currently making, every Twins fan will be bitching about his albatross of a contract in two years. Quit living in the past! With Morneau, the Twins are heading toward their 3rd straight 90+ loss season. Youth is the answer.

  23. modellforprez - Aug 31, 2013 at 6:54 PM

    Big Big special shout out to Scott Diamond & Bert Blyleven for the kind words to Morneau and to TWINS fans for the Class they conducted learning their player was traded to our team. I would love to say the same things about Presly just not sure i can he is a little unproven and has been up and down all year. Minnesota People are All class All the ones i encountered at least. very special place. GO TWINS AND BUCCOS!!!!!

  24. joewilliesshnoz - Aug 31, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    Way to go, Bucco’s.

  25. bosoxfan15 - Aug 31, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    Morneau will probably be a Yankee next year. That’s where the beyond their prime players go to be over-paid.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. G. Stanton (2816)
  2. B. Crawford (2752)
  3. Y. Puig (2479)
  4. G. Springer (2422)
  5. C. Correa (2321)
  1. H. Pence (2301)
  2. H. Ramirez (2299)
  3. J. Hamilton (2250)
  4. J. Fernandez (2159)
  5. D. Wright (2136)