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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. tklind - Aug 31, 2013 at 10:07 PM

    For all of you who are from other parts of the country, rgledz comments are right on the mark. Read his two posts and that’s all you need to know about the Twins owners. The Pohlads need to sell to an owner who wants to win and is willing to spend some money to do it. They asked the public to build them a new stadium so they could compete, now even though they have been drawing over 30,000 fans per game (and it was 35,000+ prior to this year) their payroll is lower then when they were in the Metrodome. Truly pathetic.

    • Cris E - Sep 3, 2013 at 4:08 PM

      Of course current payroll is the end of all discussion. Any move to change players can be measured by net salary, so getting some guy to fill in CF who might be better than the injured or below average stiffs that have played this year, or sending a guy at the end of his deal to a team that’ll play in the post-season, or opening some playing time for the guys who are vying for the job next spring, all of these things are inconsequential in the face of saving a million bucks. That’s exactly right tk, it’s the money.

      Here’s a tough one: would you be any less bitter if they kept Morneau on the bench for the next month? Is that the right answer? Is there any right answer or are you just looking to complain about the payroll? They suck and they’re trying to get a herd of youngsters ready at around the same time so that can make another run. It’ll take some time, some losing, and a few years of sorting through unknown players. Here’s a hint: unknowns are poorly paid and having them around lowers your payroll. You want a lot of expensive recognizable names to look at go be a Cubs fan (although even they are moving on from that “plan”.)

  2. kicksave1980 - Aug 31, 2013 at 10:47 PM

    As a Cardinals fan, I salute the real Pirates fans who stuck with them through so many losing seasons. Even though our teams are fighting for a division, I’d rather it be the Pirates than anyone else in the central. Glad to see that organization finally trying to win.

  3. nightrain42 - Aug 31, 2013 at 11:23 PM

    Well, the last time my Buccs were relevant was when I was single, on my 3rd date with my future wife. Happy to say we are all in. No could be pick ups. Marlon B, Justin, shows that we are all in. Great move us. Pressley was a 4/5 OF at best. Marte, Cutch, in a couple of years Palanco…he had no future in the Burgh. Playoffs? Playoffs? We’re talkin bout Playoffs? Yes we are. Finally!!!!!

  4. Bob Loblaw - Aug 31, 2013 at 11:24 PM

    The Pirates have learned from the misery that is the 2013 Nationals that this lightening in a bottle isn’t anything that is guaranteed to happen every year and that when you see a chance to take it. Don’t rest players and assume you are going to be handed a trip to the postseason every year. Pirates are going all in for 2013 and I commend them.

    Too bad this postseason is shaping up to be a Cardinals pennant with all the new blood that is going to make the playoffs this year. I predict a Cardinals vs Red Sox/Tigers/Rangers World Series with the AL winning in 5.

  5. albertmn - Sep 1, 2013 at 2:17 AM

    As a Twins fan, I wish Morneau the best of luck, and glad to see the Pirates finally having a good season. But, it was time for Morneau to go if the Twins were able to get anything for him. He has shown flashes, but he just hasn’t been the same since the concussion and he is not worth what he is being paid (or worth what someone will pay him next year). I think he also needed a change of pace, so I hope he does well. He will be a few years older before the Twins were going to be ready to compete with the young guys (if they even get there), so the Twins needed to move on.

  6. doorharp11 - Sep 1, 2013 at 8:52 AM

    first off thank you morneau i enjoyed watching or listening to every baseball game you were in! pohlads please sell the team you dont care if you dont spend more money on this great franchise next season i will no longer come to the games to watch my favorite team the tv and radio are great for me!

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