It would be so strange to see Morneau wearing a different uniform. I don't like it.
It's time for your daily requisite of Twins rumors, brought to you by the propaganda pool. Things seem to change shape daily, which is either fun or maddening depending on how much you like to speculate. Personally, I don't mind it. These potential moves would change the course of the franchise, and it's hard for me to not get a little bit excited about that. So let's jump in.
With Brewers GM Doug Melvin admitting that Zack Greinke will definitely be traded, the teams which are equipped to deal for a top-flight ace will likely take a wait-and-see attitude on the Twins' southpaw. Other teams that are still in the hunt, however, either feel like they aren't equipped or willing to part with the necessary pieces to get a guy like Greinke, or else they feel like that kind of move isn't necessary.
One of those teams appears to be the Orioles, who have "inquired" on Liriano. We already know the Angels like him, and it was just a week ago when we chronicled a running list of his potential suitors. Other rental pitchers, namely Ryan Dempster, will have an effect on how strong the demand for Liriano becomes, but according to a source of Jayson Stark's he's pretty much a lock to be dealt.
With the Yankees out of the bidding now that they have Ichiro, the one team we know that's looked at Span is the Reds. Ken Rosenthal has more, but gets it right when he says the Reds wouldn't have to pay nearly as much for rental players like Shane Victorino or Juan Pierre. Span's age, performance, and remaining years of team control drive his value significantly higher than your typical run-and-done acquisition.
The link to Stark's article says Span is "more pricey" than the next guy on our list, but it's justifiable.
Stark started his evaluation of the price of the three available Minnesota bats by calling the going rate for Morneau "pricey". With $14 million due to our first baseman next season, and roughly $4.7 million over August and September, that's enough to make him pricey since the Twins are apparently unwilling to foot any of the bill. Oddly enough this probably means that Justin Morneau could be traded for a marginal prospect or two, which is just bizarre to conceptualize knowing what he meant to this organization from 2004 to 2010.
So Justin is the most likely bat to be moved, according to Stark, and it seems the Twins are indeed starting the bidding high as theyre asking for a Major League player in return. If a team is going to pick up that tab, I doubt the Twins get much of anything. But I'd love to be wrong. We know the Blue Jays have called, and I know there had been banter about the Dodgers in the past as well.
One last time, from Stark:
Josh Willingham -- so expensive, said one exec, "it made me laugh."
Well, yes, people. What do you expect to pay for a slugger on a very friendly team contract that you'd get to keep for two more years?
He's not on the block, but the Twins are certainly listening. There are cheaper, less impressive options out there. But it's still a seller's market, in that there are more buyers and potential destinations than there are impact, available pieces. The price remains prohibitive, but ultimately Minnesota doesn't need to trade Willingham.