Even if I understand why the Twins traded Justin Morneau today, it's still hard to really fathom. Tomorrow he'll be playing in another uniform. One of the best hitters in the history of the franchise, and certainly the second most productive hitter the organization has seen in the last 20 years, has been traded.
I'm going to wait until tomorrow to write anything further, simply so I can let my feelings sort themselves out a little bit. Today is "The Day the Twins Traded Justin Morneau", and I'm not ready to break it all down quite yet. In the mean time, here is what a few others have o say on the subject.
- Bryz broke down the nuts and bolts of the deal earlier on Twinkie Town, wondering if the acquisition of Alex Presley will affect the playing time, and possibly roster spot, of Clete Thomas. Astutely he also imagines a lot of Morneau's playing time going to Chris Colabello and Chris Parmelee. I will add another question to Bryz's regarding the PTBNL: could the player coming back to Minnesota be based on whether or not the Pirates make the post-season? Considering Morneau was added to help with the final push, the player coming back to Minnesota could be better if Pittsburgh makes it. If they don't make it, it could be a lesser player or cash. Pure speculation but it's a speculation that would make sense.
- Our SB Nation Pirates counterpart like the trade, calling Morneau a "marginal upgrade" and approving of the deal since Pittsburgh didn't give up anything of note or him. I do think that Justin is capable of producing more than Charlie Wilmouth gives him credit for, but I'm not exactly being objective about it either.
- Twins Daily's John Bonnes recounts how highly Morneau ranks on the Twins' all-time lists: 4th in slugging percentage, fifth in RBI, and fifth in extra-base hits.
- Aaron Gleeman's astute analysis is that Presley "accurately represents the type of diminished value Morneau has at this point thanks to [his] remaining salary, mediocre production, and free agency." It's about as sentimental as I've read from Aaron who, after noting Morneau's place among the greatest hitters in Twins history, goes on to mention his exhale and corkscrew follow through. Some things about the great players remain with us a long time, and they aren't always specific moments. Morneau had plenty of big hits for the Twins. But the exhale and corkscrew will always be uniquely his.
- MLBTR's Jeff Todd points out that the Twins have determined that Morneau is no longer worth the salary he made in 2013, meaning that if the team does attempt to bring him back in 2014 it will be at a reduced salary.
- Big League Stew correctly opines that Morneau should be a significant upgrade over the Pirates' current first base options.
- FSN's Tyler Mason calls the trade "understandable" but knows that seeing Justin in a different uniform is going to be an odd thing. A good read.