The Free Press, Mankato, MN

News Ticker

Sports

September 1, 2013

Thoma column:Twins traded Morneau's name

What's in a name? In the case of Justin Morneau, a bench outfielder and, apparently, a bullpen lottery ticket.

That's what the Minnesota Twins got Saturday from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for the former MVP and franchise cornerstone — 28-year-old outfielder Alex Presley and a player to be named later, rumored to be minor league pitcher Duke Welker, also 28.

Morneau is more a name than a player now. His slash line (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage) since his career-altering 2010 concussion is a mere .256/.316/.412. The Twins would be delighted with that kind of production from Pedro Florimon, but it's not enough from a first baseman and cleanup hitter.

But there was some value to be extracted from Morneau's reputation. Presley isn't going to be a great player, but he can help.

He's a left-handed hitter, a center fielder who has hit pretty consistently in Triple A but hasn't the power to be a regular in an outfield corner and has been blocked in Pittsburgh by Andrew McCutchen, who is one of the best players in the National League.

The Pirates may not need a center fielder, but the Twins do, at least for a little while as Byron Buxton continues to marinate in the minors. Presley figures to be a step up from Clete Thomas as a place holder, and when Buxton is ready (or if Aaron Hicks gets his career trajectory straightened out) Presley can be a bench piece.

We should see plenty of Presley this month.

We should also see plenty of Chris Colabello at first base. The minor league vet's major league playing time has been sporadic because of Morneau's presence; Morneau's departure gives the Twins a month to see what Colabello can do with consistent at-bats.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports

Outdoors

Latest auto racing news
Featured Ads
Shane Frederick's Twitter updates
Chad Courrier's Sports Report
Latest NCAA basketball news
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
NDN Video
Martinez slams home run to help Tigers top Angels Rosenthal: Trout's contract was a compromise Full Count: Stephen Drew best SS option for Tigers Let It Ride: NBA Playoffs - First Round Odds Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend NBA playoff preview: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Oklahoma City Thunder NBA Eastern Conference playoff preview Can Malik Zaire Win the QB Job At Notre Dame? Boise State's Past Points To A Promising Future NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Seattle Seahawks NBA playoff previews: Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Clippers Mike Tyson throws out first pitch at PNC Park Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft NHL playoff preview: New York Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Philadelphia Eagles Boomer: Chris Johnson signing will work for Jets NHL playoff preview: Los Angeles Kings vs. San Jose Sharks NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - New England Patriots NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Washington Redskins