The Free Press, Mankato, MN


September 1, 2013

Thoma column:Twins traded Morneau's name


As for Welker: He throws hard, his command is uncertain, and we're not even certain he's the second piece of the trade. I'll think about him when I know he's the guy.

As for Morneau: I said in the blog last week that I reckoned there's at least a 50 percent chance that he'll be the Twins first baseman in 2014. That still holds.

He's a free agent to be. If the Twins re-sign him (at a sharply lesser salary, to be sure), they'll have landed two minor pieces in exchange for a month of Morneau's services. And if they don't bring him back, at least they got something out of his departure.

As a sentimentalist and a fan, I'm not thrilled with the trade; I would have liked to see Morneau spend his entire career in a Twins uniform. That obviously won't happen.

As a realist, I embrace the deal. The view here has always been that 2013's decisions had to be made with 2014 and beyond as the priority. This trade does that.

Morneau wasn't, and isn't, likely to be a key figure on the next good Twins team. Nor is Presley, for that matter, but Presley fills an immediate purpose and might be a bit piece on that next good team.

Edward Thoma (344-6377; maintains his Baseball Outsider blog at Follow him on Twitter @bboutsider.

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