ON JUSTIN MORNEAU
What’s preventing Justin Morneau from being a Pittsburgh Pirate is money. As the August 31st waiver deadline looms, the Twins are very interested in working out a deal with the Pirates but GM Neal Huntington has yet push forward on acquiring Morneau who the Pirates continue to kick the tires on.
Morneau is said to be available for a C-level type prospect were the team acquiring him pick up all of his remaining salary, which is significant — around $4 million.
If the Pirates were to acquire Morneau, it’s likely going to be right at the August 31st deadline with a hard push from the Pirates for the Twins to pick up some of Morneau’s remaining salary. Morneau is batting .267/.321/.431 with 15 home runs and 72 RBIs. He has 7 home runs and 19 RBIs in the month of August. Morneau’s 72 RBIs would rank second on the Pirates behind Pedro Alvarez who has a team leading 83.
The knock on Morneau is that he can’t hit lefties, which is a major problem throughout the Pirates lineup from lefty hitters. Morneau is batting .224/.260/.308 with 2 home runs, 16 RBIs vs lefties.
Regardless of his struggles vs lefties, Morneau would upgrade the Pirates lineup as Garrett Jones is hitting .241/.298/.414 with 11 home runs and 42 RBIs and is showing no signs of breaking out, batting .205 since the All-Star break and .133 (6-45) in the month of August.
Jones strictly a platoon player this season with just 18 at-bats vs lefties (.056 avg), is hitting just .252 vs righties. Morneau by comparison is batting .287/.346/.486 vs righties. He could be entering his final season with the Pirates, making $4.4 million this season.
One area Morneau could upgrade the Pirates is also with runners in scoring position.
The Pirates rank 29th in the Majors, batting .224 with runners in scoring position. Morneau is hitting .280/.349/.456 with RISP and hitting .286/.338/.460 with runners on.