MLB Rumors

MLB Trade Deadline 2012: Ranking Best Fits for Twins' Justin Morneau

ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 08:  Justin Morneau #33 of the Minnesota Twins at bat against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on July 8, 2012 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Eric BallFeatured ColumnistJuly 31, 2012

Who wants a former MVP that’s having a comeback year?

According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, “at least” three teams have expressed varying interest in the Minnesota Twins’ first baseman Justin Morneau.

Those teams include the Los Angeles Dodgers, Toronto Blue Jays and San Francisco Giants. Jason A. Churchill of ESPN.com suggests the Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles and Cleveland Indians could all be options as well.

The 31-year-old has a .261 average with 13 home runs and 46 RBI this season, to go with a .323 on-base percentage. After struggling out of the gate, he has hit .317 in the month of July and seems to be finally recovering from the nasty concussions that robbed him of the vast majority of the last two seasons.

So who is the best fit for the 2006 MVP? Here are the three best choices.

 

1. Toronto Blue Jays

Morneau belongs in Canada.

The New Westminster native would be a terrific box office draw for a team that ranks 20th in the league currently in average attendance (via ESPN.com).

Edwin Encarnacion and Yan Gomes have split time there recently, but neither is the long-term solution at the position.

Morneau can man the position while still having the opportunity to DH. It makes a lot of sense as the Blue Jays continue to show the rest of baseball they are ready to compete in the rugged American League East.

 

2. San Francisco Giants

The Giants can shuffle around their position players to make this work, but the problem lies in the return Minnesota is looking to obtain.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports the Twins will be looking to land a starting pitcher who is already in the majors:

To get Justin Morneau, a team would need to part with a major-league ready SP and work out remaining $19M in salary with Twins through '13.

— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 30, 2012

With the Giants' rotation set for the most part, it seems like Hunter Pence might be a more likely scenario considering the real need of the team resides in the outfield.

 

3. Los Angeles Dodgers

Morneau is still owed $19 million through the 2013 season, and a team that has no issue footing the bill is the Dodgers.

Already trading for Hanley Ramirez, the new ownership has made it clear money is not an issue.

The problem with this match is that the Dodgers are looking more for a pitcher at this point. They have been involved in plenty of rumors involving starters, and would likely much rather land Cliff Lee than Morneau.

 

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