The Minnesota Twins may be coming off a sweep of the Oakland Athletics. But at 18-32, the Twins are still the worst team in the American League, 3.5 games behind the A’s and Kansas City Royals.
Minnesota definitely has the look of a seller when the trade deadline arrives in two months. And with the expanded postseason format, there probably won’t be too many teams selling, which should help the Twins get ample return for players in such a scarce market.
Denard Span‘s name is often thrown around the rumor mill. And even though he’s on the first year of a three-year deal, some believe Josh Willingham could be traded as well. Relievers like Matt Capps and Jared Burton could also fetch a return for Twins GM Terry Ryan.
But what about Justin Morneau? The former AL MVP hasn’t been the Morneau of old, but he’s still be pretty good, with nine homers in 34 games. He’s hitting just .244, but he’s still on a 30-homer pace if he can stay relatively healthy for the rest of the season.
And therein lies the big “if” when talking about Morneau’s trade value: health. He’s already been on the disabled list once this year with a sore left wrist. And there remains the concussion concerns stemming from the head injury he suffered in a second-base collision two years ago.
I don’t think the salary – whatever would be left of his $15 million for this season and another $15 million next season – would scare teams away. That’s a pretty short-term obligation, and there won’t exactly be a lot of power-hitting former MVPs available to teams chasing playoff spots.
But I think the injuries – even the worries over future injuries – could really hamper his value to the Twins. Would a team like the Toronto Blue Jays – who just shipped DH/1B Adam Lind away from the big league club – be interested in the slugging Canadian?
Two healthy months of hitting from Morneau going forward would benefit the Twins in more ways than one.