Knobler On Pirates, Brewers, Morneau

The trade market remains relatively quiet, but it’s starting to take shape, as Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com explains. Here are some details from Knobler:

  • Pirates GM Neal Huntington said this week that "you can't buy when people aren't selling." The 32-30 Pirates figure to be looking for offense this summer.
  • The Brewers are simultaneously preparing for the possibility of becoming sellers and suggesting they could become buyers. They’ve told their scouts to identify prospects to target in the farm systems of contending teams, yet they won’t necessarily sell. They remain interested in keeping Zack Greinke, whose contract expires after the season.
  • Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos asked the Twins about Justin Morneau, Knobler reports. Yet as one unnamed executive told Knobler “Alex calls about everyone." The Blue Jays are said to be particularly interested in Morneau, according to Knobler.


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65 Comments on "Knobler On Pirates, Brewers, Morneau"


johnsilver
3 years 2 months ago

Morneau to the Jays makes a world of sense, as does moving Willingham for prospects. The Twins have a weak farm system, are not going to compete (as-is) anytime soon and need to realize that by the time both contracts expire, those 2 will be long gone.

What is it with owners who fail to read simple old hand writing on the wall? nearly as bad in Milwaukee? Not that they have as many moveable objects as desirable as the Twins, but they should be moving pieces as well.

Twins ATM, have the rare combo of a guy in Morneau and a couple of teams (LAD/Jays) who could both afford him and would give up probably more than he is actually worth and Willingham? He is actually been healthy for 3 months straight (no small feat in itself) and playing outstanding ball, plus signed to a tremendously team friendly deal for 2 more seasons.. They could move him to any potential PO caliber team right now.. What gives here?

They think winning 70 games (maybe) is worth hanging onto both or something?

FunkyTime
3 years 2 months ago

I agree that the Twins should be selling off any older players that they can, but I can’t imagine Morneau has much, if any, trade value.  In the past couple years he hasn’t been anywhere close to being worth his contract.

If they could just dump that contract it probably would be a positive for them.

AaronAngst
3 years 2 months ago

“Not that they have as many moveable objects as desirable as the Twins, but they should be moving pieces as well”

Greinke, Marcum, Hart, and K-Rod are less desirable than Josh Willingham and Justin Morneau? To a hospital ward, maybe.

johnsilver
3 years 2 months ago

 Grienke, Marcum and Rodriquez are half season rentals, plus marcum’s use is probably limited to the NL (like Wandy) nowdays and wasn’t sure that someone.. Hart.. currently leading all of baseball in strikeouts and doing his best impersonation of “Mark Reynolds” worth 22m total through 2013 when the O’s can’t even give Reynolds away at only 7.5m owed..

Yes.. Grienke, Marcum and even KRod have value, but that was why Hammer Willingham and Morneau have extra.. Controllable over more than 1 season and in Willingham’s case.. Value through 2014 at an exceptional rate.

AaronAngst
3 years 2 months ago

 “Nowdays” because he wasn’t able to handle the AL East when he was pitching in it less than two years ago? That’s just silly. Rentals or not, the receiving team wouldn’t be committing to pay Morneau’s deal when there’s a very distinct possibility he won’t be playing for a good chunk of it, and Willingham has never been consistent enough to warrant a long term commitment. “Long-term” meaning more than a year. The deadline is about improving for the present for buyers… Greinke, and Marcum are both pitching well, and would both be more desirable to contending teams looking for rotation help – which is just about all of them. Hart is streaky, but can play the corners and first base with pop, and above all else – he’s a mostly healthy guy. K-Rod’s track record would make him more desirable than his current performance, I’ll grant you that, but: he’s healthy.

3 years 2 months ago

Actually, Marcum didn’t handle the AL East. Check the numbers.

Morneau had a concussion and if you know anything about them it takes time to get back to yourself. He appears to be doing pretty good. I’d say he’s a GREAT buy low right now. I’d love the Jays to somehow snag both Morneau AND Willingham.

Hart and K-Rod have no value to me.

Greinke I’d like to be sure. But he would only be on the team for a couple months. That definitely brings down the value a little bit.

AaronAngst
3 years 2 months ago

The numbers say that Marcum handled the AL East just fine… unless you’re using an abstract metric that will totally blow my mind, dude. Hart has as much value as Willingham and Morneau. Funny thing about concusions, most people don’t ever fully recover. And 14mil isn’t a “buy low” situation anyway.

johnsilver
3 years 2 months ago

 What the poster meant, was marcum was not particularly effective vs the teams who might be looking to acquire him in the AL East.. Baltimore, Boston and the NYY. Boston and the NYY Marcum was not very effective against, those have been patient teams and his style just(getting batters to chase bad pitches) was not effective against them and of course having no DH hurts some also.

It’s not a real knock on the guy. Pitchers get like that sometimes where they just need to go to the NL after several years.. We saw it with Javy Vazquez, Ted Lilly, Derek Low and now AJ burnet.

3 years 2 months ago

If I’m looking for a bat I’m looking at Morneau and Willingham before even starting to possibly think about thinking about Hart. Funny thing about baseball, it’s not a contact sport so there is very little chance of getting another concussion. So yes, many people do actually recover from one concussion. $14 mill is just money. Jays have tons of it. I meant buy low in terms of prospects. And if he is truely back, $14 mill is a buy low.

6.61, 4.33, 4.56, 3.33 Career ERAs against the NYY, BOS, BAL, TBR (actually 5.55 in 2010, the only year he faced them since they’ve been good.) That’s why AA traded him, he didn’t think Marcum was good enough to be on a team that had to compete in that division. 

AaronAngst
3 years 2 months ago

The only team his numbers are terrible against is the Yankees – even then, you’re going to base whether or not he can pitch upon ten starts? Can we break it down by game? Look at his numbers against other, “lesser” teams… he’s struggled against other teams, not in the AL East in a limited sample size… does that mean he can’t pitch in the NL West? Marcum isn’t a power arm, but you don’t need to be to get guys out. He also does not walk an exorbitant number of guys, so saying he bases his game off of getting guys to chase garbage is a total fallacy. I’m not saying the guy is ace caliber, but he sure isn’t worse than what most contenders are trotting out as number three starters.

bobskube
3 years 2 months ago

 If you’re looking at Willingham before Hart, don’t quite your day job.  Hart>Willingham.

Lunchbox45
3 years 2 months ago

is era and fip too abstract for you? because marcum’s numbers vs the al east are terrible

twins33
3 years 2 months ago

I agree that the Twins aren’t going anywhere for a few years, at least until they finally get legit SP, but I can also see this from a Twins perspective too.  No, winning only 70 games games is not good and is a seller type team, but Willingham and Span (you didn’t mention, but I figured I would) are both on very team friendly contracts. 

These are the guys you hold onto because their contracts are so team friendly.  You’d have to be absolutely blown away by a trade to pull the trigger, because anything less than “blown away” just isn’t worth it.  You still have to have good players, even on a crappy team, for fans to come to the ballpark.  The new stadium helps too.  It would not extremely hurt the Twins to hang on to those two, because of the type of deals they are on.  The downside is, these two are the only ones with huge value to trade…or any value at all for that matter.

I don’t think they should be traded unless there’s a blown away scenario, which I doubt anyone would actually want to give the Twins.  In regards to Morneau, I really can’t make a comment because he’s my favorite Twin so I’m extremely biased in wanting him to stay a Twin forever.

Once the Twins get starting pitching, they’ll be competing again.  And the FA market for SP next year looks pretty decent to me, so they could be decent again as soon as next year.  There are at least five guys I would take and the Twins will have 20-30 million to spend and need 3-4 SP’s next year.  They’re at a point where they are going to have to start spending money on some legit starters and not this Marquis crap.  But…I’m not saying they finally actually will.  I will hope, but I won’t hold my breath.

johnsilver
3 years 2 months ago

 It gets to a point where a team sinks so low (no offense) has to make up it’s mind that they just have to make hard choices and Morneau and Willingham both have the marketability and short term (2-3 seasons counting 2012) where they can be moved and definite positive value on the market.

Span they have locked up to a VERY team friendly deal and an option for 2015, he might be around when they can compete, hang onto him if possible and they just cannot move Mauer of course. Contract would prohibit that. Build the future on those and the Twins could get MAJOR pieces back, the sooner the better from both Morneau and Willingham. The window is closing on Morneau.. Jays for example are falling and that opportunity may have closed. Willingham, as much a key piece he is to maybe draw a few thousand to the seats now? How many sellouts would that team get in a couple of years if he could get a teams 2 top 10 guys back, including maybe a.. Jacob Turner? Just throwing Turner as a name, but you get my point there. Top prospect power pitchers about to crash onto the MLB scene and then LAD/Toronto, some team that can afford 14m until 2013 and needs a 1b, not many of those teams out there. That window is not open that often with all the big $$$ 1b in the game signed to huge deals and both Toronto and the Dodgers would have been nice points a couple of weeks ago. Who knows? Maybe both still are.

I agree with you on that Marquis type. We have chatted on that topic before and think the twins FO is learning to get away from them finally now.. That type may be far cheaper to sign and develop, but everything has to go right for them to succeed, just to many variables have to go perfect.. Long gone is the Blyleven type, who could throw a 95mph heater, then a knee bender curve on the Twins.. They dearly need someone of that sort again.

twins33
3 years 2 months ago

Yeah, I can see what you mean.  I can see it from both sides.  It’s just tough either way.  I feel like even though those players are valuable in a trade, I just don’t know if they are valuable enough to bring a #2 pitcher (or so) back in return.  Though, I will admit, I’ve never been good at judging player value.  I do know Willingham is playing way over his head, though he’s still a good player.  I just don’t see him bringing back a stud type SP.

And if the Twins do decide to go after real starters on the FA market, the Twins could be relevant again as soon as next year.  Like I said, there are at least five guys out there that would be a huge improvement to the rotation.  BUT, if they don’t do that…which they likely won’t, then trading those pieces would definitely make sense.

Very hard to figure out what the front office and ownership is thinking right now.  I wish they would just go after good pitchers in the FA market for once.  Too many spots to fill to not get at least one good one.

Tacho Bill
3 years 2 months ago

I hear the Pirates are after Chase Headley. That’s the answer to the worst offense in baseball? CHASE HEADLEY?

Henduck
3 years 2 months ago

I agree.  Hamilton is about to become of FA.  They should totally be trying to see if Texas will give him up.  I think Neil Walker and Jeff Karstens should be enough to get him.  

I’m sick and tired of the Pirates not even trying!!!!

3 years 2 months ago

You can’t be serious.

Henduck
3 years 2 months ago

Oh, I’m dead serious Ryan.  Dead serious brother!  I think that’s a very even trade, but Huntington is utterly incapable of pulling something like that off.  

EdinsonPickle
3 years 2 months ago

 Right, but you’re not ACTUALLY serious, are you?

Mike Adamson
3 years 2 months ago

The Pirates are trying. They seem to be the most aggresive team out there right now but that is how you get ripped off too.

If I’m the Bucs-

1.Send Alvarez to the minors for the rest of the season no matter what. He will not be a bust if they handle this right. He can tear the cover off a baseball one week then it goes away.

2.Go after Headley or Morneau or both.

3. Call up Starling Marte and send Tabata to the bench or AAA. He’s not going to be anymore ready than he is.

4. The bottom of the order just needs to keep hitting Barajas looks really good these days and McGhee and Barmes are both showing some signs of life.

If these things happen we could compete for a bad central.

3 years 2 months ago

You think the Rangers are going to give up Hamilton for Scraps when they are in the middle of a WS chase? Comical.

ugen64
3 years 2 months ago

He’s got a career OPS of .815 away from PETCO Park. That’s already good enough to be 2nd in the team in OPS. He’s also one of the best defensive 3rd basemen in the league, a big improvement over the black hole that is Pedro Alvarez.

I think he’d be a great acquisition for the O’s, if they stay in contention – I just don’t think we have a deep enough farm system to get him. Our main trade asset is relievers, but the Padres can just pick 6 pitchers from the scrap heap and form a decent bullpen, so I’m not sure that would be a good match.

the_show
3 years 2 months ago

I already hate the extra wild card…there would be so much more trade talk at this point if not for that spot

The Brewers are not contenders, put them out of there misery

First Bleed
3 years 2 months ago

As a Brewer fan, I agree. Sell now Brewers.

3 years 2 months ago

i think pirates should get headley, carlos lee, josh willingham, and ryan dempster to sure up the starting rotation since morton is out. and maybe carlos marmol if it doesn’t cost much. he is awesome when he is on.

Henduck
3 years 2 months ago

Now you’re talking!  That would be great.  It will never happen though.  The Pirates are too cheap.   

Ben_Cherington
3 years 2 months ago

I think they should go out and try for Josh Hamilton, guy would provide a ton of offense and he is a free agent after this yr!

3 years 2 months ago

i think we will probably end up with a combo of 2 either lee, headley, or willingham

Mike Adamson
3 years 2 months ago

One big move at best for the Pirates. Headley is the guy we seem to want. If another move happens it would Ryan Ludwick ish.

Goriax
3 years 2 months ago

OK,,, for starters the idea of Texas moving Josh Hamilton is absolutely hysterical. His contract expires at year end, sure that may be true but ask Texas whats more important, having him in the line up for a world series run, or trading him for prospects. Texas is built to win now, not in 5 years.

As a Jays fan, Morneau to the Jays gives me a little smirk or happiness but not at his salary it doesnt. At his salary, Minnesota cannot expect to receive any of the Jays top prospects in return. If they were willing to eat a bunch of that then I would be ok losing a decent prospect for Morneau. He will put butts in the seats and add to the line up, he is also used to playing on turf.

3 years 2 months ago

No team is going to make 4 trades…

3 years 2 months ago

I wouldn’t like it, but if we can get something for Justin, it should be a done deal. He’s from Canada anyways. Plus, that gives solid playing time to Chris Parmelee and opens the position for Joe Mauer.

Mike Adamson
3 years 2 months ago

Big salary often injured. With that said it would be mostly money deal and right down the Pirates alley. Maybe the Twins choose from Justin Wilson, Rudy Owens, or Brad Lincoln who are all close to MLB ready. Not #1’s but 3-5 canidates. Plus a prospect like Gorky Hernandez or Matt Hague.

George Hareras
3 years 2 months ago

I can’t believe what I’m reading from some of these people. No way the Pirates make all of those trades without completely depleting their farm system that they have been spending soo much money these last few years trying to revamp.

I’m not sure if that guy up there is actually serious about trading for Hamilton, but its most definitely the least likely scenario that will ever happen. The Rangers are competing for a WS, so theres absolutely no way they trade their best player for a decent second basemen (besides they already have Kinsler) and a hurt pitcher… 

Mike Adamson
3 years 2 months ago

Let us enjoy being buyers… Hamilton is a joke I think? Morneau wouldn’t cost the farm.

Henduck
3 years 2 months ago

No way is getting Hamilton a joke.  I really think that Walker and Karstens should be enough to get him too.  Yes, Karstens is hurt right now, but he will be back (and better than ever) soon.  Yes, they do have Kinsler, but Neil can player anywhere.  He’s a an all-around superstar athlete who played football at Pine Richland!  He’s the “Pittsburgh Kid”.  His trade value just HAS to be through the roof.  Yinz guys just don’t know.  

There’s just no excuse for Huntington not getting this done.  If he can’t, then he’s just not trying or Nutting is too cheap to let him try.  

SALE THE TEAM

Lunchbox45
3 years 2 months ago

lol

Mike Adamson
3 years 2 months ago

Hamilton is the best Left handed batter in the game. The proposal is a joke and getting him from a team that has a shot at the World Series makes it funnier.

Start with Cole and McCutchen in that proposal and I’m a Pirates fan.

BeatEmBucs
3 years 2 months ago

 Would you please just get his satire already?

BucsFan54
3 years 2 months ago

Accepting a trade of Walker and Kartens (and I’m a big Karstens fan) for Hamilton would put that GM on the street in a heartbeat. No way Nolan Ryan wouldn’t personally kick him out of the state of Texas

Todd Smith
3 years 2 months ago

True story, I was on another not so intelligent site looking at Pirate fans comments, and I saw some ridiculous trade ideas….think Kevin Correia for Mark Trumbo bad.  

I jumped in and offered up my own stupid trade idea to mock them.  “Trade Josh Harrison for Bryce Harper!”

The responses I got were, “OMG!  Why would you trade Josh Harrison away!?”  

It’s a sad lot.

3 years 2 months ago

chase headley would only cost maybe Jeff Locke and rojas jr. Carlos Lee for Clay Holmes. Willingham for Nick Kingham and Bryan Morris. Dempster and Marmol for Rudy Owens, Justin Wilson and Coltain Cain. That’s just my guess but who knows what will happen. I wouldn’t say that destroys our farm.

Goriax
3 years 2 months ago

Anyone that thinks Hamilton is going anywhere this season is delusional, its that simple.

Lunchbox45
3 years 2 months ago

What is morneau’s value at th is point? when healthy hes a top 5 1B in the league.

he has what 2 years left? with a pretty big price tag.

I doubt jays would have to give up any of their big prospects (gose, d’arnaud, syndergaard)

but I’m assuming the twins would like marisnick, and maybe another high end A prospect. not sure what else really.

Encarnacion's Parrot
3 years 2 months ago

Jake Marisnick, 2 cases of Molson Canadian, and the first 5 seasons of Little Mosque On The Prairie on bluray should get it done.

If they feel so inclined, they can have Adam Lind too.

Lunchbox45
3 years 2 months ago

I would have also accepted.. can he pitch?

did you hear Drabeks probably headed for another tommy john?

Encarnacion's Parrot
3 years 2 months ago

I heard he strained his UCL. Not sure if he actually needs to meet his best friend John, Tommy again.

EDIT: Yeah, I’m seeing that Dr. Andrew’s found a tear in his UCL now.

3 years 2 months ago

I would have thought that Marisnick counts as one of their “big prospects.” I think you could maybe include one of the catching prospects ex. Perez; one of the younger arms maybe a Nicolino, and then some extra low-ceiling piece.

Lunchbox45
3 years 2 months ago

I’d do that deal. .. although it seems moot if cecil, chavez or laffey is pitching.

AaronAngst
3 years 2 months ago

I think this has less to do with the extra Wild Card, and more to do with the CBA – receiving teams not getting compensatory picks for the guys they rent waters down what teams are willing to give up. Part of me thinks that holding on to impending free agents is actually the smarter move than trading them away… especially if it’s just for a couple C-level prospects.

3 years 2 months ago

Ah, I don’t know if that’s necessarily the case. Maybe for the stars and only for the guys that have nothing left on the deal. Remember the qualifying offer to get a comp pick is going to be 12.5+. That’s huge money and a good chance the guys will take it. For instance, of course Hamels wouldn’t take that so the Phils can not trade him and feel confident they will get the picks (assuming they are putting him on the block and not re-signing him anyway). But, look at teh Jays, they have Encarnacion and Kelly Johnson both FAs at the end of the year and both probably taking the qualifying offer (KJ took his this year at $8). They Jays, if selling, would be stupid to not trade them or sign them to an extension. 

HerbertAnchovy
3 years 2 months ago

Words of wisdom from Neil Huntington right there.

3 years 2 months ago

No, he is right – the Pirates have the weakest offense in baseball.

Mike Adamson
3 years 2 months ago

I get it but they need to focus on both. The Central isn’t out of reach if the pitching holds up. If they can get some help for Presley, Walker, and Cutch then they need to do it.

bigpat
3 years 2 months ago

 They just need to have money allocated to Appel and if he signs, he signs. No need to bend over backwards for he and Boras.

They need to be focused on making the playoffs this season or at least having a winning record first and foremost. For all the praise Huntington gets, and yes I praise him a lot too, there HAS to be results on the major league roster soon. Gone are the days where you need 5-6 years to get competitive. I’m not saying trade all the quality prospects for aging vets, but make some moves to get quality bats this year and maybe some guys who are more than rental players.

Mike Adamson
3 years 2 months ago

What I’m worried about as a Pirate fan is that we got guys blocked in AAA (Locke, Owens, Wilson, Lincoln MLB) All of these guys have success in AAA and are considered 3-5 rotation prospects. I dont want to lose them or younger guys in Rule V. I think those are the guys we need consider trading. Those guys could pitch in Minny tomorrow.

Lunchbox45
3 years 2 months ago

Do you realize how good Justin Morneau is?
he’s not going to be free. if he was he’d be somewhere by now

Lunchbox45
3 years 2 months ago

he’s not “injury prone” he’s had one major injury that has lingered.

While concussions are serious, once he is fully recovered, it shouldn’t come up again unless another freak accident takes place.

and I think the jays have given enough chances to adam lind, he’s statistically been one of the worst players in the major leagues the last 2 years. He is no longer an option, and thats why hes no longer on the 40 man

3 years 2 months ago

I agree. I don’t know why everyone thinks Morneau is going to be tossed for nothing. His contract isn’t really that bad either. If he hits anywhere close to what he did pre-injury and pre-Target Field he’d be a complete steal. I think getting him out of Target would increase his numbers quite a bit. Marisnick and Nicolino….with the Twins eating some salary. (Although I’d hate to give up both those guys.)

Lunchbox45
3 years 2 months ago

They are by no means one batter away, but the likely hood of adding all of the pieces they need in one free agency or in a few call ups is unlikely.

so you get morneau and you are 1 piece closer

Todd Smith
3 years 2 months ago

Pirates have spent more in the draft than any other team over the past 3 years – including the Nationals who signed Harper and Strasburg.  They have also taken their fair share of Boras clients and have gotten them signed – Alvarez, Cole, Bell…they are hardly cheap in the draft.

However, with the new draft rules, there is no possible way for them to “appease Boras”.  There is a draft budget.  The Pirates will not go over that budget and lose draft picks.  If Appel is going to sign it’s going to have to be pretty close to slot value.

Lunchbox45
3 years 2 months ago

he’s slugging .500. 

johnsilver
3 years 2 months ago

 “. If Greinke is traded he is going to net a Top 40 prospect easy.”

No kidding.. probably top 5 from many teams, but Morneau is back from his concussion issues which was why he missed all of those games for anyone who knew anything about his injury issue..

Willingham is a power bat who has 8m a season deal through 2014, provides superior pop and is well affordable by every MLB team.. he will bring a premium. Ditto Morneau.. GG defensive 1b who hits very, very well with 14mAAV through next season. Nice figures for someone back from his concussion and not a rash of injuries like many here like to proclaim..

Marcum? Even Jays fans will tell fans he doesn’t belong back in the AL.. The powerhouse (and contenders) owned him.. it’s why they got rid of him when they did!

Hart’s line this season speaks for itself.. He is the brewers next Billy Hall figure.. Headed for that big swirleeeeeeeeeee.

johnsilver
3 years 2 months ago

 Morneau adds GG caliber defense.. you pick-n choose issues I gave.. Like Marcum’s ineffectiveness vs the normal contending AL teams and why the Jays moved him to begin with.

Does marcum have value to an NL team? Sure. As much as Wandy Rodriquez does, only Marcum isn’t owed as much, but marcum isn’t going to net much to any AL team, probably no AL team is even looking at him after Toronto moved him out.

Check his numbers vs Boston, NYY..Even the now contending O’s..They are not “nice”.