Justin Morneau has spent more than 14 years with the Twins organization since being selected in the third round of the 1999 draft, but the now 32-year-old former AL MVP finds his name swirling about the rumor mill. Here's the latest on Morneau, who is in the final season of a six-year, $80MM contract and owed roughly $4.7MM over the remainder of 2013...
- The Orioles have engaged the Twins in trade talks regarding Morneau, writes Scott Miller of CBS Sports. Miller adds that a source puts it at 50-50 whether Morneau remains with the Twins or is traded prior to tomorrow's 4pm ET trade deadline. Morneau's July swoon at the plate isn't helping his trade value either, Miller notes.
- Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press spoke to an AL scout who called Morneau "a shell of his former self," noting that his glove work at first base has taken a significant downturn as well. "The mobility and the agility are not there," the scout said. Berardino writes that a contract for Morneau may have to follow the mold of those signed by Travis Hafner and James Loney this offseason. Each signed for a $2MM base salary with additional incentives ($4MM for Hafner, $1MM for Loney). Another club monitoring Morneau considered the three-year, $21MM pact signed by his teammate, Josh Willingham, to be a fair comparable.
- Within that same piece, Berardino also notes that the Rays monitored Morneau for weeks but appear to be an unlikely landing spot. He also agrees with Miller's report that there's about a 50-50 chance Morneau is dealt (on Twitter).