Morneau Claimed By Brewers, Pulled Back By Rockies

Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau was claimed off revocable waivers by the Brewers, but pulled back by Colorado when the sides could not reach a deal, Jon Heyman of reports. An unknown offer from Milwaukee was apparently insufficient to pry Morneau free.

Morneau, 33, has enjoyed a career renaissance since joining the Rockies over the offseason, posting his finest season since his injury-shortened 2010 campaign. Leading the league with a .317 batting average, Morneau has reached base at a .360 clip while slugging an even .500 and swatting 14 home runs in 453 plate appearances. Of course, the lefty has continued to struggle against southpaws, putting up rather sizeable platoon splits (.930 OPS against righties; .655 OPS versus same-handed pitchers).

He does come with an increasingly attractive contract: earning just $5MM this year, Morneau is guaranteed $6.75MM next season along with a $750K buyout on a $9MM mutual option for 2016. (His 2015 salary is likely to rise by $500K based on a plate appearance escalator.) While it would have made little sense for Colorado to give Morneau away for a meager return, it is also fair to wonder whether the cellar-dwelling club should have dealt (and, looking forward, should deal) the veteran while his value is trending upwards.

With his defense and baserunning factored in, Morneau still profiles as less than a 3-WAR player, ranking in the middle of the league’s regular first baggers when his numbers are adjusted to account for playing at Coors Field. But that would have represented a nice upgrade for the Brewers, whose combined first base output stands at 1.5 fWAR and a 92 wRC+.

17 Responses to Morneau Claimed By Brewers, Pulled Back By Rockies Leave a Reply

  1. daveineg 11 months ago

    Brewers showed no apparent interest in Morneau last year as a FA. Instead they were focusing on James Loney and others. They’ve gotten by so far with Reynolds (21 HR) and Overbay (.383 with RISP). I think their interest now has as much to do with 2015 and 2016 though. I’m guessing they were dangling first rounder and 12th overall pick Taylor Jungmann (8-6, 4.10 at AAA) as the centerpiece. Apparently Rockies wanted more.

    • Yorkshire 11 months ago

      Your guess has nothing to back it. The fact no other teams claimed him just to block him really tells you what they were looking for.

    • Ruthlessly Absurd 11 months ago

      Overbay’s WAR: -0.5
      Reynolds’ WAR: 0.8
      TOTAL: 0.3

      Justin Morneau: 2.5

      I think they could use him this year

    • oh Hal 11 months ago

      What makes you think Jungmann was offered?

  2. Josh G 11 months ago

    I think you have his platoon OPS numbers reversed

  3. Big Giant Head 11 months ago

    I don’t understand. If they don’t want to trade him, why put him on waivers? Or was it that Milwaukee wasn’t willing to offer enough?

    • Gersh
      Gersh 11 months ago

      Most teams put almost their entire roster on waivers, there is really no harm to it, its mostly about gauging interest for the winter.

    • Jay fan since 77 11 months ago

      Milwaukee wasn’t willing to offer enough. Looking for a team that will give up a significant amount in a trade. Every player on every team gets waived to see what interest level there is.

  4. Tyler 11 months ago

    Rockies love the buy and hold strategy

  5. Brendan Haglund 11 months ago

    I’m surprised he even made it all the way to Milwaukee. Also disappointed that Doug didn’t make something happen. Getting a difference maker like that this late in August would have been pretty awesome.

  6. Curt Green 11 months ago

    Another former Twin leading in the batting race at Coors Field. Now if they could only elevate Target Field a few thousand feet…..

    • Red_Line_9 11 months ago

      Can you imagine how cold Target Field would be in April if Minneapolis was also at 5,000 ft? They’d need to use malamutes to pull the infield drags.

  7. Bryce P 11 months ago

    This would have been a good pick up for this season and next. I would balance out the lineup while not breaking the bank. If I was DM I would try signing Adam LaRoche (2yrs/$18M) in the offseason to fill the spot.

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