The Pirates move into first place thanks to Justin Morneau's go ahead RBI against the Cubs on Sunday. (Photo Credit: David Hague)

Pirates Still Trying For Justin Morneau

Dan Zangrilli of 93.7 The Fan reports that the Pittsburgh Pirates are still trying for Minnesota Twins first baseman Justin Morneau.

The Pirates are still trying to add Morneau.

The Pirates are still trying to add Morneau.

The Pirates were willing to give up a high player cost for Marlon Byrd, so they must not see Morneau as the same type of fit. After the addition of Byrd, it was reported that the Pirates were still going after Morneau. Today is the deadline to add him and have him eligible for the post-season.

Last night I wrote that the Pirates should add Morneau if the cost is only money. He’s not worth it if the cost is money plus prospects, or even if it’s prospects with Minnesota picking up money. Basebal Prospectus has the difference between Morneau and Jones as 0.2 WARP over the remainder of the season, with Morneau having the advantage. ZiPS has Morneau as an 0.2 WAR the rest of the year, with Jones an 0.1 WAR. There wasn’t a huge difference with Marlon Byrd over his replacements, but the key difference here is that Jones has had success in the past. It’s more likely that he bounces back going forward, compared to the bounce back chances of the right field options Byrd replaced.

We’ll see what happens with Morneau today. I’d be surprised if the Twins just gave him up as a salary dump. They’re trying to re-sign him after the year, and while they could save $3 M, I don’t think saving $3 M is worth dumping a franchise player, and a player who has a shot of spending his entire career with the Twins. That $3 M in savings could cause a fan backlash, even if Morneau is only worth a salary dump at the moment.

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • Matthew McCarty

    so marte, grilli, mcdonald, mckenry, karstens and wandy on DL is basically going to allow us to have byrd, buck mourneau, sanchez and locke for playoffs, with one spot open for someone like tallion, kris johnson, chase darnaud or lambo, right?

    304/360/494/854 <—tabata in August

    250/296/543/836 <— Mourneau's "blistering" august

    Mourneau on the year (259/315/426/715) still has basically the same stats as GFJ (240/297/423/720).

    I honestly would rather have chase darnaud or presley for some bench speed. especially after byrd did the equivalent of AJ taking jmac fishing and apparently did some cage work with GFJ. (hey look a clubhhouse guy, too. No need for Inge!)

    we have dodged bad trades all year (alex rios who just finished his 3rd month of sub 700 OPS, bud norris who has +5 ERA since trade and a 50% quality start/non-quality since July)

    And with a guy that can only hit RHP liek Mourneau, consider this:

    Braves will only have to use 1 of their 5 LHP as a starter in the playoffs, making LOOGIE use pretty easy work (plus the one starter where you have him and jones sitting, with pedro dudding it up).

    Dodgers have Greinke Kershaw and Ryu (2 out of 3 LHP) with 3 others in the pen.

    this is of course why we got Byrd, which makes total sense. sandwiching byrd between pedro and GFJ when RHP is starting would make it tough to do a walk cutch loogie. even harder if GJF is batting 4th (so you can call in Gaby). Byrd behind Cutch stops the IBB, but lefty lefty at 5 and 6 will not make other squads waste their pen as much.

    and Chase Drnau can still LHP, and would allow you to start mercer and harrison when LHP are on the mound, and still have an IF left when pedro and walker replace harrison and barmes (with mercer moving to short)

    when its only 3 possible series, you have to be creative with the lineup and roster construction. funny how that leads me to GFJ batting cleanup and chase darnaud over mourneau, but I think it makes sense if Garrett plays average in September.

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