Minnesota first baseman Justin Morneau
2013 stats: .264 average/.324 on-base/.396 slugging, 8 homers, 53 RBIs in 96 games
Contract: Free agent after season; roughly $4.8 million left in 2013
Why he fits: Morneau, the 2006 AL MVP, certainly isn't what he once was. But he is still somewhat of a run producer and probably would see a spike in homers going from Target Field to Camden Yards. His mild-mannered nature would fit in with the clubhouse, and he has playoff experience. But he's also left-handed and is owed a good chunk of change -- though it's expected the Twins would pick up some of that depending on what they get in return.
Connolly's take: The sense I'm getting is that there was some kicking of tires, but no real motivation to make it happen based on his downward offensive slide. (J. Meric, Getty Images /July 8, 2013)
We're closing in on three hours until the end of the nonwaiver trade deadline, and the best we can tell here is that the Orioles are active.
One source confirmed that the Orioles are actively pursuing right-handed hitting outfielder-first baseman Michael Morse and left-handed reliever Oliver Perez from the Seattle Mariners. Morse, whom the Orioles have liked for years, would fill the open DH role -- but he’s coming off a lengthy stay on the disabled list after injuring his quad.
Perez would add to the club’s strength: the bullpen. He’d give them a lefty in the late innings and could help put Brian Matusz in more of a lefty-only role, in which he has excelled.
Another industry source, however, said there’s still not a guarantee that Perez is available. And Morse’s quad injury is a concern. Plus, to land both of those guys, the Orioles would have to deal a highly regarded prospect -- maybe a guy like Eduardo Rodriguez -- for two rental players.
One source said he still believes it is less than 50-50 that O’s make a move today by 4 p.m.
Still hearing the same things on Houston’s Bud Norris and Minnesota’s Justin Morneau. They’ll pass on Morneau and they aren’t yet willing to give up what it takes to get Norris.
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