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MLB Trade Rumors: Why the Yankees Should Pass on Justin Morneau at the Deadline

Doug RushSenior Analyst INovember 1, 2016

MLB Trade Rumors: Why the Yankees Should Pass on Justin Morneau at the Deadline

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    I guess it's never too late to start pondering about trade rumors that could come about in July.

    Jim Bowden of ESPN did a feature story on Minnesota Twins first basemen Justin Morneau and wondered if the Twins would consider moving him at the deadline.

    Bowden speculated as to the New York Yankees getting involved and could use Morneau's bat come July.

    Bleacher Report's own Kenny DeJohn did a feature story speculating on the pros and cons on the Yankees trading for Morneau at the deadline.

    Personally, I think it would be a terrible idea for the Yankees to even consider Morneau.

    In the past, yes, in an absolute heartbeat.  Now, no way.

    Here's why.

Raul Ibanez Will Be Fine as the DH

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    The first logical spot the Yankees would have to put Morneau is in the DH spot, which is currently occupied by Raul Ibanez.

    Bowden speculated as to getting Morneau if Ibanez struggled enough to get released.

    But I don't think that will be the case. In fact, I think Ibanez is going to thrive playing for the Yankees.

    He's not a big-named player like Morneau, and he can still drive the ball and come up with big hits, as he did Tuesday night with the go-ahead RBI double against the Orioles.

    Ibanez came to the Yankees very cheap, and I think he will be one of the best additions they made during the winter, so the Yankees won't need to find another DH for 2012.

Mark Teixiera Is Already at First Base

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    So that leads me to Morneau's natural position of first base, which is currently occupied by Mark Teixeira.

    There is no way that the Yankees are putting Morneau at first base over Teixeira.

    Given the fact that the Yankees are paying Teixeira $22.5 million per season, they aren't going to be inclined to move their first basemen who averages more than 30 home runs and 100 RBI and plays Gold Glove defense, anytime soon,

    And right now, in the 2012 season, Teixeira is just an overall better player than Morneau.

    As a hitter, Teixeira hits for better power, and on defense, it's not even close. Teixeira is head and shoulders a better defender than Morneau.

    And if Joe Girardi ever put Morneau as a first basemen over Teixeira, that would be the point where everyone would say Girardi had officially lost his mind.

    But that's not happening anytime soon.

    If the Yankees passed on Albert Pujols this winter because of Teixeira's presence, Morneau would be passed on as well.

Injury Prone

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    Since 2009, Justin Morneau hasn't been able to stay on the field for the Twins.

    In 2010, Morneau suffered a concussion on July 7, which not only forced him to miss the All Star Game that he was voted to start for, but also the rest of the second half of the year due to concussion symptoms. He played in just 81 games.

    In 2011, Morneau underwent surgery to correct pinched nerves and missed about two months because of it.

    Morneau returned but so did his concussion symptoms, and he ended up missing the rest of the year, playing in just 69 games for Minnesota.

    At age 30, the injuries might only start to pile up for Morneau.

    And an injury-prone player over 30 is something the Yankees don't need in their lineup this year or in the future.

Bad Contract

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    Right before the 2008 season, the Twins signed Morneau to a six-year, $80 million dollar deal.

    The Twins are on hook for two more years and $28 million more of that deal.

    Considering the Twins locked up Joe Mauer to an eight-year, $184 million deal, they may look to dump Morneau's salary on another team.

    Fourteen million dollars per season is a lot of money on the Twins payroll that they would love to shed.

    Fourteen million dollars for an injury-prone player that would essentially be a DH is way too much money for the Yankees to take on.

    After the 2012 season, they might need to eventually move Alex Rodriguez to the DH spot, but they wouldn't be able to with Morneau sitting there.

    Morneau would be a really bad contract to put on the Yankees for two seasons.

$189 Million by 2014

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    Back on March 1, it was announced that the Yankees wanted to attempt to cut their payroll to $189 million by the 2014 season.

    That means no more reckless spending like Hal Steinbrenner's late father George did in the past. Bad contracts like Carl Pavano, Jaret Wright and Jason Giambi are a thing of the past.

    The Yankees have been focused on making smart trades and grooming their own players for the future and just got their farm system back to being worth something.

    By adding Morneau, that goal of $189 million wouldn't happen, and with him on the roster, that might mean a couple of hitters could get held down in the minor leagues longer than expected.

    The Yankees eventually have to consider giving extensions to players like Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson, two key members of the current roster that have earned them.

    Morneau's contract would make that extremely hard to do.

    And if the Yankees don't want to get hit with the potential 50-percent luxury tax penalty if they are over the $189 million cap, then the Yankees can't be going wild on contracts.

    Morneau would be a bad contract to add to payroll and would just be overall bad for the Yankees.

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