5 Contenders Who Should Trade for Red Hot Justin Morneau Before August 31

Robert Knapel@@RobertKnapel_BRCorrespondent IAugust 7, 2012

5 Contenders Who Should Trade for Red Hot Justin Morneau Before August 31

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    The Minnesota Twins are in no position to contend this year and they could look to sell in August. One player who could be a popular name is Justin Morneau.

    While Morneau struggled early this season, he has begun to turn things around. In his past 31 games, Morneau has hit .352 which has brought his average from .229 to .275. Morneau has begun to look like the All-Star that he once was.

    If he keeps playing like this, Morneau can certainly help a contender reach the playoffs. Morneau has been identified as the best first baseman that could be available in an August trade by John Bonnes of the Minnesota Star-Tribune.

    Based on the salary remaining on his contract, Morneau will not cost a team too much in a trade which could make him a very intriguing target.

Baltimore Orioles

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    Mark Reynolds has seen a lot of time at first base for the Baltimore Orioles and he has struggled a lot this year. Reynolds is hitting just .212 with eight home runs in 84 games. Chris Davis has also played first base but he has seen a good amount of time at DH.

    Acquiring Justin Morneau would give the Baltimore Orioles a reliable first baseman that could help them as they try to reach the playoffs this year. He would be a solid bat in the middle of their lineup that could contribute in a number of different ways.

Tampa Bay Rays

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    Through their first 108 games of the season, Tampa Bay Rays first basemen have hit .198/.319/.353 with 15 home runs and 48 RBI. The Rays first basemen have the lowest average of any team in the league.

    Carlos Pena has been responsible for almost all of their struggles. Justin Morneau may be a big salary for the Rays to take on, but he would be a big improvement for the Rays at first base for this season and next.

Toronto Blue Jays

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    Despite the fact that the Toronto Blue Jays have a record under .500, they still are in contention to make the playoffs. This is a result of the second wild card spot that has gone into effect this season.

    Adam Lind and Edwin Encarnacion have split time at first base this year. Lind has struggled while Encarnacion has been fantastic.

    If the Blue Jays were to acquire Justin Morneau, the Jays could play Encarnacion at DH more like they have been all year. Their lineup would be greatly improved and the Jays could make a late push for the Wild Card.

Oakland Athletics

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    The Oakland Athletics have already given four players (Daric Barton, Brandon Moss, Kila Ka'aihue and Chris Carter) more than 20 starts at first base this year. None of them have been that successful at the plate.

    In fact, Athletics first basemen have .213/.325/.427 triple slash line on the year. Justin Morneau would be a great trade target for the Athletics because his triple slash line of .275/.335/.481 is better than what the Athletics first basemen have produced this year.

San Francisco Giants

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    Brandon Belt has gotten an extended look at first base this season and he has struggled a bit at the plate. He still has a lot of promise, but Belt has not been the run producer that the San Francisco Giants thought that he would be.

    Justin Morneau has driven in 54 runs for the Minnesota Twins this year and he would likely continue to be a run producer in San Francisco. Acquiring Morneau would help the Giants counter some of the moves that the Los Angeles Dodgers made earlier this year.