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Updated: July 23rd, 2013 8:55pm
Mackey: There’s almost no way the Twins can get much value for Morneau

Mackey: There’s almost no way the Twins can get much value for Morneau

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by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com

Justin Morneau picked a bad time for perhaps his slowest stretch of the season.

With the MLB trade deadline just eight days away, Morneau entered Tuesday's games hitting just .175/.278/.349 since July 1. Over that stretch, Morneau has gone hitless in 10 out of 17 games.

On the season, Morneau ranks 105th among qualified MLB hitters in OPS (.729).

He ranks 27th among first basemen in the same category.

Morneau's slugging percentage (.400) is lower than Coco Crisp's, Jed Lowrie's and Brett Gardner's.

Once one of the best hitters in baseball, Morneau, 32, is no longer an imposing threat at the plate. He might not even be one of the top 25 hitting first basemen in the game right now.

Yes, there are teams that could use an offensive boost at the deadline -- the Pirates, Rays and Yankees have all been rumored to potentially have interest in Morneau at some point recently -- but he is owed $6 million from now until the end of the season, has a rich history of injuries, is a free agent in October and has shown no signs he is on the verge of exploding in August and September.

Even if the Twins picked up the tab on that $6 million -- and they could, after shaving down the payroll to $80 million -- what team would give up any kind of a top-tier or even second-tier prospect? 

It's a tough sell for GM Terry Ryan, who likely wouldn't have gotten much value for Morneau at the winter meetings or at last year's deadline due to salary and injury concerns. 

Phil Mackey is a columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd
In this story: Justin Morneau
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