Twins deal Justin Morneau to Pirates for outfielder Alex Presley
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Justin Morneau's time with the Minnesota Twins came to an end Saturday.
The veteran first baseman was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for outfielder Alex Presley and a player to be named or cash. The Twins confirmed the deal in a press release.
Morneau, 32, cleared waivers this month and the Twins had to trade him by 11 p.m. Central time on Saturday so he could be placed on a team's postseason roster. Morneau will be a free agent after this season and his name has surfaced frequently in trade rumors in recent months.
He was not dealt by the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, but was put through waivers this month and went unclaimed. That meant the Twins retained the ability to deal him to any team that wasn't on the limited no-trade list Morneau had in his contract.
The Pirates are tied with the St. Louis Cardinals for the first place in the National League Central.
Morneau, the 2006 AL MVP, didn't help his value with a brutal performance at the plate in July. He hit .175 with four home runs and five RBI in the month. He also had slumped again recently and went into Friday's game at Texas with one hit in his previous 23 at-bats.
Morneau did homer on Friday in the Twins' 3-2 victory, passing Tony Oliva and moving him into third on the Twins' all-time home run list with 221. Morneau is hitting .259 (128-for-495) with 32 doubles, 17 home runs and 74 RBI this season.
Presley appeared in 29 games for the Pirates this season, hitting .264 (19-for-72) with one double, one triple, two home runs and four RBI.
The 28-year old was most recently with Triple-A Indianapolis, hitting .298 (102-for-342) with 17 doubles, six triples, five home runs, 27 RBI, 17 stolen bases and 57 runs.
Presley was originally drafted by the Pirates in the eighth round of the 2006 draft and hit .261 (171-for-656) with 28 doubles, 14 triples, 16 home runs, 49 RBI and 83 runs in 204 career games for Pittsburgh. He will join the Twins on their current road trip.
Morneau has spent his entire career with the Twins after being drafted in the third round of the 1999 draft. He broke into the big leagues in 2003 and played in 1,278 games with the Twins hitting .278 (1318-for-4749) with 289 doubles and 860 RBI.
Morneau's time with the Twins is likely to be remembered in two segments. The first will be before he suffered a concussion in July 2010 at Toronto. Before he took a knee in the head from the Blue Jays' John McDonald while sliding into second base, Morneau had established himself as one of the best players in the American League.
At the time of his injury, Morneau was leading the American League in on-base percentage (.437), was third in batting average (.345) and slugging percentage (.618) and was fourth in total bases (183). Morneau, though, missed the final 78 games of that season and played in only 69 games in 2011.
He did rebound to play in 134 games last season and has played in 127 games this season.