With all of the fireworks of the MLB Trade Deadline that just passed (sans any participation from the Rockies, of course), it seems less likely that the August waiver trade period will yield nearly as much activity as it has in recent seasons.
Then again, contending teams might feel continued pressure to keep up with their counterparts that made aggressive moves at the deadline.
Could the Colorado Rockies be a team that gets in the mix for an August deal? Should they? Would they even have a player who would get claimed or clear waivers and generate interest? Could one such player be Justin Morneau?
In the coming weeks, we will hear a number of utterly meaningless reports about players being placed on waivers, claimed off waivers, pulled back from waivers, and cleared through waivers. None of these items necessarily guarantee action or trade activity.
I point this out because we might hear something of the sorts about Morneau even though the Rockies have no intentions of trading him.
In getting a feel for where the Rockies might stand with a potential August deal, Jon Heyman of CBS writes the following about Morneau:
The near All-Star with the .853 OPS just came off the DL. Since folks aren’t necessarily overwhelmed by good but not great numbers in Colorado, he has a chance to make it through. His $6.75 million salary doesn’t seem overwhelming.
The main reason the Rockies would get involved would be a desire to get out from under the rest of Morneau’s deal, which seems unlikely. Two years and $12.5 million hardly seems daunting on the salary side of things (with a mutual option for 2016).
At that point the motivation would be a big return for Morneau in a deal. That won’t happen for a couple reasons. There if the Coors Field misinformation to which Heyman alludes, even though Morneau has an .832 road OPS versus an .864 home OPS this season. Still, teams will be inclined to chalk his resurgence up to Coors Field and proceed to lowball the Rockies.
There is also lingering concern, one presumes, because of the head and neck issues that have diminished some of Morneau’s power in recent seasons.
Many teams would be interested in a deal for Morneau on the face of it, but not at the price the Rockies would ask. Considering the way the big Canadian has played this year and the stability he has brought to the first base position post-Helton, that is probably just fine.