Justin Morneau played outstanding baseball for the Colorado Rockies in 2014. Should the team consider trading him as the Major League Baseball landscape shifts into Hot Stove season?
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I’m just musing here, but the Colorado Rockies might have a chance to interject themselves into the trade market early this off-season and get some serious value for first baseman Justin Morneau.
A recent article from Joel Sherman of the New York Post got me thinking about the possibility. The speculation actually has to do with designated hitter/first baseman Adam Lind, currently of the Toronto Blue Jays. Sherman writes that Toronto might want to trade him, and here’s why:
"“If you want to take a guess on the first significant trade of the offseason, the Blue Jays moving Adam Lind is a good bet. Toronto has to either pick up a $7.5 million 2015 option or buy out Lind for $1 million, and there are strong indicators the Jays want to reallocate those funds elsewhere, so they might pick up the option and then deal Lind, who would be attractive to a team interested in him because he also has a reasonable $8 million 2016 option (or $500,000 buyout).“The Mariners and A’s stand out as teams that could dedicate significant DH at-bats to Lind.”"
Sherman then notes that these two American League teams are fits because Lind is limited defensively.
Stick with me on these points. Morneau is a better all-around player than Lind. Morneau is coming off a .319/.364/.496 season. Lind is coming off a .321/.381/.479 season in which he was limited to 96 games.
Morneau is a Gold Glove finalist, whereas Lind is a liability with the leather.
Morneau is due to make $6.75 million next year, Lind $7.5 million if the Blue Jays pick up his option.
What am I missing here? Couldn’t the Rockies swoop in and offer a better player in Morneau?
I feel safe in saying that I believe Morneau has played his best season with the Rockies. Between his outstanding play and his occasional neck issues this past season, he is a candidate to regress significantly.
He still might be a solid player, but the Rockies are not likely to get another batting title/gold glove season from him. Between that and the LOL-worthy $9 million mutual option they have for 2016, now might be the time to trade him.
If these initial Lind rumors are any indication, there could be suitors. The question is, will new general manager Jeff Bridich have the stomach to attempt such a move? It’s easier said than done, but it very well might be the right thing to do.