MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins have added the final piece of the Justin Morneau trade. The team announced Saturday that it acquired right-hander Duke Welker from Pittsburgh as the player to be named later in the trade.
Welker, 27, made his major league debut this season with the Pirates but appeared in just two games. The 6-foot-7 right-hander spent nearly the entire 2013 season with Triple-A Indianapolis and made 48 appearances as a reliever with a 3.57 ERA, a 1.33 WHIP and nine saves. The Pirates took Welker in the second round of the 2007 draft out of the University of Arkansas.
The Twins sent Morneau to Pittsburgh at the end of August and initially acquired outfielder Alex Presley as the first part of the deal. Minnesota was also due to receive a player to be named later, which on Saturday was announced as Welker. Morneau is a free agent at the end of this season and there was no guarantee he would re-sign with Minnesota next year. In exchange for one month of his service, the Twins acquired a pair of players in Welker and Presley who both had major league experience.