Four-time All-Star Justin Morneau has cleared August trade waivers, making him a possible acquisition for clubs in search of offensive upgrades. But he told FOX Sports on Tuesday afternoon that he expects to remain with the Minnesota Twins past the Aug. 31 deadline to set postseason rosters.
“I think there would have to be some kind of long-term injury to somebody on one of those (contending) teams,” Morneau said. “There’s not really a whole lot of spots to fill.”
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Later Tuesday, though, Morneau had a game that surely raised interest around the league: He went 4 for 5 with a home run and four RBI in a 6-3 win over the Detroit Tigers.
Although Morneau said he has heard “nothing” on the possibility of a trade, his homer Tuesday as his seventh of the month — tied for second-most in the majors. One source told FOXSports.com that the money owed to Morneau — more than $3 million over the remainder of this season — has been the biggest barrier to interest in him.
Morneau, the Twins’ everyday first baseman, said he’d be comfortable in the designated hitter role for the rest of this year if he were asked to do it. The 32-year-old is scheduled to become a free agent after this season. Morneau has a lifetime .763 OPS as a designated hitter, which is below his overall career norm.
“I’ve had enough experience, being in the American League, I’ve DH-ed a lot,” Morneau said. “You learn you need a routine. You need to pay attention to the game. . . . I don’t think that would be an issue.”
Morneau has a .752 OPS in 118 games this season, well below his MVP-winning form of seven years ago. But he has proven lately that he remains a formidable left-handed power bat.
“Looking at the season as a whole, it’s not at an All-Star level, but I don’t think it’s terrible by any means,” he said. “I feel like I can contribute to this team, or contribute to a team that’s in a race, and be comfortable with that.”