Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Pierzynski a fit in Minnesota?
By Doug Mittler
The Minnesota Twins officially parted ways with Justin Morneau over the weekend, a move that opens a clear path for franchise icon Joe Mauer to make the move from behind the plate to first base.
Mauer’s recent concussion issues only increases the likelihood the Twins will eventually move the 2009 AL Most Valuable Player away from the daily grind of catching. The 30-year-old Mauer is just three years into an eight-year, $184 million deal, and more time at first base helps protect that investment.
The trade of Morneau to the Pirates was accompanied by the callup of Josmil Pinto from Triple-A Rochester, and the 24-year-old is expected to be compete for the starting job next year. But what if Pinto doesn’t work out?
Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune suggests the Twins consider signing A.J. Pierzynski, who signed a one-year, $7.5 million deal with the Texas Rangers last winter. Souhan points to Pierzynski’s fiery personality, and he remains a solid offensive player at age 36 with a .280/.306/.447 slash line. The problem is the Twins might have to make a commitment to Pierzynski before they will know if Pinto is ready to be an everyday player.
As for Morneau, ESPN.com's Eric Karabell gives his fantasy take:
Eric KarabellWeekend trades recap, Bits
"Morneau was hitless in three at-bats Monday. It's debatable whether he's much of an upgrade over his former Minnesota Twins teammate Garrett Jones at first base, but he'll play regularly against right-handers. Morneau hit only .250 in August, but added nine home runs. He's a must-add in NL-only formats for his run-producing potential, but I don't think his value rises in mixed formats. One could make a better case for his new teammate Marlon Byrd, who hit one lineup spot ahead of him on Monday."