With the offseason rumours beginning to ramp up, the Blue Jays seem to mentioned in the same breath as every player on the free agency and trade markets. That being said, Alex Anthopoulos has expressed a desire to acquire a designated hitter who can drive in runs in the middle of the order. Due to the sparseness of the DH market this winter, the most likely scenario involves making a trade in order to upgrade the position, meet Justin Morneau.
Some of you may know the B.C native as the 2006 A.L MVP while others might remember him for his recent concussion issues and proneness to injury. Make no mistake, Morneau is one fine ball player but he has struggled with consistency over his limited amount of plate appearances since the 2009 season. Being limited to only 636 AB's in the last two seasons, Morneau has not yet been able to regain the form that made him an MVP but over his career, Morneau is a .281 hitter with an impressive .353 OBP and he's by no means washed up. At 30 years old, Morneau still has at least 3 years of solid production in front depending on his ability to stay healthy.
Why would the Twins trade him? He's owed 14 million a year for the next two seasons, a hefty price for a question mark. It can be assumed that Minnesota would be willing to eat a portion of his salary if the return was deemed worthy. With the Twins recent signing of Ryan Doumit, they've purchased insurance for both Morneau and Joe Mauer as Doumit is capable of playing multiple positions and could fill in when necessary. Minnesota also has 1B prospect Chris Parmelee toiling in the minors after a successful cup of coffee with the Twins in september providing them with another option should Morneau be traded.
From the Blue Jays perspective Morneau makes sense not only offensively but also in the club house. He's a veteran with playoff experience who will able to mentor the young ones with his leadership ability. If the Blue Jays can get him for half his salary he could be a bargain contractually and even if they can't, he has only two years remaining on his current deal. Morneau is also Canadian and therefore easily marketable on a team that is slowly becoming more and more canuck each year. Is he injury prone? Yes. Is he expensive? Yes. But he also hit 20+ HR's and 100+ RBI's in 4 straight seasons. Perfect numbers for a middle of the order bat.