Twins rumors: Justin Morneau trade bait at deadline?

Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE

Minnesota may look to ship away the former MVP come July.

The Minnesota Twins have no intention of trading (finally) healthy first baseman Justin Morneau this winter, but the club could deal the lefty slugger at the July trade deadline if (read: when) the club is out of running at that point, reports Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com:

After trading Denard Span and Ben Revere, the Twins don't intend to trade Morneau this offseason, as it would create a big hole offensively for the club.

But the club could look to deal Morneau before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, especially if he returns to form and the Twins are out of contention.

The 31-year-old Morneau has battled post-concussive symptoms for nearly three years. While the 2006 AL MVP was able to play most of the 2012 season, he was never quite at 100 percent. Morneau hit a respectable .267/.333/.440 with 19 home runs in 134 games, but the Twins hope that a normal offseason regimen will get him back in MVP shape for 2013.

The coming season marks the end of Morneau's six-year, $80 million deal with the Twins. If the club wants to get anything in return for their long-term investment in the oft-injured slugger -- who has spent his entire decade-long career in the Twin Cities -- they are going to have to move him by July.

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