Twins trade rumors: Justin Morneau market heating up

Harry How

The Yankees, Orioles and Pirates are among the interested teams.

Out of all of the players who have cleared waivers this month, the most likely to be traded may be Minnesota Twins' slugger Justin Morneau. According to Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com, interest in the 32-year old is heating up as the August 31st waiver trade deadline approaches, with the Yankees, Orioles and Pirates seeming to be among the most interested teams.

As Wolfson notes, the Yankees seem to be making a push to acquire Morneau, who has hit .263 with 6 HR and 15 RBI in 19 games in August after hitting only .175 for the month of July.

The Orioles also chased Morneau in July, and may be willing to overpay to acquire him for the last month of the season as they fall further back of the Red Sox and Rays in the AL East race.

As Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reported over the weekend, the O's are actively looking to add a designated hitter-type player to their lineup, but had only "lukewarm interest" in Morneau.

While the Red Sox are unlikely to pursue Morneau as an upgrade at first base over Mike Napoli, teams like the Blue Jays, Pirates and Rays have shown interest this summer and may be aggressive in the next ten days.

According to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Pirates do have interest in acquiring Morneau, and reports out of Minnesota note that the Bucs may be the most likely landing spot for the five-time All-Star.

In 118 games on the season with Minnesota, the 2006 AL MVP has hit .267 with 15 HR and 72 RBI. He is set to be a free agent after the season, and a return to the Twins is not considered a certainty. Although he does not have 10-5 rights that guarantee him a complete no-trade clause, the Twins are expected to respect his wishes and only trade him if they have his blessing.

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