The Pittsburgh Pirates have acquired first baseman Justin Morneau from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for outfielder Alex Presley and a player to be named later or cash, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com and Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Morneau recently cleared revocable trade waivers, and was eligible to be traded to any team before tonight's midnight ET waiver trade deadline.
Morneau, 32, has hit .259 with 17 HR and 74 RBI in 127 games with the Twins on the season, and has been on a tear in the month of August, hitting .250 with 9 HR and 21 RBI in 29 games.
The Canadian drew interest from teams like the Blue Jays, Rays, Indians and Yankees before the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline, but Minnesota decided to hold onto him at the time and try to move him in a waiver-wire deal.
Baltimore, New York and Pittsburgh remained interested throughout the month of August, and the Pirates were able to swing the deal just hours before the deadline to set postseason rosters.
Morneau will provide Pittsburgh with an immediate upgrade at first base over Gaby Sanchez, who has hit .248 with 7 HR and 34 RBI in 120 games on the year. The Pirates are currently tied with the Cardinals for the lead in the NL Central, and the addition of Morneau will surely help the team's offense in the last month of the season. In eleven seasons with the Twins, the four-time All-Star and 2006 American League MVP is a lifetime .278 hitter with 221 HR and 860 RBI. He is a free agent after the season, and a return to Minnesota is not out of the question for the longtime Twin.
Presley, 28, has spent the year splitting time between Pittsburgh and Triple-A Indianapolis. In 29 big league games, the outfielder hit .264 with 2 HR and 4 RBI, but has performed better with Indianapolis, hitting .298 with 5 HR and 27 RBI in 89 games. The 2006 eighth round pick has never been considered a top prospect, but is under team control through the 2017 season. The other player involved in the deal is likely one of value, but the waiver-wire trade rules will cause the teams to hold off on announcing his name until after the season.
The Pirates have been the most aggressive team in August, and have added Morneau, Marlon Byrd and John Buck within the last week in an effort to bolster their lineup for the stretch run.
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