For the first time in years I can say I want the Toronto Blue Jays to acquire Justin Morneau and not just because he’s Canadian (even though that’s still mostly the reason.) I’m not even slightly ashamed to admit it.
Morneau is returning to Minnesota tonight in the All-Star Game Home Run derby so maybe he could return to Canada too.
I’m not going to bother speculating what the Jays would have to give up to acquire him because that’s anybody’s guess, but Morneau has had a resurrection to his career after pulling an Adam Lind with 3 straight bad seasons (though he had a career threatening concussion to overcome). At the break, this season he’s putting up a .312/.345/.502 slash line, a 119 wRC+ and a 1.4 WAR in 89 games.
Morneau has also played in 152 games last season and 132 games in 2012 putting aside the injury concerns from 2010 to 2011. Prior to the concussion issues, he averaged 135 games from 2005 to 2009 so you also know he can actually stay on the field. The only way he doesn’t is if he’s affected by the Jays injury curse.
The Rockies are only paying him $6 million this season so the Jays would only have to pay half of that or however much he’s still owed this season. He also has an affordable $9 million dollar option for next season with an even more affordable 750K buyout if the Blue Jays don’t pick that option up.
Of course that option for next season means the Rockies might want to keep him if they want to contend next season.
There is also the matter of having to accommodate Morneau once the injured parties return, as he would be splitting time between 1st base and DH. That would force the Jays to platoon him with Edwin Encarnacion, put a question mark on the statuses of Adam Lind and Juan Francisco.
You could argue that it is not an ideal situation to put yourselves in, but hey some of those guys are out long enough that the Jays need all the offensive help they can get before they get back.
I don’t know if the Rockies would be willing to trade Morneau or what they would want back but between his contract and what he’s doing this season, I’ll be damned if the Jays acquiring one of the best Canadian baseball players of all time makes a lot of sense right now.