Twins first baseman Justin Morneau is a likely candidate to be traded before the trade deadline, as he is in the final year of his contract and the team may already have a replacement waiting in the wings in Chris Parmelee.
Or the general manager Terry Ryan might hand the former AL MVP a contract extension.
If Morneau bounces back to his MVP form this year, Ryan is open to re-signing him to a contract extension, according to Brian Murphy of the Pioneer Press.
Q: We know why Justin Morneau might be traded, but is there a case for him remaining in Minnesota long term?
A: Sure. That would be the ideal scenario. He’s a guy that hits in the middle of the lineup. He’s certainly got a resume. He came off a couple tough years through no fault of his own, between the concussions, the wrist and the ankle. But we’re looking for him to bounce back, drive in runs — and if he does that, then the opportunity would arise that maybe we could talk about an extension.
The “ideal scenario” in past would have been Minnesota being able to afford to keep ace pitcher Johan Santana or Torii Hunter remaining a Twin for life. Sometimes the ideal scenario just doesn’t play out as you want it.
That said, retaining Morneau isn’t completely out of the question.
If the Twins do return to their competitive ways this season and Morneau returns to form, the team truly should consider a contract extension. Another factor to consider is how Parmelee responds to significant at-bats as the projected starting right fielder. If Parmelee struggles offensively and Morneau plays well, keeping Morneau around makes sense.
Per the report, Ryan said he will give Parmelee every opportunity at right field now that outfielder Ben Revere is no longer in Minnesota. Parmelee’s success could ultimately determine Morneau’s future in Minnesota.