Surprise name pops up at first base

Surprise name pops up at first base
December 5, 2012, 11:00 am
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Here’s a name for the Orioles at first base: Justin Morneau.

The Twins contacted the Orioles about the former Most Valuable Player, according to MASN’s Roch Kubatko, who tweeted the following: “#orioles are 1 of the teams that the Twins have contacted to gauge interest in 1B Justin Morneau. Want young pitching in return (of course).”

Yes, this could just be a matter of Minnesota feeling out other teams to see what Morneau would bring in a trade. And now for the caveats:

*Morneau is heading into the last year of a contract that pays him $14 million in 2013. He’s scheduled to be a free agent next off-season.

*He’s coming off an underwhelming season in which he batted .267 with a .333 on-base percentage, with 19 home runs and 77 RBIs.

*He’s played over 130 games twice in the past four seasons.

*Since his MVP season in 2006, he’s hit .300 for a full year just once, in 2008.

So, maybe if the Twins pick up a big chunk of that $14 million and the price (trade-wise) isn’t too high and the O’s figure Morneau might put up a big season in a contract year … Or maybe like the Orioles treat this like a call from a telemarketer. Thank you, but we’re not interested.