Brewers claim Morneau; Rockies pull him back
The Brewers put in a waiver claim on Colorado first baseman Justin Morneau and attempted to work out a deal with the Rockies for him but were unable to do so, according to a report by Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
Heyman reports that the Brewers made an offer of “unknown players” after being awarded the claim on Morneau but the Rockies did not think it was enough and opted instead to pull Morneau back off waivers and keep him.
Morneau, a past American League MVP with Minnesota, has bounced back nicely in Colorado after signing a two-year, $15-million deal. He is leading the National League in batting with a .317 average to go with 14 home runs, 69 RBI and an .857 OPS.
Adding to Morneau's value is a reasonable contract that will pay him $6.75 million in 2015 and includes a $750,000 buyout on a $9-million mutual option for '16. With his $5-million salary this year, Morneau is guaranteed about $8.5 million through 2015. By acquiring Morneau, the Brewers would solve their first base situation for at least one more season.
The Brewers have been using Mark Reynolds and Lyle Overbay at first base, two veterans who made the club in spring training as non-roster players. Reynolds is batting .201 with 21 homers and 44 RBI, and Overbay is hitting .247 with four homers and 31 RBI.
The Brewers' .670 OPS at first base ranks 27th among the 30 major league clubs.
Because the waiver process is supposed to be confidential, Brewers general manager Doug Melvin wouldn't comment on the report on Morneau.
“All of that stuff is supposed to be confidential, so I'll keep it that way,” said Melvin. “I don't know how that stuff gets out. You hear about guys going on waivers the next day. The players don't want to hear that. You get calls from their agents. The process probably needs to be re-evaluated.”
Melvin did say that a “very, very small percentage” of claims by the Brewers made it to them because claims are awarded in reverse order of won-loss records and a player must go through his own league first before going through waivers in the other league.
A player must be acquired before Monday to be eligible for postseason play and Melvin said he'd continue to comb the waiver wires. But, he added, “I'm not totally encouraged by it.”