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MLB roundup: Twins send Morneau to contending Pirates

The SportsXchange

The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired first baseman Justin Morneau from the Minnesota Twins for outfielder Alex Presley on Saturday.

The Twins will also receive a player to be named later or cash.

"I'm pretty excited," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "I talked to Justin on his phone and he is excited and I talked to his former manager, Ron Gardenhire, on the phone and he's not excited, though he's happy for Justin to have this opportunity. Gardy spoke volumes about Justin's approach, intent and conviction to the game. We talked about (Morneau's) second half and how he's been moving forward and has put himself in a good place."

Morneau, 32, is batting .259 with a .741 OPS, 17 home runs and 74 RBI this season. He is a free agent at the end of the year.

Morneau cleared waivers earlier this month.

Hurdle said Morneau had mixed feelings about the trade.

"Justin's torn," he said. "He was one of the crown jewels of that organization but he's excited about having the opportunity to get back to the postseason because you never know how many of those opportunities will come around. I'm sure the adrenaline will kick in, though, when he catches that car at the airport, comes through the (Fort Pitt) tunnel, sees the blue lights of the ballpark and a packed house rocking the place tonight."

The move should give the Pirates offense some power and allows the them to move Garrett Jones to the outfield until Starling Marte returns from injury.

The busy Pirates also traded for outfielder Marlon Byrd and catcher John Buck of the New York Mets earlier in the week.

"We've been able to stretch (the lineup) out with impactful bats, with bats with experience, with bats who have gotten hits off good pitchers, both starters and relievers, and there is a lot of value in adding bats like that," Hurdle said.

General manager Neal Huntington said, "We're always a franchise that is going to have to keep one eye on the future, but we're in a position where we're ready to win now. I like that we've been able to bolster our chances now without giving up too much of the future. We've given up some good players in these trades but we've build our organizational depth up to the point where we can withstand the losses."

Minnesota gets Presley, who is batting .264 with two homers and four RBI in 72 at-bats this year.

Any player traded before midnight Saturday is eligible to play on a team's active postseason roster.

Despite entering Saturday tied with the St. Louis Cardinals for the National League Central Division lead, Pittsburgh is 10th in the NL in runs per game.

---Twins catcher Joe Mauer was scheduled to hit off a tee Saturday as he recovers from a concussion.

MLB.com reported Friday that Mauer has been stepping up in his workouts since going on the seven-day concussion disabled list on Aug. 20.

Mauer, 30, landed on the DL after taking a few foul balls to the face mask. He later started experiencing dizziness.

Mauer has a batting line of .324/.404/.476 with 11 home runs in 113 games this season.

Manager Ron Gardenhire recently said the team is considering playing Mauer at a different position in the future. They want to keep him healthy as his contract pays him about $115 million through 2018.

---The Cleveland Indians added outfielder Jason Kubel to their 25-man roster Saturday and optioned right-handed relief pitcher Carlos Carrasco to Class AAA Columbus.

The Indians acquired Kubel from the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday.

The left-handed-hitting Kubel is batting just .220 with five home runs and 32 RBI over 89 games this season after a strong 2012 season.

Last year, Kubel batted .253 with 30 homers and 90 RBI.

The 31-year-old is in the last year of a two-year, $16 million contract. However, the deal includes a $7.5 million club option for next season.

Kubel is a career .265 hitter with 139 homers and 551 RBI.

Carrasco has pitched 10 1/3 scoreless innings of relief for Cleveland this season. He is eligible to return to the major league roster Tuesday.

---The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim may soon drop the "of Anaheim" from their name.

The Angels are looking to negotiate a deal with the city of Anaheim that will keep them there through 2057. Part of the deal includes removing Anaheim from their official team name, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The club changed its name from "Anaheim Angels" to "Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim" before the 2005 season. The "Anaheim" name was required to appear in the team name to satisfy a lease provision. Under the new proposal, the team would officially be called the "Los Angeles Angels."

Anaheim's city council is expected to vote Tuesday to negotiate the new deal with the club. The proposed agreement includes the team paying for a major renovation of Angels Stadium while owner Arte Moreno rents land surrounding the park for $1 per year and securing the development rights for 66 years.

Angel Stadium opened in 1966. It is the fourth oldest stadium in the major leagues behind Fenway Park in Boston, Wrigley Field in Chicago and Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

Angel Stadium was renovated in 1997. Then-owner Disney paid for much of the $118 million cost.

The proposal that keeps the team in Anaheim until 2057 does include opt-outs in 2036 and 2050.

The Angels can opt out of their current lease in 2016 but that would be extended to 2019 if the city votes in favor of negotiating new terms.

The club was originally named "Los Angeles Angels" from 1961-64. It changed to "California Angels" in 1965 before becoming the "Anaheim Angels" in 1997.

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