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Pirates get Duke Welker back in trade with Twins

Otto Greule Jr

The Pirates have re-acquired Duke Welker (who went to Minnesota in the Justin Morneau trade) for Kris Johnson.

I believe I described the Morneau trade as "minor," and clearly, this trade is far more minor even than that, but I like it from the Pirates' perspective. They get a hard-throwing lottery ticket (let us not forget that Welker averaged 97.1 MPH with his fastball in his brief time with the Bucs last year), and the Twins get a 29-year-old lefty who doesn't have much upside and isn't likely to have a substantial major-league career. I suppose it makes sense from the Twins' perspective, though, since they had such trouble in their rotation last year, but I'll take the higher-upside guy any day.

The deal reflects the Twins' needs, but it also reflects a difference in organizational philosophies -- the Pirates get the 6'7 guy who throws gas, and the Twins get the crafty lefty. I like the Pirates' organizational philosophy better.