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Duke Welker the likely PTBNL in Justin Morneau trade

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Otto Greule Jr

Tom Singer reports that Duke Welker appears to be the player to be named in the Justin Morneau deal.

As I've mentioned about a million times, I'm not much of a Morneau fan, but I think this is still fine. It's easy to forget that Welker is already 27, and even easier to forget that he was drafted in the second round all the way back in 2007. It's also been three years since he suddenly started throwing in the mid-90s. He struck out a batter an inning in Triple-A this year, but walked too many and got fewer grounders than he had in years past. He's still an interesting arm, but even at age 27, that's about all. He might one day become a good reliever, but he's a player the Pirates can afford to try to replace.