Justin Morneau must live in stay-or-trade limbo for as much as two more weeks, after he cleared trade waivers on Wednesday, making him eligible to be traded to any Major League team.
A league source with access to the sport's waiver wire confirmed to the Star Tribune on Wednesday that Morneau was not claimed by another team by the noon CT deadline, making him eligible to be traded to any team. The Twins could deal him until the season's final day, though waiver trades are almost always consummated before Sept. 1, so that the players involved are eligible for postseason play.
Had Morneau been claimed, the Twins would have had 48 hours to negotiate a trade with that team only, allow the claiming team to assume his contract with no compensation, or withdraw the waivers and keep him for the rest of the year. The fact that no team was interested in an exclusive negotiating window actually makes it more likely that Morneau, whose six-year contract expires in October, will be sent elsewhere for the season's final six weeks.
That's because general manager Terry Ryan is now free to negotiate with any suitor, without a deadline hanging over the talks. Basically, the transaction could come down to: What team is willing to pay Morneau the $3.56 million (and falling by $77,000 a day) he's owed between now and season's end?