The Pirates on Saturday sent former second-round pick Duke Welker to the Twins to complete the Justin Morneau trade.
Welker, a righthanded reliever, appeared in two games for Pittsburgh last season, pitching 1 1/3 scoreless innings. The 6-foot-7 former Seminole State pitcher, drafted in the second round in 2005, had a 3.57 ERA with 65 strikeouts and 31 walks in 63 innings for Class AAA Indianapolis in 2013. He is expected to compete for a spot in the Twins' bullpen next spring.
"He's got a good slider he likes to use a lot," said Alex Presley, the outfielder who was also acquired Aug. 31 in exchange for Morneau. "He's a two-pitch guy who runs it up there 96, 97 [mph]. He's had one of the better years of his career this year, and he's building off that."
The Twins and Pirates agreed at the time of the trade on a group of players that the final player traded would be drawn from. The choice of which one to send to Minnesota was Pittsburgh's general manager Terry Ryan said.