Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/19/13
Seventy games remain, and the playoffs are no longer even a distant thought. Yet for the Twins, as they come out of the all-star break, there is much more at stake over these next 2 1/2 months than just trying to avoid a third straight last-place finish and loss total in the 90s. Among the determinations that must be made: WHAT ABOUT MORNEAU? Finishing out a six-year, $80 million contract, Justin Morneau believes the organization's "first option" is to see what it can get for him before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. If the Twins' longtime first baseman and his remaining salary obligation ($4.62 million at month's end) are sent to a contender, it probably won't bring much in the way of prospects. However, it would clear playing time for the recently demoted Chris Parmelee or minor league journeyman Chris Colabello. Those are two of the many fledgling players about whom the Twins must decide as they eye a return to contention in 2014 or 2015. Of course, the Twins could reverse course and try to re-sign Morneau to a more affordable deal this offseason, but that doesn't appear likely. SHOULD GARDY STAY? A minor firestorm broke out just before the break, after the publishing of speculation about a midseason Ron Gardenhire firing and eventual promotion of hall of famer Paul Molitor, the Twins' minor league infield and base-running instructor. General manager Terry Ryan made it clear last Friday that Gardenhire isn't going anywhere in the near term, and the manager himself insisted he isn't worn down by all the losing over the past 2 1/2 seasons. "There's a future here, and we're trying to go the right way," Gardenhire said just before the break. "It doesn't look like it right now, but we're starting to get some pitching at the higher levels that (is) going to be able to come in and do some things." However, the issue of Gardenhire's future won't go away until the 12th-year skipper -- second-longest tenure among
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Blazers post hilarious tweets after acquiring cash from Rockets

Chip Kelly defends Kaepernick: He was not a distraction

Steve Smith faces suspension should he unretire

Report: Chris Paul ‘despises’ Doc Rivers, had issues with treatment of son Austin

Drew Brees trying to 'save the game' with flag football

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Jackson ‘laughing with confidants’ about fleecing Dolan

Report: Blake Griffin may still return to Clippers despite Chris Paul exit

Report: Eight teams already interested in Zach Orr

What to expect from the USMNT in the Gold Cup

Bryce Harper fuels Cubs speculation with Instagram post

Mike Trout progressing towards return before All-Star break

The 'You get a steal! You get a steal! Everybody gets a steal!' quiz

Rewriting the Hall of Fame rubric for today's pitchers

Top NBA free agents available

Box Score 6/28: New York loses its zen

Although you have seen this start before, this season is no sequel for the Dodgers

The 'Power hitters are coming for that number one spot' quiz

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Ricky Davis takes unnecessary shots at Al Harrington

Who won Wimbledon the year you were born?

Box Score 6/27: Monday is for all sorts of ballers

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'You get a steal! You get a steal! Everybody gets a steal!' quiz

Rewriting the Hall of Fame rubric for today's pitchers

2017 is not another disappointing sequel for the Dodgers

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Ricky Davis takes unnecessary shots at Al Harrington

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'Power hitters are coming for that number one spot' quiz

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

The 'Tonight, we settle the Beard vs. Brodie debate' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The 8th Man Award for most overlooked player this year

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker