"Justin is very excited about the opportunity," said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, who spoke briefly with his new first baseman. "Just wait until he comes through that tunnel and sees this park lit up and packed. It will be a good visual for him."
The left-handed hitting Morneau has spent his entire 11-year big league career with the Twins after being selected by Minnesota in the third round of the 1999 First-Year Player Draft. His 221 career home runs rank third on the club's all-time list, trailing only Harmon Killebrew (475) and Kent Hrbek (293).
Morneau has produced a career average of .278 in 1278 big league games to along with his 221 home runs, 860 RBI, .347 on-base percentage and .832 OPS.
The Pirates aggressively pursued lineup upgrades down the stretch in August, as Saturday was the deadline for teams to acquire players who will be eligible for postseason rosters. The moves this week, which included the acquisitions of catcher John Buck and outfielder Marlon Byrd from the Mets on Tuesday.
"This is more tangible evidence of what we've been doing -- what the organization said it would do when I got here," said Hurdle, wrapping up his third season at the Pirates' helm. "This week's activity is based on Neal Huntington's persistence to make the club stronger in areas we felt we needed to strengthen."