The Pirates have re-acquired RHP Duke Welker from the Minnesota Twins. Welker, 27, was sent to the Twins as the player to be named later in the Justin Morneau trade. However, he wasn’t officially part of the deal until October, so he was hardly ever part of their organization. Welker faced four batters in the big leagues last season; he posted a 3.57 ERA in 63 innings for Triple-A Indianapolis.
In return, the Twins will be receiving LHP Kris Johnson. The 29-year-old southpaw was great for Indianapolis in 2013, going 10-4 with a 2.39 ERA. He made four appearances in Pittsburgh, including an impressive six-inning relief outing and an ugly spot start on September 1st.
Not much to say about this trade – just two depth guys who didn’t see much time in the majors last year. Welker probably has more potential than Johnson, two years younger and a hard thrower. It’s weird to Welker come back already; the August 31st trade essentially remains a straight-up Justin Morneau for Alex Presley deal, which is fine for both sides.