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Brewers claimed Justin Morneau on waivers, could not agree to trade with Rockies

The Brewers have been struggling to find consistently strong production at first base in recent years.

Norm Hall

Brewers' first basemen Mark Reynolds and Lyle Overbay have both exceeded expectations this year after originally joining the team on minor league deals. However, that does not mean that the organization couldn't see better production from the position.

With that in mind, the Brewers were awarded a waiver claim on Colorado Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau recently. However, the two sides were unable to work out a trade and the Rockies chose to keep him, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

Heyman's exact wording says that the Brewers offered "players", multiple, but that the exact package is unknown. Whatever it was, it would have likely had to have been substantial: Morneau is thriving in Colorado with a .317/.360/.500 batting line and 14 homers. He's also signed through 2015, so Milwaukee would have received more than just a month of service.

Brewers first basemen in 2014 -- almost entirely Reynolds and Overbay -- have combined to hit .218/.309/.387 with 25 homers. Milwaukee's first base platoon is also earning $3.5 million this year while Morneau is still owed around $8 million over the life of his contract.

Had a deal gone through, the best guess is Overbay would have been released. Though he's been outstanding when pinch-hitting, he is clearly the less-valuable of the two first baseman, especially with Reynolds also able to play third base and, in emergencies, outfield. Overbay and Morneau are also both left-handed while Reynolds is a righty.

It's a shame a deal couldn't be made, but with Morneau being so good and relatively cheap it's safe to assume the Rockies were looking at a hefty price for a waiver-wire trade. I hesitate to guess what prospects were involved -- and there would have been actual honest-to-goodness prospects -- but the Brewers and Doug Melvin clearly didn't see an added boost from Morneau being worth the price.

The Brewers, of course, already traded one prospect they liked, outfielder Mitch Haniger, in the deal for Gerardo Parra prior to the July trade deadline.