MLB

Justin Morneau Signs 2-Year Contract with Colorado Rockies

USA Today
Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIDecember 4, 2013

Four-time All-Star first baseman Justin Morneau agreed to a two-year deal to join the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday, the team announced:

Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com initially reported the news, tipping the hat to Troy Renck of The Denver Post, who reported that the two sides were closing in on an agreement earlier in the day:

The $13 million salary is a decent bargain for Colorado, considering Morneau won the 2006 American League MVP award as a member of the Minnesota Twins.

However, the 32-year-old veteran has struggled over the past several seasons, with injuries being a big reason why.

Morneau played just 150 total games between the 2010 and 2011 campaigns, struggling in that span due to a concussion he suffered and the lingering post-concussion symptoms thereafter. In the two years since, Morneau has yet to return to being an elite MLB player.

An Aug. 31 trade saw Morneau shipped to the Pittsburgh Pirates, where he played 25 games and had a subsequent shot to play in the postseason.

Unfortunately, Pittsburgh was eliminated 3-2 in the NLDS by the NL Central division rival St. Louis Cardinals.

The swap was made mostly because Morneau was in the final season of a six-year, $80 million contract. He will be taking a significant pay cut with the Rockies, but that was to be expected after his drop off in production over the last few years.

It is a fresh start for Morneau, though, and it comes in a hitter-friendly park at Coors Field.

Todd Helton's retirement sets up an experienced player like Morneau as a logical fill-in at first base for the time being.

Morneau did play 152 games in 2013—his most in a single season since 2008—but batted .259 with 17 home runs, 77 RBI and a career-worst 110 strikeouts.

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