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Morneau, Twins will restart contract talks

  • Article by: La Velle E. Neal III
  • Star Tribune
  • February 18, 2007 - 8:57 PM

FORT MYERS, FLA. - The Twins and reigning American League MVP Justin Morneau will resume talks on a multiyear contract during spring training.

Mark Pieper, Morneau's agent, spoke with the Twins over the weekend, and the Twins confirmed their interest in trying to get a deal done after offseason talks broke down.

Instead of signing a long-term deal then, the Twins and Morneau agreed to a one-year, $4.5 million contract to avoid arbitration. The Twins are in better shape to reopen talks now that they have reached deals with all of their arbitration-eligible players, including catcher Joe Mauer, who agreed to a four-year, $33 million deal that could be within range of what it would take to sign Morneau.

Indications are that talks will end once the regular season begins, but the Twins have negotiated some deals during the season.

Twins General Manager Terry Ryan did not confirm the talks. "I don't comment about contracts," he said.

Ortiz late

Righthander Ramon Ortiz, who signed for $3.1 million as a free agent, is having problems obtaining a visa from his native Dominican Republic and could miss the first couple of days of camp.

"I'm not worried about it," Ryan said. "Based on the people I've talked to, he does a pretty good job of keeping in shape."

Ortiz might not be able to report until Thursday, but already has had some personal items shipped to the clubhouse.

Ryan said he believed everyone else who's required to report to camp reported over the weekend.

La Velle E. Neal III • lneal@startribune.com

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