Our own Sid Hartman caught up with Justin Morneau the other day to test the water on where Morneau is at when it comes to his impending free agency.
The upshot was this:
“We’ll see what the best fit is … for myself and the team,” said Morneau, the 2006 American League MVP. “Obviously you can’t predict the future, you say, ‘This team looks like they’re going to be good,’ but there’s nothing guaranteed for that.
“But as a player, all you can ask for at this point is a chance to win and somewhere that you’re going to go and have fun. There’s nothing to say that couldn’t happen in Minnesota or [with] someone else. I’m not too sure. Obviously that’s not really the answer anyone was looking for, but I’m open right now and looking at the options and we’ll see.”
In short, Morneau might not be looking to come back here. And that might spare the Twins -- if they are interested in Morneau -- because it really doesn't seem like a good fit.
Even at a reduced price, you're getting a below-average power bat at first base -- sad to think based on what he once was, but it's true. Out of 24 qualifying first basemen in 2013, Morneau ranked 21st in slugging percentage and 22nd in OPS. Morneau might have felt better in 2013 that he had in several years, but his production was actually slightly down from where it was in 2012.
Add in the fact that the Twins might need to move Joe Mauer to first base, and it really doesn't make sense.
The two biggest problems here are these: Morneau is no longer the player Twins fans remember, and the Twins are no longer the team Morneau remembers.
It's probably best for everyone to just move on.