Hartman: Free agent Morneau will look for a winner

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 18, 2013 - 6:52 AM

The former Twin got into the playoffs after his trade to Pittsburgh and would like to sign with a similar team.

Justin Morneau, traded by the Twins to the Pittsburgh Pirates in September, said it was fun to play in his first playoff game since 2006. The first baseman, who hit .267 in 31 games for the Pirates with five doubles, no home runs and three RBI, is now a free agent.

Asked if he would like to come back and play with the Twins, Morneau said it’s something he would definitely consider.

“My options are all open,” he said. “I’ve got 30 options. Obviously some of them are less of a chance than others, but I’m open to anything right now.

“Obviously nothing can be done until five days after the World Series. I can only talk to Pittsburgh and after that it’s open for everybody. I enjoyed my time there and I enjoyed my time in Minnesota. But we’ll see what the best situation is for my family and myself.”

Morneau said a chance to win is probably going to be the first thing on his list.

“We’ll see what the best fit is … for myself and the team,” said 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 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.”

Morneau, who missed a lot of games during his final four years with the Twins because of various injuries, says his health is great now.

“This is the best I’ve felt and I think the most games I’ve played [158 between the Twins and Pirates] since ’08,” he said. “I played 163 games in ’08 and then have been pretty banged up after that. This year I played in the World Baseball Classic, so really I’ve been playing full, intense games since the start of March and finished the year feeling pretty good. I’m excited about being able to work out this offseason and not spend half the winter rehabbing on something. I think going into this winter I’m as excited as I’ve been in the last four or five years.”

And what does Morneau think of the Twins’ decision to trade him, now that the season is over?

“It was different,” he said. “It was obviously sad leaving Minnesota, but it’s an opportunity that you ask for as an athlete and as a baseball player, especially in baseball. In hockey and football and basketball, I think about half of the teams make the playoffs. It’s a lot harder to make the playoffs in baseball and when you get that opportunity, it’s so enjoyable and so fun and so intense. It is something you have to be happy about. [The trade] was tough. A lot of long relationships here.”

Unless there isn’t a market for Morneau, chances are he won’t be back with the Twins next season because winning, like he said, is his top priority when it comes to signing with a club. And right now, it doesn’t appear the Twins will be in that position.

Kill making progress

Gophers athletic director Norwood Teague talked on the phone to football coach Jerry Kill on Tuesday morning. Kill said he was making progress working with doctors at a renowned epilepsy clinic in Grand Rapids, Mich.

“He seems to be in great spirits and working hard with them to evaluate this thing deeper … and it takes real time to do that,” Teague said. “We feel good about that and we’re looking forward to having him back soon.”

But it would be a surprise if Kill were on the sidelines for the game at Northwestern on Saturday.

Freeman gets test

Josh Freeman is going to get his chance to show he is a better quarterback than Christian Ponder when he starts the Vikings’ lone “Monday Night Football” game this season against the New York Giants next week. But if you look at the stats of the two quarterbacks last season, they were pretty even.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Tampa 6 FINAL
Philadelphia 2
LA Clippers 96 FINAL
Chicago 86
Cleveland 103 FINAL
Houston 105
Golden State 106 FINAL
Boston 101
Philadelphia 74 FINAL
Indiana 94
Portland 110 FINAL
Sacramento 99
Charlotte 98 FINAL
Orlando 83
Oklahoma City 108 FINAL
LA Lakers 101
New Orleans 99 FINAL
Denver 92
Los Angeles 2 FINAL
Winnipeg 5
Tampa Bay 3 FINAL
Florida 4
Columbus 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 5
Toronto 0 FINAL
Washington 4
Anaheim 3 FINAL
Dallas 1
St. Louis 5 FINAL(SO)
Vancouver 6
SMU 73 FINAL
Connecticut 81
Quinnipiac 65 FINAL
Manhattan 69
Fairfield 56 FINAL
Niagara 57
Marist 49 FINAL
Rider 59
Iona 60 FINAL
Saint Peters 68
Oregon State 56 FINAL
California 73
South Florida 55 FINAL
Houston 72
Marquette 66 FINAL
Providence 77
Michigan State 61 FINAL
Wisconsin 68
Siena 57 FINAL
Monmouth 63
Pittsburgh 66 FINAL
Wake Forest 69
Oregon 73 FINAL
Stanford 70
Purdue 61 FINAL
Ohio State 65
Arizona State 81 FINAL
Colorado 87
Washington St 67 FINAL
UCLA 72
Georgetown 66 FINAL
Providence 81
Binghamton 50 FINAL
UMBC 73
Elon 65 FINAL
Hofstra 58
Virginia Tech 47 FINAL
Boston College 49
(8) Louisville 59 FINAL
Virginia 75
Texas 69 FINAL
West Virginia 76
Creighton 53 FINAL
Villanova 61
Seton Hall 85 FINAL
Butler 76
UNC-Wilmington 76 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 65
(5) Maryland 69 FINAL
(25) Northwestern 48
Saint Josephs 67 FINAL
La Salle 55
Louisiana Tech 53 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 60
Rhode Island 70 FINAL
Massachusetts 78
Richmond 55 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 49
Davidson 46 FINAL
Fordham 54
St Bonaventure 43 FINAL
Duquesne 51
George Mason 45 FINAL
(22) George Washington 80
Indiana 60 FINAL
(20) Rutgers 71
(12) Texas A&M 63 FINAL
LSU 80
Ole Miss 47 FINAL
(11) Miss State 55
Clemson 56 FINAL
Pittsburgh 61
Maine 47 FINAL
New Hampshire 61
Vermont 48 FINAL
Albany 76
Quinnipiac 87 FINAL
Monmouth 48
Saint Peters 47 FINAL
Siena 64
(4) Notre Dame 67 FINAL
NC State 60
Wisconsin 62 FINAL
Penn State 56
Stony Brook 49 FINAL
Hartford 56
Northeastern 47 FINAL
William & Mary 62
St Johns 61 FINAL
Xavier 74
James Madison 74 FINAL
Delaware 71
Towson 45 FINAL
Drexel 50
Illinois State 50 FINAL
Bradley 60
Southern Ill 74 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 70
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Wichita State 66
Minnesota 76 FINAL
(17) Iowa 92
(15) North Carolina 80 FINAL
(16) Duke 81
Alabama 73 FINAL
Auburn 80
(9) Florida State 69 FINAL
Miami-Florida 55
Arkansas 41 FINAL
Missouri 57
Georgia 52 FINAL
Florida 45
Dayton 95 FINAL
Saint Louis 68
Drake 57 FINAL
Missouri State 86
Colorado 46 FINAL
(10) Arizona State 59
(19) Stanford 55 FINAL
Oregon 62
Marquette 82 FINAL
DePaul 99
Southern Miss 66 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 60
Vanderbilt 49 FINAL
(6) Tennessee 79
(2) South Carolina 56 FINAL
(13) Kentucky 67
Utah 41 FINAL
Arizona 64
Ohio State 78 FINAL
Nebraska 60
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which Twins player are you most interested in during spring training?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close