Impending free agent Justin Morneau said the Twins have not approached him about a contract extension and that he would prefer not to negotiate during the season, creating an audition for the club to retain or shop his services before the July 31 trade deadline.
"I think it can be a kind of distraction, but I'll never say never," Morneau said Friday, Feb. 15, after arriving for his 11th and possibly last big-league camp with Minnesota.
"The future looks good, prospects-wise and what we have coming. I want to win, obviously. That's the most important thing, and if it looks like there's a chance to win, I'd love to stay here."
Morneau hit .267 with 19 home runs with 77 runs batted in in 134 games last season, which included an early stint on the disabled list when his surgically repaired wrist flared up. If he stays healthy, Morneau, 31, and the Twins see no reason why the slugging first baseman could not mirror his 2006-09 production, when he averaged 30 home runs and 118 RBIs.
But Morneau missed the playoffs in 2009 because of a microfracture in his lower back, beginning a period of injuries that caused him to miss a total of 229 games through last season. His 2010 and 2011 seasons ended because of concussions.
Twins, Justin Morneau haven't discussed contract extension
St. Paul Pioneer Press | Feb 16