For a player with the career that Justin Morneau has had, you wouldn’t think there would be much uncertainty in a contract season. Usually when someone that has four All-star appearances, one MVP award and one runner up MVP season as well as two silver slugger awards, there is only celebration and not worry when free agency is on the way. For a few specific reasons, however this is not the case for Morneau.
Going into the 2010 season, Morneau was riding the momentum from all of the accolades mentioned above. Then the 2010 season was shortened for him when he was batting well over .340 and hitting with an OPS over 1.000. The 2011 season was shortened as well and saw less production. When he finally returned to full time play in the 2012 season, Morneau didn’t quite produce the way he did in those MVP seasons. Apparently that leads some in Minnesota to wonder if he will be worth signing next off-season.
A quick and simple answer is: yes, he is worth the money. That’s just my opinion considering his coming 2013 season. I think he’ll have a huge year not because of this contract drama but in spite of it. Not only is there concern about his ability to put up great numbers anymore and thus uncertainty of what he will be worth monetarily. Also he knows full well that his name will be the first on the trading block if the Minnesota Twins have a down year.
Morneau, however remains focused. He is readying himself for the season and going through his normal routine. At the age of 32 this season, he has plenty of gas left in the tank. If he doesn’t put up great numbers this year, it won’t be because he can’t. The way he has handled himself through this is very admirable and makes you cheer for the guy. Hopefully he will have a great year and so will the Twins. That way they will have a huge decision to make during the off-season and Morneau will get what he deserves for such a productive and loyal career thus far.