As of right now, the Pittsburgh Pirates lack talent at first base. For that reason, it is imperative that the organization re-sign free agent Justin Morneau in the offseason.
Morneau batted .260 with three RBI, four doubles and an incredible .370 on-base percentage in 77 at-bats for Pittsburgh in 2013. Even though his power numbers were not impressive with the Pirates, the slugger did manage to hit 17 home runs and 74 RBI with the Minnesota Twins prior to being traded.
There is no question in my mind that Morneau is a necessary piece to the puzzle if the Pirates want to get back to the postseason in 2014. A lack of offensive production at first base is something that cannot be allowed to happen, especially in the National League. Re-signing Morneau should take care of that, or at the very least, be an improvement from what would be there if he were not on the team.
At this point, it is not so much if Pittsburgh wants to re-sign the veteran, but rather, if he wants to come back to the Pirates. The 32-year-old has made it very clear that his top priority is to sign with a contender.
“We’ll see what the best fit is … for myself and the team,” Morneau said, according to the Star Tribune. “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.”
The Pirates are definitely a team that will be contending next season, which is why making an offer Morneau cannot refuse is their best bet of retaining his talents.