Twins Lock Up Morneau, Cuddyer

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Twins announced today that they have extended the contracts of first baseman Justin Morneau and outfield Michael Cuddyer. Morneau, who won the American League MVP in 2006, received a six year deal worth 80 million dollars, a deal that should look like a bargain in a couple years as free agent prices spike. Morneau is still improving, and according to one AL scout, has his best years ahead of him. By having Morneau, Cuddyer, and Mauer all locked up gives the Twins a solid negotiation angle when trying to lure a big name player long term. Knowing that this locker room is stable and will be for a long time could lure a player, along with there brand new stadium coming in a couple seasons.

Cuddyer, who batted .276 with 16 HR, signed a three year deal worth 23 million dollars. Cuddyer has been an everyday player since 2004, and has put up pretty consistent numbers since then. I think this is a good deal for the Twins although he may lose his spot if several solid outfielders come over from the Mets, Red Sox, or Yankees through trade. Nonetheless, it gives them a familiar face in the clubhouse, and a versatile position player.