It's hard to believe, but more than a decade has passed since Justin Morneau won the 2006 American League MVP Award while serving as the Minnesota Twins first baseman. In the time since, Morneau has settled into afterthought status due to injury, while the Twins have installed Joe Mauer at the cold corner.
Yet Morneau and the Twins each have interest in a reunion, according to Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press:
According to a person with direct knowledge, there is mutual interest in a reunion with the veteran first baseman, who intends to return for a 15th big-league season in 2017. The trouble is finding enough at-bats to make it worthwhile for either side.
Morneau, for his part, has no real room to quibble about playing time. He's appeared in just 107 games over the last two seasons, hitting .283/.330/.442 with nine home runs -- or numbers that compose a 104 OPS+. Given Morneau's extreme durability woes, he's likely to have to settle for a minor-league deal.
The Twins have no real reason to offer Morneau more than that anyway. As Berardino notes, Minnesota has Mauer to please, as well as Byung-ho Park -- and that's without mentioning Kennys Vargas. Bringing in an old pal like Morneau to see what he has left -- and perhaps to help him audition for other squads -- makes sense. We'll find out if both sides find such an arrangement appealing soon enough.