Over the weekend, word got out the Twins were considering a reunion with first baseman/designated hitter Justin Morneau. Morneau played with the Twins from 2003-13 and was named 2006 AL MVP while with Minnesota.
A reunion is not happening, however. On Monday, La Velle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reported the team simply doesn't have room for Morneau on the roster.
There have been whispers about the Twins bringing back Justin Morneau. Morneau and the Twins did have a conversation, but the sides realized that there's no room for him on the roster.
The Twins lost an MLB-worst 103 games in 2016 -- no other team lost more than 94 -- and they revamped their front office earlier this offseason. They're moving in a new direction, and that direction is rebuilding. That's what happens when you lose 90-plus games five times in six years.
Morneau, meanwhile, spent last season with the White Sox, where he hit .261/.303/.429 (100 OPS+) with six home runs in 58 games after signing in June. He signed late after having offseason elbow surgery. Morneau turns 36 in May.
Given the team's current situation, a reunion with Morneau never did make much sense. The Twins have no shortage of first basemen and designated hitters. Joe Mauer is still making big money and figures to split time at those two positions going forward. Kennys Vargas, who had a 123 OPS+ in 47 games last year, needs playing time as well.
There's also Byung Ho Park, who disappointed in his first season with the Twins, but nonetheless is owed $9.25 million over the next three years. The Twins invested $24.8 million total in Park between posting fee and salary. They owe it to themselves to see what Park (and Vargas) can do at the big-league level before reuniting with Morneau.
I'm sure many Twins fans would be thrilled with bringing Morneau back. If the team is going to be bad, at least be bad with likable players, you know? Morneau is a fan favorite in Minnesota. But, given the direction of the team, the roster spot is better used on Vargas and Park, two players who could help the club win in the future, not connect to their past.