Continuing the magical injury tour for the Twins, we have first baseman Justin Morneau. In 2010, Morneau was cruising in an MVP-type season when complications due to concussion ended his season around the halfway point. In case you've forgotten, he had a 345/437/618 triple slash and had 18 homers and 56 RBI.
|John MacDonald's Flying Knee|
Morneau signed a six-year, $80 million dollar deal in January of 2008. This means he has one more year left on his deal and will make $14 miillion in 2012. So, Morneau has all of the incentive in the world to come back and play well. However, Twins fans may recall Corey Koskie having to retire early due to concussions and it's possible Morneau has the same problem. After Morneau, the Twins have a couple of options here. Assuming they don't sign Cuddyer as I mentioned above, Joe Mauer would likely see some time. It would be unlikely that they would sign free agent that is a full time player with Morneau looming. However, there's really only Prince Fielder, Albert Pujols and Carlos Pena who are full-season types. Other options are Russell Branyan, Casey Kotchman, Derrek Lee, Lyle Overbay and Xavier Nady. Eric Hinske also would be there if the Braves don't pick up his 1.5MM option. Hinske and Nady may be intriguing as they bring an ability to play some outfield as well as first base and are used to a bench role. Plus, check out Hinske's tat:
|Awesome tats, plus check out the belt!|
The Twins should have Chris Parmalee in the minors for 2012; although he's hitting very well during his September call up. Still, he'll be just 24 in February and has not had any time at AAA as of yet. He's showing good power in September, but posted a 287/366/435 with 13 home-runs in AA. If Morneau succumbs to cranial issues, 2013 could be Parmalee's year.
Aaron Bates, 27, is a veteran minor leaguer that hit .316 this year after being picked up in May. The Red Sox let him go after spring training. He doesn't have much pop in his bat, but could be a reserve first base option if they don't sign anyone and aren't ready to go to Parmalee yet.
See: Middle Infield