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Monday, December 10, 2007

Show Morneau the Money

With news from the Santana front appearing relatively still (could change any day now), I wanted to focus my attention on a different Twins star: Justin Morneau.

I think with Torii's departure to the Angels and the high likelihood of Santana still being traded away, the Twins stand to learn a lesson this offseason. SIGN YOUR STARS TO LONG TERM CONTRACTS AS SOON AS YOU CAN!

In the past, the Twins have maintained the philosophy of not signing long-term deals for fear of the signed player suffering a significant injury or turning out to be a fluke after a career year. I understand this is wise as the small market Twins cannot afford to get bogged down by bad long term contracts; however, there is something to be said for rewarding your star players and locking them up while you can still afford to do so.

During 2006 season when Johan Santana was revving up his campaign for his second AL Cy Young award the Twins could have locked up Santana to long term deal of roughly $15 million a season. This was the market value at the time for frontline pitchers. It was clear Santana was no fluke. He had already won one Cy Young award (should have won two) and had proven his durability over multiple seasons. Instead, Santana is set to change the market for star pitchers as he may possibly command a salary of nearly $25 million a year.

In that same 2006 season while Justin Morneau was putting up his MVP winning numbers, the New York Mets signed their young stars, David Wright and Jose Reyes, to long-term deals of 6 years $55 million and 4 years $23 million respectively. These may appear like heavy contracts, but these two players were emerging stars and now have very affordable contracts. It's ok that the Twins wanted to make sure that Morneau's MVP season wasn't just a fluke, but this past season he clearly showed he is a major league star. Granted, Morneau's 2007 season was a down year from the year before but he is one of baseball's best young players and an integral part of the Twins' future.

Joe Mauer was signed to a 4 year $33 million deal before the 2007 season to ensure he will be playing when the new ballpark opens in 2010. Now Justin Morneau MUST be signed to a long-term deal while we still can.

Consider the loss of Torii Hunter and the probable loss of Johan Santana a lesson. I don't think Twins fans could take much more.

1 comment:

Zach D. Booz"er" said...

Well put MVBlogger. If Morneau isn't wearing Twinkie pinstrips in 2010 I'll be moving to Canada.