The Rockies are looking for help at first base following the retirement of five-time All-Star Todd Helton and they are now "aggressively pursuing" former Twin and 2006 MVP Justin Morneau, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post.
The 32-year-old Morneau began the 2013 season with the Minnesota Twins and was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates at the waiver-trade deadline for Alex Presley and a player to be named later (Duke Welker). Between the two teams, Morneau posted a .259/.323/.411 batting line in 635 plate appearances. Because he was traded during the season, the veteran first baseman was not eligible for a qualifying offer, so it will not cost teams a draft pick to sign him.
The former-MVP has struggled since a series of concussions in 2010 and 2011 cost him significant playing time in those seasons. Prior to those injuries, Morneau had hit .280/.350/.501. Since the start of 2011, he has batted .256/.319/.406. A move to the high-offense environment of Coors field could certainly help revive his waning power. Coors Field favors left-handed home runs more than any other park in the game and it is also boosts doubles and hits.
The Rockies have also considered the right-handed hitting Mike Napoli for the vacancy and they pursued catcher Brian McCann up to the point where he signed with the Yankees. Unlike Morneau both of those players would have required draft pick compensation to sign. The Rockies might be looking at the less-costly Morneau and seeing a player that fits well in a platoon role with right-handed hitting catcher/first baseman Jordan Pacheco, potentially giving them the production they seek at a lower total cost. Morneau hit .280/.352/.467 when facing righties in 2013, but just .207/.247/.278 when facing lefties.
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