Rockies decline to pick up first baseman Justin Morneau’s option

Friday October 30th, 2015

The Colorado Rockies have declined to pick up the option on veteran first baseman Justin Morneau’s contract, reports Nick Groke of the Denver Post.  

Morneau would have been owed $9 million next season had the option been picked up. The 34-year-old originally signed with the Rockies in 2013 and played on guaranteed contracts the last two seasons.

According to Groke, this will likely been the end of Morneau’s tenure with the Rockies.

Colorado signed Morneau to replace longtime starter Todd Helton, who retired in 2013. Morneau played his first 10 seasons and the beginning of his 11th season with the Minnesota Twins, being named an All-Star four times. He had his best season in 2006, batting .321 with 34 home runs and 130 RBI on his way to being named the American League MVP.

Morneau hit over .300 in both of his seasons in Colorado, winning the 2014 National League batting title with a .319 average. He hit .310 in 2015, but only played in 49 games after suffering a concussion and whiplash on May 13 and missing much of the season.

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Rookie first baseman Ben Paulsen stepped in for Morneau and played well, hitting .277 with 11 home runs and 49 RBI.

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