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Report: Rockies close to deal with Morneau

The SportsXchange

The Colorado Rockies are close to a two-year contract with free-agent first baseman Justin Morneau, MLB.com reported Tuesday night.

Multiple media outlets reported that the potential deal is worth $13 million.

The Rockies added some flexibility to their payroll when they traded outfielder Dexter Fowler and his $7.35 million salary to the Houston Astros earlier in the day.

Morneau, 32, is expected to take over as the Rockies' starting first baseman with Todd Helton retiring.

Morneau was one of the most productive first basemen in the major leagues until a concussion slowed him down in 2010. He also had an injury-plagued 2011.

Last season, Morneau batted a combined .259 with 17 home runs and 77 RBIs over 152 regular-season games with the Twins and Pittsburgh Pirates. He was traded to Pittsburgh late in the season and played six postseason games.

Because of his struggles against left-handed pitchers, Morneau will likely lose at-bats to catcher Wilin Rosario, who may move over to first base against lefties. Morneau batted .280 against righties but just .207 against left-handers this year.

For his career, Morneau is a .277 hitter with 221 home runs and 863 RBIs. He was the American League's Most Valuable Player in 2006.
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