March 9, 2013
Once upon a time, Justin Morneau was a very solid player. He was never the player his most-valuable-player status would have seemed to convey, though he was still solid. But that time was more than two seasons ago, and as he enters a contract year in what will be age-32 season, it's fair to wonder if this is Morneau's last stand.
To be sure, Morneau is no scrub. Since the Integration Era began in 1947, he is one of 78 first basemen who has accumulated at least 20 WAR through age 31. He's a plodder on the bases, but his bat and glove have both been well above league average throughout his career. He's a four-time All-Star, won the aforementioned MVP Award in '06, and finished second for the award in '08 as well. That's a pretty impressive resume.
From 2006-2010, he was one of the 25 best position players in the game, and was seventh-best among first basemen. Not a Hall of Fame track by any stretch, but a very good player who could be the second or third-best player on a championship ...