Twins lock up two sluggers

8:33 AM, Jan 26, 2008   |    comments
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KARE 11 has confirmed that the Minnesota Twins have reached multi-year contract agreements with Justin Morneau and Michael Cuddyer. Morneau won the AL MVP Award in 2006. He signed a one year deal for $7.4 million just a few days ago, to avoid arbitration. He hit .271 last year, with 31 home runs and 111 RBIs, becoming the first Twin since Gary Gaetti to hit 30 homers in consecutive seasons. Cuddyer made $3.75 million last year. The Morneau deal is worth $80 million over six years, and Cuddyer will get $24 million over three years. The deals come while the team is shopping two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana. Minnesota already saw center fielder Torii Hunter become a free agent and sign with the Los Angeles Angels. Cuddyer has emerged as a dependable run producer in the middle of the lineup. After years at different infield positions, he earned the right field job and hit .276 with 16 homers and 81 RBIs last season. He led the AL with 19 outfield assists while perfecting the art of playing the ball off that tricky big baggie at the Metrodome. He gets a $2.75 million signing bonus and salaries of $5 million this year, $6.75 million in 2009 and $8.5 million in 2010. Minnesota has a $10.5 million club option for 2011 with a $1 million buyout. The Twins, with a core of Morneau, Cuddyer and catcher Joe Mauer to carry them into their new ballpark in 2010, have reached agreement with all of their arbitration-eligible players. The team will announce further details at a press conference at 4:00 p.m.. Watch it live on kare11.com.

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