The Chicago White Sox have agreed to terms with first baseman Justin Morneau on a one-year, $1-million contract, plus incentives, and have placed the former Most Valuable Player and four-time American League All-Star on the 15-day disabled list to continue his recovery from offseason surgery to repair the primary flexor in his left elbow.
Morneau, 35, is a career .282 (1,550-5,496) hitter with 335 doubles, 241 home runs, 960 RBI and 756 runs scored in 1,487 games over 13 major-league seasons with Minnesota (2003-13), Pittsburgh (2013) and Colorado (2014-15). From 2005-15, he ranked seventh in the majors among left-handed hitters in doubles (314) and RBI (886) and 13th with 218 homers.
“Justin provides us with a quality veteran threat from the left side who fits into the middle of the batting order,” said Rick Hahn, White Sox senior vice president/general manager. “We have been speaking with Justin, who is just a year and a half removed from winning a batting title with Colorado, for the last several months and moved forward with this deal once Justin was ready to ramp up his baseball activities. He is close to being ready to begin a rehab assignment, and we project him available in Chicago sometime in mid-to-late July.”
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Morneau batted .310 (52-168) with 10 doubles, three homers and 15 RBI in 49 games with the Rockies in 2015. He was on the disabled list from May 14-September 3 with concussion-like symptoms.
Morneau recorded 30-plus doubles seven times in his career, 100-plus RBI four times (2006-09) and 30-plus home runs three times (2006-07, ’09). He led the National League with a .319 batting average in 2014 with the Rockies.