| Sports

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

MLB notebook: Rockies' Morneau will fill Helton's spot at 1st

Pirates/MLB Videos

Email Newsletters

Sign up for one of our email newsletters.
Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, 7:39 p.m.

If you're going to replace Todd Helton at first base in Colorado while wearing Larry Walker's old number, you better have a solid resume.

The Rockies are convinced four-time All-Star and former American League MVP Justin Morneau is the answer as they begin the post-Helton era.

“It'd be tough for anybody to have to fill those shoes,” manager Walt Weiss said of Helton, the freshly retired five-time All-Star who holds nearly every Rockies career offensive record. “But we're doing it with a guy that's been a league MVP and has been an elite player in this league.”

Morneau signed a two-year, $12.5 million free-agent deal in December. He was in his 11th season with the Twins before being traded to Pirates late last season.

Morneau is a career .277 hitter with 221 home runs. He played in 152 games last season and hit .259.

• Pitcher Justin Masterson and the Indians agreed to a one-year contract worth $9,762,500 and avoided a salary arbitration hearing. Masterson, a 28-year-old right-hander, led the Indians in wins last year when he went 14-10 with a 3.45 ERA.

• Rangers ace Yu Darvish was in a joking mood Tuesday at spring training. Darvish wisecracked that the Yankees might have paid too much for fellow Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka by giving him a seven-year, $155 million contract on top of a $20 million posting fee to the Rakuten Golden Eagles. “I don't know the details of the posting system, but I think the Yankees gave him a little bit too much,” Darvish said with a chuckle through his interpreter.

• Derek Jeter's retirement announcement will soon seem a lot more real for Yankees manager Joe Girardi. The Yankees captain said last week in a statement that this will be his final season, and he planned to discuss his decision during a news conference at Steinbrenner Field on Wednesday, when New York's position players report for spring training. “It's probably going to set in a little more because I'm actually going to hear it instead of reading it and see it come out of his mouth,” Girardi said.

• The Nationals plan to give the longtime third baseman Ryan Zimmerman work at first this year, a position he has not played in the pros. New manager Matt Williams said Tuesday it's more of a strategic ploy to add an extra right-handed hitter to the lineup against tough lefty starters. Zimmerman said he envisions playing perhaps 10-15 games at first.

— AP

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Steelers notebook: Brown downplays possible matchup against Seahawks’ Sherman
  2. Dubinsky suspended for cross-check on SidneyCrosby
  3. Pitt notebook: Offensive struggles continue
  4. Clairton captures 12th WPIAL football championship
  5. WPIAL Class A notes: Return sparks Clairton for 2nd straight week
  6. Penguins notebook: Players prepared for tough schedule in minors
  7. Howard leads West Virginia over Iowa State
  8. Downtown holiday parade festive, but turnout low
  9. Pakistan’s private schools chief rebukes teenage activist Malala Yousafzai
  10. Unabashed church pastors put politics front and center
  11. Contractor eyes early finish to work on New Stanton interchange of Interstate 70