Morneau arrives at camp, talks about contract

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Justin Morneau arrived at the Lee County Sports Complex today and held court with reporters for more than 10 minutes with one of the biggest topics being his contract status.

Morneau is in the last year of a six-year, $80 million contract signed in 2008 so it very well could be his last year in a Twins uniform. He also could be trade bait before the July 31 Trade Deadline if he proves to be healthy and productive, and the Twins are out of contention.

Here’s what Morneau had to say regarding his contract, as he said his agent and the Twins have not discussed an extension and he’d prefer not to do it during the season:

Are you content to wait until October or November to worry about your contract?
“Yeah, whatever it is it’ll take care of itself. If I get through the year healthy we’ll see what happens then. I’ll let all that stuff play out. I’m hoping we’ll be making additions at the Trade Deadline instead of worrying about who were trading. So until that comes along and it’s proved otherwise, we plan on being a team that’s going to battle and be in it in July and hopefully adding to this team whatever we need.”

Did you explore an extension at all and talk about doing it now?
“I think from their side and my side they want to see where I’m at. The last few years there have been some difficulties with all the injuries and all that stuff. It’s not something I’m really interested in doing during the season because it can become a distraction. But I’ll never say never. It’s something where the future looks good with the prospects list and what we have coming and all that stuff. I want to win obviously and so that’s the important thing. If it looks like there’s a chance we’re going to win, I’d love to stay here. I’ve been here my whole career and this where I hope to be in the future. It’s hard to say otherwise. But sometimes those decisions aren’t yours. So we’ll see. We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.”

Excited to play for a contract and does it motivate you at all?
“Obviously you never know what the future holds if I’m going to be here or not. It’s one of those things where it is what it is. I’ve never been in this situation before. Obviously a young player you make the team and you try to make it to arbitration and get some stability. And for me, I was locked up after my first year of arbitration. So it’s something I haven’t experienced before but it doesn’t change anything. The goal is still to win.”

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