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IFallsRon

Done deals

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MINNEAPOLIS - AL MVP Justin Morneau agreed Friday to a $4.5 million, one-year contract with the Minnesota Twins, who also settled their salary arbitration cases with third baseman Nick Punto and outfielder Lew Ford.

Punto agreed to a $4.2 million, two-year contract, and Ford got a $985,000, one-year deal.

Morneau, a 25-year-old first baseman, hit .321 last year with 34 homers and 130 RBIs and won the MVP award by 14 points over New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. Morneau's agreement was at the midpoint between the $5 million he had asked for and the $4 million the Twins had offered.

Punto, who hit .290 with 47 RBIs and 17 steals for the AL Central champions, will get $1.8 million this season and $2.4 million in 2008. He had asked for $2.1 million and had been offered $1.6 million.

Ford was a backup last year who hit .226 with 18 RBIs in 234 at-bats. In addition to his base salary, he could earn $65,000 in performance bonuses: $15,000 for 300 plate appearances, and $25,000 each for 400 and 450 plate appearances. Ford had asked for $1.3 million and had been offered $800,000.

Three Twins remain scheduled for hearings this month: AL batting champion Joe Mauer ($4.5 million vs. $3.3 million), third baseman Michael Cuddyer ($4.25 million vs. $3 million) and pitcher Juan Rincon ($2.4 million vs. $1.6 million).

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they need to get the other ones done as well. Glad to hear they are giving the money for the players, they need them around, or there team will be rough on the edges.

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The one year deal is a compromise by either side trying to avoid losing in arbitration. I am sure they will be working on a long term deal soon after the arbitration period ends.

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True, but ford has been a huge player for the twins when they have needed to have a guy that can step in at a tuff position.

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YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

I have been gone for the last year days and didnt get to see that yet. But that is sweet. They needed to get that done. That is money will spent

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Yeah, I'd really like to see them concentrate on signing JM to a big deal than worry too much about Cuddyer. I'm not nearly as sold on Cuddy - too many K's - hopefully he'll prove me wrong this year. I'd make extending Cy Santana a bigger priority than Cuddy. Rondell White .280 20 HR 80 RBI - you heard it here first.

FI

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I believe they will get him signed, its just a matter of when. They needed to get maur done before anyone, i believe. But after they got it all taken care of, there going to be able to get there team back to where it belongs.

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Cuddy just got signed. 1 year deal worth abot $3.5 million. That is just under half way between what the Twins first offered and what Cuddy was looking for.

I guess Terry Ryan is now looking at extensions for Nathan and Santana. If they can get those two signed for several more years this will be a great off season even though we didn't bring in much new talent.

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Yes, if they get them all signed, i will not be upset at all. These guys can play ball, and the more years there together, there going to grow together, and be a team to fight for the title every year.

Ryan needs to pay these guys to keep the team chemisty up. If they lose all these players, there going to be in a fight for a good year.

THey have done well, and i aspecet them to do a great job this year with the guys they got.

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_Cadaver_ thats what I call our right fielder,he has never been a favorite of mine [strikeouts],if "the big Canadian" doesn't hit the long ball,the Twins are in trouble.Still it takes pitching first to win,and the starters will worry me until I see differn't.I will always feel better about the Twins winning 3-2 with pitching and defense,than trying to outscore someone 8-6,just my thoughts

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One thing is for sure. This season will be like every season I can remember since I was a kid. There will be suprises and everything won't go as planned. Some guys will fail and some will prosper. Somehow I believe the best manager in the American League (Gardy) will figure things out. By midseason we will wish we either would or would'nt have signed some of these guys to long term deals. A couple of them are no brainers but I'm not so sure about some deals either. I really think we should have went after a couple more pitchers but, on the other hand the Twins may not have wanted to pay 55 million to a 50/50 pitcher like the Royals did when they signed Gil Meche. The money that some of these very average pitchers are getting is almost ridiculous.

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You've got to hand it to Ryan. He is a shrewd executive. If Cuddy and Morneau can't live up to the numbers they posted last season then Ryan is in the drivers seat so to speak when it comes to compensation. He is basically making them prove that what they did isn't a one year fluke. But if they do just as much then the player's value just went up. A gamble Ryan is willing to take. Any player can have one break out year, but they have to follow it up in succeeding years. Look what happened to the Joe Mays debacle. He got paid big bucks after one good season then gets injured and is now floating from team to team now.

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Injuries are part of the game,nothing you can do about it.Injuries have wreaked many players...................

All a person can do is hope players stay in shape,and get lucky to stay away from the injury bug.

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