Minnesota Twins Justin Morneau speaks with reporters after he takes batting practice before the start of the Twins' American League baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays in Minneapolis

Morneau not yet 100 percent, but moving in that direction

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It has been close to seven whole months since Twins first baseman Justin Morneau took a knee to the head in Toronto and suffered a concussion that would put an end to his 2010 season.

He’s now working out regularly down at the Twins’ spring training facility in Fort Myers, Florida and is making good progress, but the big man is not completely past the head injury and the many aftereffects that go along with it.

Twins general manager Bill Smith spoke about the matter on Saturday with ESPN 1500 AM:

“It’s still a work in progress,” Smith said. “He is not 100%, but I’ve talked to his doctors, I’ve talked to him. He’s getting better all the time, he’s doing very good workouts.  We only want to go through this process one time. We want him to get healed, get back on the field and resume his career without having that rollercoaster up and down.”

The hope is that Morneau will be fully recovered by the time spring training opens in late February.  Of course, we probably won’t know for sure where he stands until live spring training games get underway.

The 29-year-old hit .345/.437/.618 with 18 home runs and 56 RBI in 81 games last season.

Magic Johnson to take over the Lakers, but will still be part of Dodgers ownership

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 15:  Earvin 'Magic' Johnson attends game one of the National League Championship Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field on October 15, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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This is more significant for basketball fans than baseball fans, but Magic Johnson is taking over basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers. Dan Feldman over at PBT has the full story on that.

For our purposes, you probably know that Johnson is part of the Dodgers ownership group. Anthony McCullough of the L.A. Times got comment from the Dodgers, saying that despite his new full-time job, his status with the Dodgers will be unchanged:

Maybe I’m alone in this, but I’m not entirely certain what Magic does with the Lakers, so the first clause in Kasten’s comment may be doing most of the heavy lifting here.

Matt Wieters is close to signing with the Washington Nationals

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 02: Matt Wieters #32 of the Baltimore Orioles connects on a two-run home run in the fourth inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on October 2, 2016 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
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Jon Heyman reports that the Nationals are closing in on a deal with catcher Matt Wieters. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that it’s a two-year deal. UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is for two years, at $21 million. There is an opt-out for him after year one. He will get $10 million in 2017 and, if he returns in 2018, he’ll get $11 million.

Wieters was not expected to go this long without signing, but his market, which many thought would be robust, never materialized. The Nats had been rumored to be interested for months, but they were apparently waiting to swoop in late and get what one presumes will be a bargain.

Wieters, 30, finished last season hitting .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI in 464 plate appearances. The Nationals currently have Derek Norris and Jose Lobaton, so who falls where in the catcher fight in Washington is unclear, but one presumes that Wieters getting a two-year deal puts him at the top of the depth chart.