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Justin Morneau takes a job as a special assistant for the Twins

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Bob Elliott of the Canadian Baseball Network reports that Justin Morneau has joined the Twins organization as a special assistant. This would seem to mark the official end of his playing career which, functionally speaking, ended last spring.

Morneau played for Team Canada in last year’s World Baseball Classic but, despite his efforts to latch on with a big league team afterward, he ended up finding no takers. That makes his 2016 campaign with the White Sox in which he hit .261/.303/.429 with six homers his final big league season.

For his career, Morneau finishes with a line of .281/.348/.481 (OPS+ 120) with 247 homers and 985 RBI in 14 big league seasons. Morneau won the 2006 MVP Award and seemed to be on a near-Hall of Fame trajectory before his career was repeatedly derailed by concussions. First a nasty one in 2010 which ended what was turning out to be his best season yet and then a final one in 2015, one year after winning the NL batting title in Colorado.

One can look at Morneau’s career and wonder what might have been if not for the injuries. One can also look at his career and appreciate how well he did for so long despite them.

Good luck with your future endeavors, Justin.

Indians sign Melky Cabrera to a minor league deal

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The Indians have signed free agent outfielder Melky Cabrera to a minor league deal. The pact is pending a physical.

Cabrera, 33, went unsigned this past offseason after putting up a season of .285/.324/.423 with 17 homers and 85 RBI with the White Sox and the Royals.

Cabrera will report to Columbus once he passes his physical and, according to Paul Hoynes, there are no guarantees being made to him that he’ll get playing time. That said, the Indians aren’t getting much outfield production from anyone besides Michael Brantley, and Cabrera’s status as a switch hitter would give Terry Francona some flexibility, so it would not be shocking to see him on the big club after some reps in the minors.