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Monday, Jun 18, 2018
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Twins sign ex-Rays slugger Logan Morrison

The Twins are adding some pop to their playoff team from last year, landing former Rays slugger Logan Morrison.

Morrison and the Twins have agreed to a $6.5 million, one-year contract, the Associated Press reported. The Twins would have an option for 2019 that could vest automatically, making it a two-year deal.

Minnesota's patience in a slow-moving market this winter has it on the cusp of scoring Morrison, who's coming off a career-high 38 home runs for the Rays in 2017.

It was good news for his former Rays teammate, Twins right-hander Jake Odorizzi.

"I think, first and foremost, you're getting a guy with a lot of offensive potential," Odorizzi said. "When he's healthy, he's a 40-homer guy. There's not too many of those guys sitting around on the couch at the end of February."

Morrison, 30, set career highs in homers, slugging percentage (.516) and walks (81) last season, his second with Tampa Bay. He hit .246 and had a .353 on-base percentage.

Morrison was drafted by the Marlins and debuted in 2010. He was traded to Seattle prior to the 2014 season, then dealt to the Rays two years later.

Morrison played in a career-most 149 games last season and posted an .868 OPS, which would have been tops on the Twins. He broke in as a corner outfielder but became a regular at first base in 2013, his last year with the Marlins.

With Eddie Rosario in left field, Max Kepler in right and Joe Mauer at first base for the Twins, Morrison is on track to be the primary DH for a team that earned an AL wild card last season. Robbie Grossman and Kennys Vargas are the Minnesota holdovers who saw the most time at DH in 2017, but their production didn't match what Morrison did for the Rays.

"Everybody knows he can hit, so we're excited to have anybody like that with that kind of power in the lineup, for sure," Twins pitcher Kyle Gibson said after his exhibition start against the Rays in Fort Myers. "That's only going to make us a deeper team and a better team."

The Twins have quietly added several veterans to an up-and-coming club, beginning with relievers Fernando Rodney, Addison Reed and Zach Duke. They traded for Odorizzi and signed another candidate for the rotation in Anibal Sanchez before reaching the agreement with Morrison.

The Twins pre-emptively cleared a spot on the 40-man roster by placing reliever J.T. Chargois on waivers. Chargois, who pitched in 25 games for Minnesota in 2016, was claimed by the Dodgers on Friday.

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