White Sox sign Justin Morneau to 1-year deal

By Michael Dixon

The Chicago White Sox have bolstered their bats, as the club officially announced on Thursday that they’ve signed 2006 American League MVP Justin Morneau.

It was later noted that Morneau, who is still recovering from off-season surgery, is going on the disabled list. General manager Rick Hahn added that Morneau is expected to join the team at some point in “mid-to-late July.”

Morneau has spent the last two years with the Colorado Rockies. He played in only 49 games last season, but was fairly productive, hitting three home runs and slashing at .310/.363/.458 in 168 at-bats.

Grading this move right now will depend largely on what Chicago’s plans for Morneau are. If its hoping he can mostly pinch hit while occasionally filling at at first base or as the DH, it’s a good move. The problem is at the moment that doesn’t seem to be how the White Sox are viewing Morneau.

That would probably mean he’d see a lot of time at DH. Hearing that, you’d think that at the very least, Morneau be on the big side of a platoon at DH, starting against right-handed pitchers while Avisail Garcia would take on the lefties.

Right now, we’d have to grade that as an incomplete, and really, that’s being generous. Morneau is 35, coming off an an injury, and hasn’t had a 20-plus home run season since hitting 30 in 2009.

Chicago is struggling now, but it’s still only 3.5 games out of first place in the American League Central. For a team that’s clearly still trying to win this year, Morneau is a big question mark if they’re planning on putting him in the middle of the order.