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Rockies decline to pick up mutual option on Justin Morneau, buy 1st baseman out for $750,000


DENVER — The Colorado Rockies have declined a $9 million mutual option on Justin Morneau and bought out the first baseman for $750,000.

Morneau hit .310 with three homers and 15 RBIs in an injured-plagued season that limited him to 49 games. He was out of the lineup for nearly four months with concussion symptoms after diving for a ground ball during a game in May.

The 34-year-old Morneau captured the NL batting title with Colorado in 2014, when he hit .319. In addition, Morneau was the AL MVP in 2006 while with the Minnesota Twins.

Ben Paulsen saw a lot of action at first base with Morneau sidelined. Paulsen hit .277 with 11 homers.

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