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DENVER - The Colorado Rockies signed first baseman Justin Morneau to a two-year, $12.5 million deal Friday.

He will step in for Todd Helton, who retired at the end of the season. The Rockies were contemplating moving Michael Cuddyer from right field over to first base before the deal with Morneau.

Like Helton, Morneau is a smooth-fielding first baseman. Since 2003, his fielding percentage (.996) is second to only Helton (.997).

Over his 11-year career, Morneau is a .277 hitter. He was the 2006 American League MVP while a member of the Minnesota Twins, hitting .321 that season with 34 homers and 130 RBIs.

The 32-year-old Morneau is a four-time All-Star.

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