Blue Jays Possible Free Agent Target: Kendrys Morales
Are the Blue Jays targeting free agent 1b?DH Kendrys Morales? According to a tweet from CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the Jays are at least “taking a look at him.” As we all know rumours abound when talking about the Jays, and that Alex Anthopolous loves his due diligence, so it’s very likely that the Jays have at least considered Morales at some point during the off-season. The question is, is this a good fit for this team?
I’ve been a fan of Morales for a while, and when he was a free agent a few years ago before signing with Seattle, I thought he would have been a good pick-up for the Jays. That year for the Mariners he hit 23HRs and slashed .277/.336/.449, not bad numbers considering he played half his games at Safeco, the place where homeruns go to die.
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Last season was a different story for Kendrys. He didn’t sign until well into the 2014 season, and he ended up having a pretty crummy year. All told he only managed a slash line of .218/.274/.338 and had an OPS+ of only 75 after splitting time between the Mariners and the Twins. It’s possible that his dreadful season may have been partly due to his late start and his never really finding his timing at the plate. It is also possible that his stats last season were a result of diminishing skills, he’ll be 31 at the start of the 2015 season, and power hitters do tend to age quickly.
It’s not all doom and gloom with Morales, though. It wasn’t so long ago that he was 5th in the league in MVP voting (2009) after hitting 34HRs and slashing .306/.355/569 for the Angels. He was well on his way to another great year in 2010 before his season was ended prematurely by an injury suffered during a homerun celebration, and he ended up missing the nest season after as well.He bounced back well, though, he had solid seasons in 2012 and 2013, hitting 22 and 23 HRs respectively. He’s a guy that has decent power and could probably reach 30 HRs again in the friendly confines of the Rogers Centre. He can also take a walk when he wants to. He’s also a switch hitter, since the Lind trade the Jays are distinctly right-handed heavy, and they need a threat from the left side to balance out Encarnacion, Bautista, and Donaldson. The icing on the cake here is that he can likely be had for a inexpensive one-year deal, which means there is very little risk finacially to the Jays.
Is Kendrys Morales a good fit for the Jays? I think so. He can fill the hole at DH and he provides the left-handed power bat the Jays need, plus he’s a short-term, relatively inexpensive option. I say roll the dice and see what happens. What do you guys think?