Blue Jays: Need to find a way out from Kendrys Morales

TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 29: Kendrys Morales
TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 29: Kendrys Morales /

The Toronto Blue Jays signed Kendrys Morales a season ago, very early in the off-season to be their designated hitter. The deal was over the course of three years and worth $33 million. Morales came with a track record of being a proven power hitter who also had the ability to hit to all fields. Unfortunately for Morales and the Jays, he disappointed in 2017. Combine that with the state of the Blue Jays roster, and it has me and many others thinking that they need to find a way out from Morales’ contract.

Kendrys Morales was below his career numbers in nearly every single offensive category in 2017, and for only the 2nd time in a full-season worth of at-bats, Morales was below replacement level at -0.6 fWAR. His wRC+ was below league average of 100 at 97, he only had a .308 OBP, and had his lowest batting average in three years. It wasn’t a Kendrys Morales type season but I do still feel as if he can improve next season.

Despite my belief Morales can improve in 2018, the Blue Jays’ front office should do everything they can to get out from Kendrys Morales on the roster, even if it means eating most, if not all of the money he’s is scheduled to make over the next two years. Why? They need to free up the DH spot in order to give other aging players on the roster rotating turns at a half-day off.

Troy Tulowitzki, Russell Martin, Josh Donaldson, Justin Smoak, and Steve Pearce (assuming all return to the club in 2018) would be candidates to take regular at-bats at DH to keep them as fresh as possible. Steve Pearce would be the primary DH, but can easily go between the outfield and DH depending on matchups and platoons. The rest of those listed above would rotate on their days off from the field. A rotating DH allows for tons of flexibility for John Gibbons to give the veterans more rest.

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Another reason is for the Blue Jays to start to get younger and hopefully more athletic. Morales clogs the basepaths and can only go station to station when he is on base. The Blue Jays problem in 2017 was simple, an inability to score runs. Being old and slow on the basepaths was a large reason for that.

Now, the Blue Jays are going to have to find a trade partner, which will be tough to do as well, and they might have to eat some money to do it. Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins are going to need to do a good sell job to Rogers to convince them that they need a mulligan on the Morales signing and essentially pay him to go away and off the team. The hope would be that Rogers would be alright with having most of Morales on the books, while Shapiro and Atkins could operate like he’s completely off of the payroll. That remains to be seen.

I am a fan of Kendrys Morales, I own his Blue Jays jersey, but for the team to get better in 2018, the DH spot needs to be open which means Kendrys Morales needs to be off the roster.

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