Since I mentioned the designated hitter in the previous slide, and he’s been the most talked about name, I figured I would start with him.
The soon to be 35 year old has obviously struggled this season, currently with a slash line of .154/.250/.275, with just three home runs and 10 RBI in 91 at bats. For a bat-only player, it’s just not enough to keep him in the lineup with regularity, and we’ve started to see him losing playing time more recently. We’ve also watched him go from the type of bat that hit clean-up last season, to hitting as low as eighth in the order these days in John Gibbons‘ lineup.
While there are other bats that are having a difficult time, it’s especially tough in Morales’ case because he doesn’t bring anything else to the table. He has played a few games at first base this season, but saying he’s adequate at best over there might be a compliment. His value has to come from his bat, and right now that’s just not happening.
According to spotrac.com, Morales has a salary of 11 million USD this year, and one more season in 2019 at 12 million. Pro-rated we’re talking about just under 20 million left owed to the Cuban veteran, which is a decent chunk of change. In fact, it’s highly likely that the biggest reason Morales still has a job at this point is because of the amount remaining on the three year contract he signed before the 2017 season.
While it might not be easy to swallow that money, it’s very difficult to imagine that Atkins will have any luck finding a trade partner. The reality is he’s a bat-only player who isn’t hitting, and even if the Blue Jays are eating all of the money, it’ll be tough to find a taker. Hopefully Morales will start producing and this problem goes away, but we’re in the middle of May now and things aren’t looking good.