The Mariners will make a qualifying offer to pending free-agent 1B-DH Kendrys Morales this winter, according to Greg Johns of MLB.com.
Morales, 30, hit .277 with a .336 OBP and .785 OPS, 23 HR and 80 RBI in 156 games with the Mariners this past season.
Morales played 31 games at first base this season, but mostly served as Seattle’s designated hitter.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
The right-side of the infield plays an important role in Alderson’s off season, because it’s where parts can be shuffled to make room for other deals. Lucas Duda and Josh Satin could probably come together (as a left-right platoon) to hit as many home runs as Morales, while actually playing better in the field. Together, Duda and Satin will together earn around $3 million, while Morales will get paid double that and command a multi-year commitment. The Mariners reportedly want him back, and he’d like to stay. My hunch is that, instead of signing Morales, Alderson would sooner go in-house at first base and spend his money on outfielders or a shortstop.
Michael Baron, Contributor
Morales hits for power and struck out over 100 times, but he had a career-high 49 walks this season, which could only improve working in the Mets system. He mostly served as a designated hitter this season, but serviceable in his time at first base. He certainly won’t win a Gold Glove, but he won’t kill anyone defensively either – what he provides offensively could certainly make any shortcomings on defense tolerable.
Maggie Wiggin, Contributor
Overall, his production is only slightly above average for a first baseman. Morales will generally hit 20 home runs and more than 30 doubles in a full season, and he gets on base at a good — but not great — clip. The good news is that he’s put up capable numbers since returning from a broken ankle that cost him almost two years. He hasn’t returned to the impressive performance he put up before the injury, but he also hasn’t struggled. His switch-hitting ability is another selling point, though he’s weaker against lefties.
Andrew Wharton, Contributor
I think fans would see Morales as an decent upgrade over the current situation at first base. I’m not convinced Duda can produce every-day numbers because he can’t even stay on the field with the big league club for an entire season, Satin is still a question mark after his good season and Ike Davis usually doesn’t start hitting until June or July. I’m all for bringing in Morales – even with the question marks surrounding his ability to field his position – because the Mets simply cannot afford to keep hoping fringe players work out at the major league level. If they want to win games, the Mets need real talent. While Morales isn’t a dominant hitter, he’s definitely a proven bat who can hit from both sides of the plate.