Kendrys Morales finally gets a contract but out of nowhere that contract came from the Minnesota Twins. Morales has been a subject of speculation through all of the off-season, spring training and the regular season. He turned down the qualifying offer from the Seattle Mariners at the end of last season in favor of free agency.
Free agency did not fare well for quite a few players this year. After rejecting their team’s qualifying offer, any team that signed the player would have to give up their highest draft pick to the player’s former team as compensation. It put a stigma over the heads of guys like Stephen Drew, Ubaldo Jimenez, Nelson Cruz and Ervin Santana to name a few. Morales fell into that group and is the last to have finally been signed. The Orioles gave up two draft picks for Jimenez and Cruz, the Atlanta Braves gave up one for Santana and the Stephen Drew decided to re-sign with the Boston Red Sox, so they did not have to give up their draft pick.
It was expected for many of these players to not be signed until after the draft, but team emergencies arose that were so severe that players like Jimenez and Santana were signed and their respective teams reluctantly gave up their draft picks.
Morales was one of the few players, if not the only, remaining without a job having been forced to wait to play until after the draft, when he would no longer be connected to a draft pick. He had, as recently as Friday, been linked to the Brewers, Yankees, Rangers and Mariners. Yet, the Twins appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, to pick up the first baseman. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported the signing just hours ago via Twitter,
Kendrys Morales reached agreement with the #Twins
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) June 7, 2014
Now that he has signed after the draft, Morales will be an unencumbered free agent at the end of the season having not played the entire year with the Twins. He should have a much easier time finding a team next season if he decides not to re-sign with Minnesota. The terms of the current agreement between the Twins and Morales have not yet been released.
With the A.L. Central pretty much up in the air at this point, the Twins are looking to up their run production, hoping that Morales can help them accomplish that and make a playoff run.
Last season with the Seattle Mariners Morales hit .277 with 23 home runs and 80 RBI.