Not too long after it was announced that the Mariners would extend a qualifying offer to DH Kendrys Morales, it is being reported that the switch-hitting slugger will reject said offer.
This was originally reported by Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, stating:
“Morales will turn down the qualifying offer, as he’d expect to hit it much bigger in a market flush with cash but bereft of power…”
The offer would likely be in the $13.8 million range, being arrived at by averaging the 125 most lucrative contracts in the league during the past season. Another benefit of extending in offer is that it allows the M’s to collect a compensation sandwich pick in the next draft in return for losing the player.
While this sounds a little disheartening off the bat, it may not mean all that much. First of all, $13.8 million a year for a league average DH/1B (though he is much more important to such a poor team) seems a little high. Sure, he is probably the team’s best hitter. But that money may be better served going after a better overall player.
But whether or not you are okay with paying Morales like a top flight player, this doesn’t guarantee he is gone. He likely just wants a little more security with a longer term deal. He is a 30-year old with injury history and without a true position. You never know how many more opportunities a guy in his situation will get to cash in.
In my opinion, Morales should be a priority but not the priority. I think an outfielder is probably more important, with names such as Shin-Soo Choo (speculation coming later this week) and Jacoby Ellsbury coming to mind.
However, the M’s should have a good chunk of money to spend this offseason, should they choose to do so. It is possible — though maybe not probable — that they come away with Morales, an outfielder and a middle of the rotation starter (Tim Lincecum anyone?) this offseason.
All in all, there probably isn’t too much to draw from this. It does Morales was a little quick on the trigger, but it doesn’t mean he wants out.