Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
With the additions of Logan Morrison and Corey Hart, there is definitely an abundance of first basemen in Seattle, so if the Mariners do bring Morales back, he would see significantly less time on the field. Would it be worthwhile for the Mariners to take a chance on Morales strictly in a DH role? It depends on how the next season is going to be played. There is a good chance that the Mariners will adopt, at least partially, platooning.
With the surgeries to Hart and Morrison, there WILL be lots of adjustments to the roster on a game-by-game basis. Along with Justin Smoak there will be a revolving door at first base. Eventually the Mariners hope to move Hart into a more permanent corner-outfield position, but at the start of the season we’re going to see Hart/Morrison/Smoak sharing time at 1st base and DH.
The thing with signing Kendrys Morales is that gives options out the wazoo. Need to add some MLB experience to a trade? Boom, Justin Smoak is gone. Do Corey Hart’s knees make a full recovery? Bam, starting left-fielder. Given the Mariners history of season-ending-injuries, a little bit of insurance would go a long way too.
I know that a lot of people are going to read this and think it’s insane. You’re right, that price tag is excessively high for a guy who I’m suggesting play only 80 or 90 games. I will definitely admit that Morales is overkill for a position the Mariners are already flush with, but if the price is right its worth bringing him back.
I’ve been a pretty big advocate in the past for low-balling players to see who will bite. This is definitely one of those occasions where the Mariners should toss a low offer at Morales and see what comes back. Now that the M’s have other DH options, they shouldn’t throw anything close to the $14MM qualifying offer they made. Since the Mariners have so much depth, uncle Jack can afford to be a hard-ass and drive a hard bargain with Morales. Given that the market is so soft on Morales right now, the Mariners could very well steal him back at a fraction of the price.
Chances are this won’t work out. Morales is a caliber of player who will eventually get an offer somewhere. On the other hand, this is exactly the kind of move we’ve come to expect from Jack and company. As far as I can see, this is the only way that the Mariners are still in on Kendrys Morales.