Morales hitting a spring training homerun. Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
The Seattle Mariners got some much-needed news on Saturday. Nelson Cruz signed with the Baltimore Orioles. I am still a bit torn on this, as I firmly believe the M’s need to add one more power bat to help protect Robinson Cano.
At first I was a believer in Cruz…you know, other than the Steroids suspension, the below average defense, playing in a band box stadium…That is all baggage the Seattle Mariners and Lloyd McClendon do not need.
The log jam at first base (Justin Smoak, Logan Morrison, Corey Hart) is pretty severe, however I now firmly believe Kendrys Morales is the answer. He can spell Smoak at first, but will primarily be a DH. He played well last year, will be available for a significant discount, and has shown flashes of brilliance that would be a perfect fit for the number 4 or 5 spot in the order.
Morales’ agent, Scott Boras, advised Morales against signing an extension, in a bid to procure free agent money and a multi-year contract. It’s not very often Boras fails, but that is the case here. Cruz signing a one year deal in Baltimore puts a serious damper on a multi-year for Morales. Most teams are going to shy away from the qualifying offer attached to Morales, though some may wait until after the draft to consider the 30-year-old switch hitter.
I believe the M’s will sigh him to a one year deal before the draft. The Mariners have stated they do not feel they have to make any additional moves, though any significant offensive help in the minors is probably at least a year away, so I am hoping they get this done soon.
Regardless, the first Spring Training game is this Thursday…I am ready.