Morales will decline M’s QO? So What.

 As was reported Tuesday by CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman, Kendrys Morales will decline the qualifying offer the Seattle Mariners are expected to tender. I’m baffled.

No, not at the idea that Morales would decline the qualifying offer that would pay him about $13.8 million in 2014. Not at the idea that Camp Morales, headed by Scott Boras, believes a multi-year option or two will be available on the market. I’m baffled that somehow this is news, and not even because it’s not fact yet. I’m confused as to why this matters.

Were there those out there that actually expected Morales to accept a one-year deal? I wasn’t aware of such persons on planet earth. For those that predicted this would happen, congratulations, you just predicted that Felix Hernandez would throw a fastball in his next start. Here’s your three cents, go pat yourself on the back.

Adam LaRoche, a more accomplished defender but not nearly the consistent, reliable hitter Morales has been, received two years and $24 million guaranteed last offseason. Even if some teams see Morales as a DH — and I know of a few that see Morales as a guy that can play first at last 50-60 times per year, if not more — he’s going to command guaranteed dollars to similar levels. Two years and $20 million? Two and $22 million? Whether Morales is worth that according to whichever value calculator you want to use is besides the point.

What does this mean for Seattle?
Once Seattle makes the QO and Morales officially declines it, the Mariners will be locked into draft-pick compensation if he signs with another club. That fact will make it more difficult for some teams to swallow the idea of doling out some cash on a two-year deal, or longer, plus giving up their first-round pick. And there aren’t any obvious fits among the clubs that select in the Top 10, with the possible exception of the Toronto Blue Jays, who select No. 9, and have a pick at No. 11, too.

What the M’s do by tendering the offer is help themselves keep Morales in Seattle. It’s certainly not automatic, but it helps. If all of the above occurs — the tender, the declining of said tender — the Mariners would be smart to wait out the market. If Morales can find a deal out there the club isn’t comfortable with, they say goodbye, take the pick and continue with their other plans. It’s likely that they’ll be willing to at least match most any deal one could expect Morales to receive.

Rangers, Blue Jays, Rays, Orioles
Texas has already been linked to Morales by MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, and in addition to Toronto, possibly, the Rays and Orioles could be a fit for Morales. Joe Maddon likes to keep his roster flexible, however, so to what level the Rays could have interest is unclear, not to mention the financial part of the equation.

The Orioles are in the same boat with Buck Showalter preferring to stay as flexible as possible, though money isn’t as big an issue in Baltimore.

Matt Snyder of CBSSports.com mentioned the Yankees as a possibility on The Steve Sandmeyer Show Tuesday afternoon, but with Mark Teixeira an aging, oft-injured player, they may see the DH spot as one they need to keep wide open. Adding a player like Morales doesn’t necessarily do that, unless they see him as a 120-game option at first base.

How much is Morales worth to Seattle?
I’d say Morales is an important piece to the M’s offseason, particularly if they can get something done early in the offseason and build some momentum on top, giving them a chance — and a real reason — to be major players for a free agent or two.

Morales isn’t a bat you want hitting No. 3 or 4. If that is the case, your likely a club with some offensive deficiencies. If he’s batting fifth or sixth, you’re probably in good shape. How the Mariners find two better bats to hit between Morales and Kyle Seager is another conversation. Having said that, I wouldn’t be surprised if the M’s were willing to beat some two-year offers by all but guaranteeing Morales a third year, if not guaranteeing it outright.

I’ve been tossing out the idea of ‘overpaying’ for two years now and in general I believe clubs should do so only for all-star quality players. Morales doesn’t fit that bill, but the club could do worse than giving Morales a chance to earn $30 million.

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Jason A. Churchill

Churchill founded Prospect Insider in 2006 after getting his start at InsidethePark.com. He spent several years covering prep, college and pro sports for various newspapers, including The News Tribune and Seattle PI. Jason spent 4 1/2 years at ESPN and two years at CBS Radio prior to joining HERO Sports in July, 2016. Find Jason's Mariners podcast, Baseball Things, right here and follow him on Twitter @ProspectInsider.

41 Comments

  1. You add serious payroll as needed to win. Their are a handfull that can be added to make this team a winner.

    Cap/Pay role limit same darn thing.

    Abreu signed by the White Sox for 6 years 68 Mill. Just over 11 mill a year for a guy who a lot of experts say is the best bat in this free agent market. When Choo and Ellsbury will get 3-5 mill more per year and are way older.

  2. Felix WILL get a raise. It’s in his contract:

    2013:$19M
    2014:$22M
    2015:$24M
    2016-18:$25M

    You’ve got to account for that. Plus, they will need to pay Seager, Ackley, Smoak, etc raises either through arbitration or extensions.

    Most importantly, this team isn’t close right now. Even if they can fit tons of big, free agent contacts within the budgets, they would be unwise to do so right now. There have been tons of studies about the efficiency of different means of adding talent to an organization, and free agency is the least effective route to improvement. Short-term deals and bargains are great, but guys like Choo, Ellsbury, etc are likely to be overpaid for much of their contracts.

    Right now, the M’s should be approaching free agency with a goal of maintaining flexibility, focusing on undervalued (and tradable) assets, and long-term improvement. The reason why retaining Jack is scary is precisely because his job security doesn’t align with those goals.

  3. That’s not a cap. It’s just a payroll limit.

    Besides, the M’s haven’t made any definitive statements about their payroll. In the past, they’ve been willing to add payroll for the right players (like Josh Hamilton).

    Unless I’m missing something, I don’t see any reason to think the team has strict payroll limitations.

    That said, this is pretty irrelevant, since the team would be dumb to add serious payroll this offseason (barring a major unforeseen trade, of course).

  4. davis09

    The M’s have a SET SELF IMPOSSED SALARY CAP. That is nothing new. The M’s will NOT go over it they have a set proffit margin they want to hit each year. That is also nothing new. So when discussing signing players they need to fit under that cap.

  5. Felix salary going up? he is locked into a long term deal no worry there. As to the rest this leaves a ton of room to sign and extend players. You are talking about 1 large free agent signing 3 mid level signings and a lower end signing. That is 5 F/A out of a 24 man roster. As to the trades the Pirates one makes a lot of sense and your asking for low end role players. Didn’t realize it was an option year for 2014 on Saunders. Hope they don’t excersis it. And your right Rosenthal is better than Ramirez, why Saunders who is cheap and adds to OF depth with them losing Beltran. I do not see Stl brining up Tavarez from the start of the season why Stl claimed J. Butler.

    Hart is no J. Bay or J. Bay is no Hart, as a DH he could be worth it for 2-3 years. take Tanaka out of the arguement and add Lincecum, Maholm or Hughes.

  6. I may be a little rough on Hart(not quite Bay) but he is what we have tried for years and it never works. We need outfielders and a DH. at least 3 hitters to bat hopefully 1-3-4 in our lineup. That would make guys like Seager and Smoak so much better to have some people on base and to get better pitches to hit. We need to look for teams with outfield depth in the systems and they need pitching. Toronto,St.Louis,Dodgers etc. and make a couple deals there.

    If we are gonna sign players like Hart every year we will never win so lets just trade Felix for players.

  7. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors reports that “Despite the fact that [Jacoby] Ellsbury might be the MVP of the Red Sox, John Tomase of the Boston Herald opines that the team needs to let him go this winter. Tomase writes that while many fans worry about losing a player who still has plenty left in the tank, the opposite is true far more often — players end up earning millions more than they deserve by the end of a contract.”

    Jay Jaffe of Sports Illustrated did a study of free agents earlier in the year that indicates that on the whole they are not great investments, which probably won’t shock many readers. As we get ready for this season’s free agent auction it’s worth reviewing. Jaffe writes that he: “used the ESPN Free Agent Tracker to create a pool of 100 players, consisting of the top 20 free agents from each winter. Of those 100 players, only 28 delivered as much or more WAR in their first season following free agency (Year 1) as in their walk year (Year 0), a finding that was true whether the players remained on the same team (eight out of 28, 28.6 percent) or changed teams (20 out of 72, 27.8 percent). The average player in the sample was worth 3.0 WAR in Year 0, and 1.7 WAR in Year 1, a drop of 43 percent. Surprisingly, starting pitchers held their value better than other positions, though not by much.”

  8. The more I think about it, he more I think this might be a very understated offseason compared to what people here seem to expect.

    I could see the market for the top guys get out of hand quick. The M’s should scout the shit out of Abreu and Tanaka, and pursue whichever they think could be a legit impact player. But other than that, I’m foreseeing a mellow offseason.

    If that’s the case, they might be wise to go for bargains, especially pitchers. That would put them into a better position to make midseason trades.

    The other option – and I know this won’t be popular – is exploring trades for Iwakuma to bring back young bats. His value should be considerable given his contract and performance last year. You never want to undermine a strength to address a weakness, but I wonder if it might be smart to deal him for an impact young hitter, then add pitching through free agency. The market for starters is clearly better, and Seattle is a more attractive destination for pitchers. Just a thought.

  9. I think Hart could be a good addition if he’s on a team-friendly deal (like what ripperlv mentioned) AND is used correctly.

    That second part is key. Hart isn’t likely to be an impact player over 150+ games. But, he brings a lot to the table:
    -He can play 1B and RF, as well as DH
    -He hits lefties really well

    The M’s could use him as a platoon player at 1B with Smoak, RF with Saunders, and at DH. As a part time guy (particularly getting ABs at DH), they could help keep his knees healthy. If he recovers better than expected, he could play more in an OF corner (where he was well above average earlier in his career).

    If used properly, he could be a very valuable player.

  10. Yeah…. It’s well established that he’s a good hitter when using PEDs.

    That’s the issue: his track record is tainted.

    He’s also in his 30s, and played in a hitters park. He might get 2 years, perhaps as a vesting option. If some team goes 3 years, fine. Don’t think that should be the M’s, tho.

    That’s how bargain hunting works: you let the market develop, then add players who aren’t gettin offers they initially expected.

  11. From NY Post:
    Based on several executives’ opinions, the posting price to the Golden Eagles will be in the $60 million range. If the team accepts the bid, the winning team has to sign Tanaka to a contract. If they can’t reach a deal, Tanaka goes back to the Golden Eagles.

    A big plus for the Yankees, whose goal is stay under $189 million next season, is the posting fee doesn’t count toward a team’s payroll. However, the contract does, and it could be five years for $60 million.

  12. I don’t understand how you can call Hart, Jason Bay. Hart has some gimpy knees but had a monster year in 2012 and didn’t play this year. Bay just sunk in quicksand. That said, I’m not promoting Hart unless you give him an incentive laden contract for a year with maybe a vesting option for year 2 or 3 if you want to do that. But if the Brewers don’t want to sign him, and he really doesn’t have a replacement, then watch out. Also at age 32 he is due to decline unless he’s the next Big Papa.

  13. Good call Jerry- Corey Hart for 3 years! Geez he is Jason Bay now. Its funny how people keep mentioning salary cap. There is no cap in baseball and the M’s can spend how ever much they want. Trades are going to be the way to go here along with a couple FA. They will not shell out the posting fee for Tanaka and they cant go after the top free agents. Trying to trade for a young OF on his way up with a team loaded with OF depth may be a good way to go. Maybe sign Mclouth and make a trade for Ethier, and a trade with Toronto for Rasmus,Gose or Sierra. You could package a pitcher (Ramirez /Paxton plus M. Saunders for Rasmus who can hit left handed pitching.

    It may help a little to sign a manager who has a name to lure a few FA also.

  14. Again, I hate to crap in everyones cereal, but those players actually have to WANT to sign with the M’s. There are going to be lots if other teams bidding too. Expecting the M’s to sign that many big time free agents isn’t realistic. Even if they decided that was a good idea (which I don’t think is the case), there are 29 other teams out there.

    Most importantly, those moves would seriously risk the viability of the club going forward. (and Ellsbury) is one guy I’d steer clear of because he isn’t likely to continue to play at a high level for the length of that contract. Tanaka, Abreu, and Itoi have no ML experience. Signing one or perhaps two of those guys might work. Four is incredibly risky. Even if they could fit it into the budget, what happens when Felix’s salary goes up, and Seager, Franklin, Ackley, Miller, etc get expensive?

    Free agency is the WORST way to build the foundation of a team. More often than not, you overpay for a player based on his past performance, and get decline years.

    Finally, those trades don’t make sense for the other teams. Rosenthal is WAY better than Ramirez, and the Cards have better OFers than Saunders already on their roster. Smoak and Triunfel have very low trade value. And J. Saunders will be a free agent.

    Not at all realistic.

  15. My bad, I realized that after the post. Abreu = Cuban not Japanese 🙂

  16. Sign Choo LF 5 years 95 Mill 19 Per
    Sign J. Abreu 1B/DH(Cuba) 7 years 50 Mill 7.15 Per
    Sign C. Hart 1B/RF/DH 3 Years 26 Mill 8.7 Mill Per
    Bid on Itoi(Japan) 12 Mill sign 4 years 18 Mill 4.5 Per
    Bid on Tanaka(Japan) 35 Mill 6 Years 40 Mill 6.7 Per
    Trade for T. Rosenthal RP/SP Stl. Sending M. Saunders OF, E. Ramirez SP.
    Trade for M. McKenry C, J. Harrison INF Pirates Sending J. Smoak 1B, C. Truinfel SS
    Trade for T. Blach SP, M. Kickham RP Giants Sending J. Saunders SP
    Don’t exercise Guitierrez option.

    That is 46.05 Mill Salary increase
    That is 47 Mill Posting fees
    For a Total of 93.05
    That is 26.05 over the cap, however the savings next year make up for that fact. Saving 20.95 Mill the next season on that self imposed cap. Alos can consider that the M’s were under there self impost cap this past year and could have or should have put it away into the war chest to spend on posting fees this year.

    From a previous post with a could things added. I still think this makes a ton of sense. It does not put the M’s in an over the top bind on contracts and keeps room on their own cap to increase some of the young guys pay over the next few years. Not to mention it leaves room for trades to add another big contract if in a pennant race.

  17. No posting fee required for Abreu.

  18. I too think we are overdue to spend on free agents but have re-thought the issue lately. I like the idea of having a pitching rotation that gives you a chance everyday. But speculation has the posting bid for Tanaka at 35 million, and with limited pitching, hype, etc, the price could go further. While the amount doesn’t count against the $189 tax cap, the Mariners don’t have to worry about that. But that money does count against the teams budget, and $35 mill is a healthly hit. The Rangers posted $51.7 million for Darvish. So a 35 posting and 76 = 77. Is Tanaka a 77 million dollar player? Your lineup still has holes so are you comfortable with a 100 million lineup knowing to fill holes you may have to spend in 2015? Are you sure Abreu would even sign to be a DH? He’s a little young for that. I think we must have core players in place and then you get free agents to complement them. We have a long ways to go because I don’t see much in the way of core players.

  19. Previously Japanese ownership has not counted posting fees towards the payroll, and if this continuous then maybe. Abreu and Tanaka should require huge posting dollars though. Then you still have to fill out your roster.

    Don’t get me wrong, I would love to see your suggestions happen, but it is fantasy land…

  20. I’m not sure where you get a 150 million dollar payroll from by my above mentioned moves. 21 million for Ellsbury (as stated above), 12 million for Abreu (which is the suggested going rate), A 7-10 million dollar bid on Tanaka (This doesn’t count against the cap) then a 7 million dollar per for his actual salary, Ruggiano is a salary swap with whatever reliever you send to Florida, and you pick up Either’s contract which is 15.5 million, but we will be sending off one of the 2B most likely Franklin, so you would take away his salary which is 500k.

    That leaves you with 21+12+7+15= 55 million in added salary. The Mariners are only committed to 33.5 million in 2014, add in about 8.5 million in minimum guys and Arb guys and they are really only on the hook for about 42 million. 55+42 is 97 million dollars. The M’s payroll in 2013 was 84 million. In 2011 it was 95 million, so what I’m suggesting isn’t that big of a stretch.

    Is it likely to happen, no. But if I was the GM these are the moves I would make, being aggressive in FA doesn’t take a trade partner and the the trades I suggested are VERY realistic. It’s no secret that the Braves need a young, legit, second basemen and the Dodgers will be looking to unload Either. Heck, the Dodgers might eat some of that Either contract too (I could see them eating 5 million per, of it), so my suggestion could be lower then 97 million.

  21. Thoughts on Ken Rosenthal floating out there that Seattle is the favorite to land Ellsbury?

    Rosenthal predicts it will cost 6 or 7 years at 21 million per year! I would love to sign him, but going 5 years scares me, 6 or 7 really makes me worried.

    I think we will be in the running, but the team has not shown a willingness to go al in like that before. I think it will take a Jayson Werth overpay to get him here, and the figure Rosenthal throws out there might be right.

    Of coarse, if we wanted to believe Rosenthal, Felix Hernandez would have been traded 2 or 3 times by now! He seems to report what the team SHOULD do rather than giving insight on what actually is going to happen…

  22. I agree with Paul,

    Expecting this team to sign more than one top-tier free agent is unrealistic.

    First, players have to want to come here. The M’s are not a good team right now, and will have to overpay for elite guys (especially hitters). Expecting that to happen multiple times in one offseason is silly.

    Second, the M’s aren’t in a position to go all-in anyhow. This team is bad. Really bad. Given their situation, it makes more sense for them to look for value and accumulate talent.

    Third, this club is run by a lame-duck GM and will be turning over the coaching staff before likely repeating the same exercise next offseason. This isn’t the time to throw tons of resources into free agency: the least efficient way to acquire talent.

    Bill Bavasi tried to buy thevteam out of the gutter too early in the past, and look how that worked out. We don’t need to try that again in what figures to be a sellers market

    Want a model of what the M’s should do? Look at what the Cubs did last offseason: building depth in the farm system, smart trades for undervalued talent, and free agent acquisitions focusing on bargains and tradable assets.

    I hate to be a pessimist, but the M’s aren’t close to contending right now. Forcing the issue will almost definitely end poorly.

  23. This is an ownership group that has supported a payroll of over $100 million in the past, so they don’t need to be Mark Cuban. What they need to do is recognize WHEN it makes sense to spend on the budget. Until you have a foundation to build on, you don’t go adding financial burden. IMO, Seattle will spend, when it makes sense, not just to spend money.

  24. Jerry, you make so likely flawed assumptions that someone won’t offer Cruz any more than a one year deal. He got caught using a performance enhancing drug. They simply write the contract with the stipulation that if he’s retested and found to have violated his drug policy, his contract is null and void. It’s not like he has to prove his performance, that’s pretty well established.

  25. All sounds good rjfrik, but totally unrealistic. You might as well say you want them to sign Choo too, and every other major free agent out there. Have you calculated $$$ figures to all these signings yet. That would have to have a payroll of around 150 million to make it happen.

    I am not so sure about the team not signing Morales. Jack seems to have a “man crush” on him, but you might be right.

    I defiantly think they will make a run at Ellsbury, it would be the splash you say they need (and I agree on that) but to think they are going to spend the money this offseason that you suggest is not going to happen. Last time I checked, Mark Cuban is not the owner…

    I don’t mean to rain on your parade, after all it is the offseason and it is fun to dream…

  26. The Mariners outbid all of baseball for 3 highly desirable free agents. What day is it, huh, huh, come on, what day is it?

  27. In my opinion Morales is as good as gone. I think if any of the reported interested teams really show interest in him, Orioles, Rangers, Rays, Yankees and offer him a contract he will take it over an equal contract offered from the M’s. In fact I bet he would turn down money and possibly an extra year to play for a potential division winner. In my opinion he is moving on. With that said the M’s need to make a splash this winter, a big one and Jack knows it.

    If I’m Jack and that is my rationale then I’m making a big play for Abreu, I would outbid everyone for his services. He and Smoak can share duties at DH/1B and I would bring in a right handed platoon partner for Smoak. I would target Justin Ruggiano for the RH platoon partner. He had an .833 OPS vs Left Handed pitching that was greatly deflated because of an unlucky .260 BABIP. The kid has shown he can hit in the past and a change of scenery might be exactly what the doctor ordered. Justin can serve as the 4th OF (he played all three OF positions last year) and the DH vs Left handed starters, plus a late inning runner if needed (he’s good on the base paths). Justin should be available as the Marlins OF is all full with Stanton and the youngsters. I’m sure he could be had for a reliever.

    After I secured Abreu and Ruggiano I would offer a BIG contract to bring Ellsbury home. We might have to overpay in years and dollars, but the M’s need a face of the franchise that’s actually an offensive player. Bring in the northwest kid Ellsbury and add him to the Cuban masher Abreu and you actually would start to assemble some offensive talent. Make Ellsbury an offer he can’t refuse and let him come home.

    I would then call up the Atlanta Braves and ask if they would rather have Nick Franklin or Dustin Ackley. Find out who I could get for either player and take the best return. The Braves will be dumping Uggla and Elliot Johnson was nothing more then a stop gap for the remainder of the season. They will be in the market to acquire a starting 2b and preferably one who can stick long term. There isn’t much on the FA market, so a trade for one is their most likely route. This is where the M’s fit perfectly. With Ackley’s 2nd half surge the M’s find themselves with 2 starting caliber, young, two baggers. So trade one to Atlanta for the best chip. Can we grab a Graham, Sims, Cabrera or Bethancourt? I would say yes we can. I nab one of the three highly rated pitching prospects or the best defensive catching prospect in the game.

    Then I flip that prospect and Branden Mauer to the Los Angeles Dodgers. My next target would be Joc Pederson and Andre Either. The M’s will be flush with cash and next year with everyone healed the Dodgers will be looking to unload one of their 4 starting OF’s, if we pick up Either’s contract I’m sure we can get Either for Mauer. Pederson is also blocked by the 3 dodger OF stall warts and If I’m the Dodgers I have no problem swapping prospect for equal prospect, especially if you are taking Either’s contract off my hands. Give me a fringe major league arm and pick up Either’s contract and and equal prospect for my prospect who is blocked? Done. Ruggiano can spell Either against LHP from time to time when he’s not spelling Smoak. Pederson becomes our best minor league player and starts the year in AAA. In a year he should be the everyday regular in LF next to Ellsbury and Either.

    After I take care of the offense I make a big bid on Tanaka. Tanaka played better in the Japanese leagues the Iwakuma did. Make a big bid on Tanaka and then pencil him in behind Felix and Iwakuma. With Felix, Iwakuma, Tanaka, Walker and Paxton the M’s could possibly have the best starting five in baseball. And when you have good pitching, anything is possible. Just ask A’s and Giants division and championship winning teams.

    The following lineup would at least make you competitive and if you’re competitive, you just never know. Plus you have Pederson waiting in the wings and he could become a star player.

    Ellsbury
    Ackley
    Seager
    Abreu
    Either
    Smoak/Ruggiano
    Miller
    Saunders
    Zunino

    Felix
    Iwakuma
    Tanaka
    Walker
    Paxton

  28. Well Jason, on Scout’s messageboard, when I talked about the QO and how Seattle should do it, I got told that it’s a “fact” that he’d accept it. Well, of course, I challenged that it was a fact, and I was right, they would give him a QO, and that if he declined it, they have a draft pick option. So, at least one person didn’t see it coming.

  29. I am starting to warm up to the idea of signing Phil Hughes to a one year deal to help bridge the gap for our young pitchers. He should be attracted to the idea of coming to a pitcher friendly park, rejuvenating his career, and heading back on the market next year.

    Jason, what would it take to sign him?

  30. Trade Paxton and more to Toronto for Colby Rasmus-sign Morales-Sign Beltran-Sign Tanaka :

    Miller-SS
    Rasmus-CF
    Beltran-RF
    Morales-DH
    Seager-3B
    Smoak-1B
    Ackley-LF
    Zunino-C
    Franklin-2B

  31. Not sure why Abreu’s presence would change the Marlins’ stance on Stanton even a little bit, and many — I’d venture to say the majority — of teams think Tanaka is a reliever, not a 200-inning starter.

  32. Cruz will be staying in Texas. Morales will be most likely to stay in Seattle. Why? Both teams have learned that they need their offensive production. I think Paul is right on Morales, three years in the $30-$36MM area.

    Free agent contracts this off-season will be higher than ever, too much money chasing too little talent. The Giants may have got a bargain on Pence at 5/$90MM. Ellsbury and Choo will both probably get nine figures.

    Price will net the Rays the biggest off-season trade get – again. Stanton will probably not be available, although the Marlins are big on Abreu and if they get him they might consider turning Stanton over. They are probably not getting Abreu though, I’m guessing Texas does, although I hope I’m wrong.

    Tanaka would be a better deal for any team than Price, hopefully for the M’s. I did a detailed explanation why on NASORB.

    Scioscia and DiPoto are both staying put in LAAofA, they sacrificed a couple of coaches instead.

  33. I sure hope they dont sign another broken down player like Hart. I would much rather add Carlos Beltran ,Ibanez,and sign one of Ellsbury,Choo,or Granderson but I do like Morales. The reality is most free agents wont want to come here so Morales might be all we can get .We may need to try to bring outfielders through trade.

  34. If Nelson Cruz takes a one year deal, it will likely be with a team that plays in a hitters park (with protection around him in the lineup) so he can try for the big contract the following year. I don’t know why ge would choose Seattle on a one year deal…

  35. One big difference when comparing what happened with LaRoche last year and Morales this year:

    LaRoche resigned with the Nationals in part to go back to a team that had JUST WON 98 games! If the money is equal Morales would likely prefer to sign with a winning team like Texas (who also plays in a hitters park) than take a low $$$ deal to come back to Seattle. I think we are underestimating the market for Morales. If Seattle wants him back it is going to cost them more, likely 3 years and 32-36 million guaranteed. Mark it down and come back and check my post after he signs to see if I am right!

  36. The qualifying offer also impacts the value of Morales for the M’s.

    Basically, it gives the M’s a strong disincentive to let him walk. If he declines that offer, the team might be smart to just sign someone else.

    Think about it this way: which would you rather have:
    1. Morales for 2yrs/25mil
    2. Nelson Cruz 1yr/~10 mil plus a comp draft pick

    Nelson Cruz is just one example among many. The M’s could also go after a more modest acquisition (Cory Hart, Pronk, Ibanez) or a more substantial investment (Abreu?). But whatever they decide, that potential draft pick needs to figure into their decision.

    Give the sorry state of the team, the quality of the 2014 draft class, and their success in the draft, they might be smart to just let him walk.

  37. “I always thought the M’s should have gone out and signed above average pitchers to multi-years and then trade them after a year or so for offense.”

    Yeah, I completely agree. If signing hitters is tough for them, this is a great strategy. Especially undervalued pitchers on short term contacts.

    This offseason, Josh Johnson, Dan Haren, and Phil Hughes are all potential targets. Since the M’s have good pitching in the upper levels of the system, they could sign one if theses guys, then potentially flip them for prospects at the trade deadline. Makes a lot of sense.

  38. I understand the M’s strategy, pretty much the same as the Nationals/LaRoche. I don’t see another team offering a multi-year to Morales, but then again, I didn’t see the Giants giving 5/90 to Pence. The M’s need to get offense somehow. I always thought the M’s should have gone out and signed above average pitchers to multi-years and then trade them after a year or so for offense. Of course this stragey is risky, but has upside possibilities. Best I can figure out, the M’s strategy is too find some decent major leaguers out of the draft, then get a free agent piece or two. As long as Tampa Bay, Oakland, and Pittsburg are doing it, there’s hope.

  39. I have the feeling that Raul wants to be around and he needs to be the DH next year. After watching Ellsbury in the playoffs. I want Ellsbury in CF no matter the cost. I also want the M’s to take a flyer on Corey Hart. He can play 1B and RF and provides RH pop. The M’s can pay him as much as anyone and do it all on an incentives based contract. Zduriencik and Hart should have some sort of relationship that may give him a slight advantage in negotiations.

    Ellsbury, Hart, Tankaka and a reliever. Not much for my Christmas wish list.

  40. I’m starting to think we could see some outrageous contracts handed out this offseason. There are a lot of teams besides Seattle with a lot of money to spend.

    I’d be happy to keep the draft pick and settle for someone like Pronk or Youk at DH next year. With potentially 5 picks in the top 80 next June, keeping Zdurenciek and McNamara around might have been a wise choice.

  41. Morales is gone with Boras as his agent. The pick is nice and bodes well for the teams future. As to the present the M’s may need to over pay to get a solid bat here and to start changing the minds of future free agent players. Much like the Nationals did with Werth.

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